Scottish Care & RCGP Scotland issues joint statement on care homes

The leaders of Scottish Care and RCGP Scotland have today issued a joint statement on behalf of their members in response to significant challenges being experienced by those being cared for and working within the care home sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing reassurances that despite general practice having to adapt the way it provides medical care to patients during this exceptional time, with more care being provided over the telephone or via video consulting, care home residents who are clinically required to be seen in person, will still be visited by their GP in care homes.

Dr Carey Lunan, Chair of RCGP Scotland and Dr Donald Macaskill CEO of Scottish Care said:

“There have always been good relationships between GPs and the care homes that they look after. We recognise that the Covid19 pandemic is an incredibly worrying time for care home residents and their families, and also for care home staff who continue to provide exceptional care during this time. 

GPs will continue to deliver the same high level of care and support that they have always provided to their patients in care homes. GPs have had to rapidly adapt the way that they deliver clinical care in the last few weeks, with much more advice and assessment being done over the telephone or by video consulting, where it is safe and appropriate to do so. The safety of care home residents is very important to GPs, and for that reason, they would only visit in person where there is a clinical need to do so, to reduce the potential risk of bringing any infection into the home. 

If a face to face visit is needed, they will wear the appropriate PPE to protect staff and residents. We wrote jointly on this issue last week, together with the Royal College of Nurses, to the Cabinet Secretary to highlight the urgent need for appropriate levels of PPE for all community health and social care staff. We are pleased to say that this situation has since greatly improved. 

We are committed to continuing to work closely and collaboratively to ensure that those working on the frontline of health and social care delivery in our community feel safe during this uncertain time and that patients continue to receive the care that they need.”