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GPs go forth

Should our practice sign up for the new home visits DES?

Dr Richard Vautrey explains the risks of providing care to patients registered out of your area

NHS England is currently signing practices up to provide patients registered out of area with access to local GP services if they are unable to get to their registered practice. The ‘in-hours urgent primary medical care enhanced service’ will begin on 5 January.

• Any practices with an open list can sign up for the DES. Practices that already have unregistered patient services contracts, such as walk-in centres, are excluded. 

• Practices must provide access (8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday) for those who fall ill at home, and home visits (if deemed clinically necessary by the provider). Any new information about a patient must be sent to their registered practice within 24 hours. 

• Patients should not receive more than two home visits a year from the practice doing the DES. Those who receive more than this should trigger a review by the registered practice to decide whether it is still clinically appropriate for the patient to be registered away from home. The practice must also provide details of every attendance to the registered practice so the patient’s medical record is kept up to date.

• The service is set to run from 5 January 2015 to 31 March 2016.

• GPs will receive £60 for every home visit undertaken for patients registered away from home and £15.87 for every routine appointment or telephone consultation. Practices should claim quarterly based on the number of patients accessing services under the DES, and the number of consultations or visits each patient receives.

• The GPC has warned that area teams and practices may find it hard to plan for the DES, because no one knows how many patients will register out of area.

Source: NHS England. In-hours urgent primary medical care enhanced service specification, 2014.




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Readers' comments (11)

  • £15.87 does not cover the cost of seeing that patient in the practice.

    £60/visit may be profitable, but not enough for the hassle factor of having to do an extra visit.

    I would recommend steering well clear of this.

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  • £60 is not profitable. Once you factor in superAnn and tax you are not left with a lot!

    Then there is the admin of sending the details to the registered practice and getting involved with reviews after 2 visits.

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  • don't touch this with a bargepole. If a patient is sick and he is not in area, what has NHS england got lined up for them? Can practices now refuse to see all TR's if they are not signing up to this scheme?

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  • this DES is simply shambolic in planning. Steer well clear. £60 is not worth it for the clinical risk and hassle. In fact, I dont know how many GPs have the time to even do these visits.

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  • £ 60 for a visit from John O Groats to Land's End. Really.

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  • Don't experiment unless you have sado-masochistic tendencies or are absolutely certain of what you are doing. No move is the right move. Let the Elections pass and the rhetoric go nto a lull and then see what actually hatches from the stale egg

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  • You would be taking a huge risk from a medico-legal point of view. It's really not worth it on this alone.

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  • No

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  • there is enough work in my practice for me to try to cope with. At times it gets too much and leave the building at 7-7:30pm. have done visits after 7pm for my pts esp palliative.

    should I earn £60 and get burntout more quickly! just answered the qn.

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  • LAT have rang my surgery and are trying to force this onto us. Is that allowed?

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