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General Practitioners

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that GP practices have systems for reviewing medicines prescribed to older people; and what assessment he has made of the implications on the over medication of older people in (a) their own homes and (b) care homes. [106073]

A number of steps have been taken nationally and locally, to support general practitioner practices in reviewing the medicines prescribed to older people. For example the National Collaborative for Medicines Management is introducing medication reviews as part of its programme.

Information is not routinely collected on the over-medication of older people. We are aware of the concerns about inappropriate use of medications among older people, within care homes in particular. Medication reviews will play an important part in preventing inappropriate use of the medication.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what policies are in place to encourage GP surgeries to open for longer hours and at weekends. [106565]

The NHS Plan and Planning and Priorities Framework 2003–06 makes it clear that development of fast, convenient and responsive primary care services is a key priority for primary care trusts (PCTs). It is, however, for PCTs, working with their local practices and other providers to decide how to achieve this whether through general practice or by promoting alternative service models including use of personal medical services, salaried doctors, NHS walk-in centres or local walk-in services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent guidance he has issued to primary care trusts on longer opening hours for GP surgeries. [106566]