Older people who reside in care homes have varying access and quality of medical care; in the UK, this is provided by general practitioners (GPs). The authors aimed to explore the experiences of trainee GPs in delivering integrated care and discuss, with senior GPs, opportunities to improve training.
Two trainees and thirteen senior GPs were recruited through professional networks and participated in semi-structured interviews. Transcriptions were analysed using thematic analysis, and the theory of negotiated order was used to interpret findings.
Trainees received no specific training on working with care homes. Exposure to the care home setting was variable, and could be negligible, depending on the GP practice placement. Senior GPs expressed concerns about patient safety, due to practical challenges of the consultation and a sense of lack of control. Considering the theory of negotiated order, where GPs had trusting relationships with care home staff, the input of the staff could mitigate the sense of risk. Care plans could communicate needs and preferences within the team and may be a way of extending the negotiated order, for example giving care homes authority to implement end-of-life care when the GP is not present.
The authors identified a need for trainees to engage with the organisational aspect of the care home to deliver integrated care. Trusted relationships with staff led to improved consultations, care plans, and better management of risk.
This is the first study of learning needs for GP trainees to provide integrated care for older care home residents.
This research was a student project and did not receive funding.
Declaration of interest statement: The authors have no competing interests.
Data availability: Data can be made available upon enquiry to corresponding author.
Ruaux, S. and Chadborn, N. (2022), "A qualitative exploratory study of training requirements for general practitioners attending older people resident in care homes", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-11-2021-0060
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