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GPs able to offer additional 200 appointments after stopping home visits

GPs working under a hospital-led new care model pilot have been able to refer all home visits to a dedicated team, freeing up practice time for routine work. 

The South Hampshire multispecialty community provider (MCP), which is led by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, has dedicated a team including one GP and four district nurses to do all home visits.

Leaders behind the project, which was launched at the beginning of May, said this had freed up one hour a day for GPs working at seven branch surgeries, meaning they could offer an extra 202 appointments in a month.

Under the MCP scheme, set up under NHS England's Five Year Forward View plan for the NHS, the team is able to complete home visits earlier on in the day, reducing pressure not just on GP services but also hospitals.

Dr Donal Collins, GP lead of the South Hampshire vanguard, told Pulse that the pilot programme is giving back one hour per day for GPs to do other work, accounting for the different ways GPs divide their time between home visits and other work.

He added that the GP, who was already employed by one of the GP practices within the vanguard, ‘had an interest in elderly care’ and is also available to take on other GP work outside home visiting hours of 9am and 2pm every weekday. 

NHS Fareham and Gosport CCG chair Dr David Chilvers, who is a GP at one of the practices covered by the service, said it was ‘relieving pressure on GP practices’.

He said: ‘To have cut down on 202 appointments in just a month may not sound much, but it has potentially meant up to 157 less car journeys for GPs to have to go out and see a patient. That saving in time has been considerable.’

It comes as NHS England has said it would like GPs to do more urgent home visits to reduce A&E pressures. As revealed by Pulse in November, it recommended that CCGs fund this via new local enhanced services.


Readers' comments (23)

  • National Hopeless Service

    Why do we do home visits at all. Its invariably a mobility issue. Always fascinates me that GP home visits dont exist in Canada and Australia.

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  • It also fascinates me that patients can attend their hospital appointment, but can't come to the surgery. I would love to see the end of home visits. It's the bit of the day I dread. It also frustrates me I have to use my own vehicular at my expense.

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  • There are no home visits in Australia & Canada because charges for home visits are exorbitant hence patient will make it to surgery by any means (taxi/ family).
    At present why should patient pay money for transport when GP come to their house without costing them a penny!!!!!

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  • I would love not to do home visits but I do feel they are essential for the isolated elderly. I might be the only person such patients regularly see. The endless meetings and dross within general practice could do with cutting to free up time. As could the endless stream of appointments booked solely for the purpose of appealing the stopping of ESA and failure to obtain PIP.
    If we stop all home visits, what happens to the dying? What about all the clues you lose by not seeing the patient in the home environment?
    Stop the dross certainly. Retain home visits where clinically appropriate - and it drives me mad that patients who 'cannot be brought in' can then suddenly 'manage' to get transport to hospital.

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  • Then then 202 extra appointments get filled up with trivia.

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  • I think home visits are important but patient should not take undue advantage of it.

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  • Often patients will visit their hairdresser but expect their GP to visit them! Total lack of respect

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  • I think in Oz there are dedicated companies that do them
    Also if a gp goes they get paid ( what a novel idea!)
    Home visits: highly trained professionals wondering around wasting clinical time listening to a sat nav lady who has no idea that the "peace" wall exists and is a dead end at night! (Belfast)
    Also good for patients to get out of the house and get their vitamin D levels up
    Of course there are some people who really need them

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  • Cobblers

    So free up some hours in the day and more work gets done?

    Catholic Pope & Constipated bears again.

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  • home visits are mostly unnecessary. they are often generated by care home when patient are mobile and relatives takes them home or to watch football match but why bother taking them to gp when he comes same day at his own expense. care home don't want to pay for staff time who will accompany them.
    death, palliative care patient and some very ill patient may need home visit and gp should be paid £80 per visit by government. no one want to discus it as gp have put up with it for long time. in 1980's we were visiting children with ear ache, tonsillitis, eczema as refusal to visit means LMC hearing. I remember doing home visit for threadworm as mum could not come to pick up prescription.

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