Tag Archives: Reduce

Warning drinkers of cancer risk could reduce consumption, survey finds

Labels warning drinkers that they risk seven different forms of cancer could make some people re-think their alcohol consumption, according to a survey.

But most people will ignore other warnings on bottles and drinks about the damaging effects of alcohol on health, the survey found.

The annual Global Drugs Survey, which 130,000 people in 44 countries chose to complete online this year, asks about drug and alcohol use, risks and harms. Researchers said that given the success of graphic images on cigarette packets, they wanted to investigate the potential impact of warnings on bottles of wine, beer and spirits among the 3,600 survey responders in England.

They devised seven different health warnings, in collaboration with health experts, from “heart disease is a major cause of death among people with heavy alcohol use” to “a bottle of wine or six bottles of beer contain as many calories as a burger and fries”.

Other warnings concerned liver disease, the increase in violence among drinkers, the increased cancer risk, the recommendation from experts to have at least two alcohol-free days a week and the absence of any health benefits from drinking, even at low levels.

Most people said they believed the messages – nearly 90% believed alcohol could lead to violence and 80% knew there were a lot of calories in alcoholic drinks. And yet most would not rethink the amount they drank if any of those warning labels were on bottles.

The warning that appeared to reach the most people was that “drinking less reduces your risk of seven different sorts of cancer”. Among the 3,600 people in England who responded to the survey, 40% said it would or might affect the amount they drank, 5% said they were unsure and 55% said it would not change anything.

Warnings about calories would or might change the habits of 31% of people and warnings that alcohol increases violent and abusive behaviour would or might make 27% of people cut down.

Drinks manufacturers already have to put the alcohol levels and the chief medical officer’s recommended alcohol limits on their products. A report from the Alcohol Health Alliance in January found that most did not include the up to date guidance of 14 units a week for men and women. They found that none had health warnings featuring specific illnesses or recommending drink-free days.

Professor Adam Winstock, consultant psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist and founder of the Global Drug Survey said it showed that there was much to do about alcohol messaging in the UK. “It is clear that the link between alcohol consumption and increased cancer risk is a message that is still not reaching UK drinkers and where it does, many chose to react to the message with scepticism.

‘’The alcohol industry which makes profits from selling its product will never embrace anything that might lead to people drinking less. A self-regulated industry will always regulate to optimise profits not public health.’’

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “These results on the potential power of health information on alcohol labels are important and compelling. They make it clear that people just do not know about key health issues like the link between alcohol and cancer that might well change their behaviour and improve public health.”

Warning drinkers of cancer risk could reduce consumption, survey finds

Labels warning drinkers that they risk seven different forms of cancer could make some people re-think their alcohol consumption, according to a survey.

But most people will ignore other warnings on bottles and drinks about the damaging effects of alcohol on health, the survey found.

The annual Global Drugs Survey, which 130,000 people in 44 countries chose to complete online this year, asks about drug and alcohol use, risks and harms. Researchers said that given the success of graphic images on cigarette packets, they wanted to investigate the potential impact of warnings on bottles of wine, beer and spirits among the 3,600 survey responders in England.

They devised seven different health warnings, in collaboration with health experts, from “heart disease is a major cause of death among people with heavy alcohol use” to “a bottle of wine or six bottles of beer contain as many calories as a burger and fries”.

Other warnings concerned liver disease, the increase in violence among drinkers, the increased cancer risk, the recommendation from experts to have at least two alcohol-free days a week and the absence of any health benefits from drinking, even at low levels.

Most people said they believed the messages – nearly 90% believed alcohol could lead to violence and 80% knew there were a lot of calories in alcoholic drinks. And yet most would not rethink the amount they drank if any of those warning labels were on bottles.

The warning that appeared to reach the most people was that “drinking less reduces your risk of seven different sorts of cancer”. Among the 3,600 people in England who responded to the survey, 40% said it would or might affect the amount they drank, 5% said they were unsure and 55% said it would not change anything.

Warnings about calories would or might change the habits of 31% of people and warnings that alcohol increases violent and abusive behaviour would or might make 27% of people cut down.

Drinks manufacturers already have to put the alcohol levels and the chief medical officer’s recommended alcohol limits on their products. A report from the Alcohol Health Alliance in January found that most did not include the up to date guidance of 14 units a week for men and women. They found that none had health warnings featuring specific illnesses or recommending drink-free days.

Professor Adam Winstock, consultant psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist and founder of the Global Drug Survey said it showed that there was much to do about alcohol messaging in the UK. “It is clear that the link between alcohol consumption and increased cancer risk is a message that is still not reaching UK drinkers and where it does, many chose to react to the message with scepticism.

‘’The alcohol industry which makes profits from selling its product will never embrace anything that might lead to people drinking less. A self-regulated industry will always regulate to optimise profits not public health.’’

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “These results on the potential power of health information on alcohol labels are important and compelling. They make it clear that people just do not know about key health issues like the link between alcohol and cancer that might well change their behaviour and improve public health.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank the Nuffield Trust found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. These reductions in admissions are valued at up to £1,000 per patient per year.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”

GP visits to care homes reduce hospital admissions by nearly 40%

When Mary Mills had a mini stroke and broke her hip and leg, following two successive bad falls last year, she decided to move into a nursing home. Since November, Mills, 74, has been resident at Willows Care Home in Romford, east London. Due to her ongoing health needs, Mills needs regular appointments with her GP, Dr Muna Sheikh. But she does not have to be taken to the surgery or wait weeks to be seen.

Willows is one of four nursing homes across the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge taking part in a £400,000 pilot scheme. Jointly funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund (which awarded £50m to 20 pilot projects in England to improve access to general practice) and the local clinical commissioning groups, Health 1000 is a dedicated primary care practice providing 431 residents of the homes with 8am to 8pm, seven-days-a-week GP support, as well as training and advice for staff and help from a consultant geriatrician.


This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense

Crucially, the nursing homes are allocated a GP, directly employed by Health 1000, who visits the home each week. This is far from normal practice. Often, care home residents are registered with different GP practices, which do not always come out to care homes, or only provide phone consultations. In a review of the sector in 2012, the Care Quality Commission found only 38% of care homes had regular visits from GPs.

At Willows, where Sheikh spends every Friday morning, Mills says the regular contact is fantastic. “I’ve had quite a few things wrong with me,” she says. “Even if there is nothing wrong, she sometimes pops in to say hello. And I only have to say to the nurse that I want to see her and she comes.”

It is not just patients like Mills who are seeing the benefits. A new evaluation published on Wednesday by the health thinktank, the Nuffield Trust, found that in the three years to 2017 the scheme resulted in a 36% reduction in emergency admissions to hospital, and emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%, leading to estimated annual savings to the NHS of more than £1,000 a patient.

Doctor holding patient’s hand in hospital


In the three years to 2017 emergency bed days spent in hospital fell by 53%. Photograph: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images/Blend Images

The findings are especially striking, Nuffield Trust says, given that care home residents have between 40% and 50% more emergency admissions to hospital than the general population aged over 75. “One interesting thing about evaluating different schemes for keeping people out of hospital is it is rare to find such a big effect,” says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust. “There are four times more people in beds in care homes than there are in hospital, so it is a very big part of the health and social care systems. It’s easy to say, well, they are in a nursing home so we don’t need to worry, but this scheme turns that on its head.”

One reason for the scheme’s success is that doctors such as Sheikh are able to really get to know patients and care home staff, meaning problems are often discussed before they escalate. “This kind of conversation is only possible because we have dedicated time in each nursing home,” says Sheikh.

Sheikh says the scheme has changed how she views her own job, after the wife of one of her patients who had dementia told the GP more about his personality when they were drawing up his end-of-life plan. “It made me realise the person I was treating was a human being who had a life and not just an advanced dementia patient who would never cooperate and would swear all the time,” she says. “Looking beyond that facade really made me think of how I could reach out more.”

Following the success of the pilot scheme, Jagan John, director of Health 1000, says preparations are under way to roll it out to all 39 nursing homes in the three boroughs, and other CCGs including Hertfordshire have shown an interest in replicating the model. “This is about the patient. It’s about what the patient needs in the moment you see them. It’s common sense,” he says.

Back in her room at Willows, Mills can’t praise the scheme enough. “When I was in my own home, it was often so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment and I didn’t always get the same doctor, which made me feel awkward,” she says. “I’ve had better care from Muna than any GP before.”