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Drugs for elderly people in care homes

(10 Posts)
CeliaVL Fri 02-Jun-17 13:42:18

I have just seen this headline in the Independent. Has anyone come across this happening?

NewsHealth
GPs 'bribed' to take drugs away from elderly patients in care homes
Doctors offered half of cash saved by initiative to hand out fewer prescriptions to frail patients

Katie Forster

I know the Conservatives are running down the NHS with a view to privatising it completely, but this seems positively cruel.

Anya Fri 02-Jun-17 13:57:59

That's incorrect Celia inasmuch as it is based on a report saying that 20% of the elderly were on drugs they either did not need, or reacted adversely with other medication they were on.

"A third of elderly patients may be being prescribed unnecessary medication, putting them at needless risk of side-effects and costing the NHS millions, a study has shown.

A review of 1,800 over 75s at NHS Croydon found that the average patient had been prescribed six different drugs.

But after a reassessment hundreds of prescriptions were cancelled, with up to one third of patients taken off at least one drug.

Hundreds of prescriptions were stopped because they were no longer effective and dozens because the patients were experiencing side effects or drug reactions.

A further 121 patients were sent to their GP for further review, and 89 patients had their dose reduced."

For once this makes sense BUT perhaps not good to offer GPs a £1 financial incentive to review their prescriptions....or perhaps it might stir them to think?

Anya Fri 02-Jun-17 13:59:20

I meant to type 30%

Anya Fri 02-Jun-17 14:00:14

PS Best if you read the whole story not just the headline grin

hildajenniJ Fri 02-Jun-17 14:08:19

This is not a new policy either. I remember spending hours with our GPs, going through all the Residents drug files and care plans, noting what they were taking and what effect, if any, they had be it beneficial or detrimental. It was always a useful exercise and worth the time spent. Our GPs were always surprised when we nurses asked for our Residents to be taken off some of their drugs. This was twenty years ago, I might add.

BlueBelle Fri 02-Jun-17 14:09:16

I think the elderly are put on too many drugs ....sometimes to keep them quiet and more compliant
Nothing to do with a care homes but when I was living away from home my mum apparently went to the doctor with palpitations now looking back it was probably around the menapause I remember dad telling me to not cause mum any stress when I came home to visit as Mum was now on meds for her heart it was 20 years later on a visit home that her granddaughter (a nurse) asked me why her Nan was on long term heart tablets as she d never thought there was much wrong with her heart She persuaded mum to ask for a health check up on her heart 'condition' and yes her heart was totally healthy not only had she been taking unnecessary tablets for 20 years but they had worried unnecessarily about her health She was 90 when she died

CeliaVL Fri 02-Jun-17 14:44:29

Anya: I never mind being corrected when I get it wrong. Always good to get people thinking about issues, though. I fully accept there is a lot of over-prescribing, often because our overworked doctors don't have enough time to think about each patient's overall needs. Not good to have incentives though. I think we should go back to all doctors being employed by the NHS on specific salaries.

Smileless2012 Fri 02-Jun-17 14:56:45

It's very worrying. My brother now lives with my mum to help look after her and when he asked her doctor to review the seemingly endless number of pills she was taking on a daily basis, he didn't know why she was still being prescribed medication she'd been taking for years and no longer neededshock.

M0nica Fri 02-Jun-17 14:58:17

GPs have always been self-employed, ever since NHS was introduced in 1947, and I can remember hearing of programmes to check and, where necessary, reduce medication for older people well over 40 years ago because of the number of people admitted to hospital or care with dementia who were found to be mentally well and able to return home once their medication had been checked and either changed or reduced.

I think we all have a responsibility, when we are older and able, to keep an eye on our own medication. Ten years ago I refused drugs for both high blood pressure and statins when both were raised slightly at a time of high stress. Both returned to normal levels within weeks and have remained below medication level ever since. I would not turn down medication I really needed.

grannylyn65 Fri 02-Jun-17 16:13:18

Well, worked in Care Home for many years and GPs often did a medication review and discontinued many drugs only having to represcribe when clients health deteriorated 😑