In the last 10 years, the number of community-based family physicians in BC has increased by about 10%. Over this same period, the number of family physicians delivering residential care services dropped by about 13%. It’s also anticipated that there will be a 120% growth in the residential care population in the next 20 years.
Local residential care practice context and barriers
In the South Island and Victoria regions, there are approximately 3,336 residential care patients in 37 facilities ranging in size from 16 to 260 residents. Approximately 190 member physicians from both the South Island and Victoria Divisions of Family Practice provide services at these facilities.
Survey findings, working group analysis, and stakeholder engagement with member physicians consistently describe the top physician practice barriers in residential care:
inadequate remuneration to reflect the time required to attend residential care patients;
geographic distribution of facilities across the region;
challenges providing after-hours coverage;
clinical confidence in providing care to this vulnerable population with complex medical needs; and
the inefficiency/unpredictability of seeing patients in residential care.
The South Island and Victoria understand that the top barriers in our region require further support and intervention in order to be fully addressed.
Improving Care of Patients in Residential Care
In order to address the downward trend in the number of physicians providing services in residential care, demographic changes, and local practice barriers, the Victoria and South Island Divisions of Family Practice members have identified improving the care of the patients in residential care as a key strategic priority. The two Divisions are working together to improve the care of patients in residential care, through a variety of programs and strategies, including a local implementation of the General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) provincial residential care initiative (RCI).
The provincial RCI is designed to address residential care challenges by enabling physicians to develop local, scalable, and sustainable solutions to improve the care of patients in residential care, guided by best practice expectations and system level outcomes designed to guide changes in the culture and systems of care.
Read full details about the provincial GPSC residential care initiative (RCI) here.
Learn more about the local Victoria and South Island residential care initiative (RCI) Program here.