GP screening and care plan programme for older patients ‘increases NHS costs’

An NHS programme that involved GPs screening older people at risk of hospitalisation and providing them with care plans increased NHS costs instead of reducing them, a new study has shown.

The research into the ‘Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care (SLIC) Older People’s Programme’ found that GP practices using screening to identify the health needs of patients over the age of 65 increased both outpatient attendances and elective admissions.

This was likely due to ‘identification of unmet needs’ as a result of the ‘enhanced primary care activities’, said researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Exeter and the London School of Economics.

Full story in Pulse, 18 March 2019