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BBC News – Care home residents ‘denied basic GP medical services’

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Some doctors are refusing to visit elderly care home residents, a BBC investigation has found.

Instead they are offering a diagnosis over the phone which care home managers say is unsatisfactory and dangerous.

In one case, care home records show a GP refused or reluctantly made a visit to a man suffering from pneumonia on three occasions.

The British Medical Association told the BBC it agreed the quality of care given to care homes could vary.

Debbie Dean told the BBC’s Radio 5 live Investigates programme that her family struggled to get a GP to come out to see her 71-year-old father as he lay suffering from pneumonia in a care home in Stoke-on-Trent.

Cecil Dean was suffering from lung disease and mild dementia. There were problems with getting him on the right medication and setting his oxygen levels.

‘Couldn’t be bothered’

On Mr Dean’s notes at the care home, seen by the BBC, staff recorded that his GP had on three occasions over a three-month period either refused to come out or had reluctantly made a visit.

In the hours before her father died in January 2010, Ms Dean says her brother had to insist that the GP come into the home to assess his condition.

“To me, the doctor couldn’t be bothered to come out and see the patient – he would rather prescribe over the phone rather than actually come and see him,” says Ms Dean.

“The doctor would eventually come out – but on the days he would refuse, he would just prescribe over the phone.”

The GP, who has since retired, has refused to comment.

via BBC News – Care home residents ‘denied basic GP medical services’.

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Written by edparnell

March 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Disgusting, Health

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