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GPs go forth

Home truths

Editor’s blog

The motion by Kent LMC calling for the removal of home visits from the GMS contract has produced a huge reaction. It featured in all the national newspapers, has been much debated in the Pulse comments section and on social media.

The chances are that English LMCs will vote against it at their annual conference next week. A softer motion in Wales - calling for the removal of home visits after 2pm - failed, after all.

As Copperfield has pointed out, there is a fundamental issue with the motion, in that GPs are not obliged to carry out home visits anyway. But I feel that the motion itself has had a positive effect already. It has highlighted that there is a need for radical, immediate solutions to alleviate the GP workload crisis.

Next week we will be releasing our manifesto

Pledges for new trainees from the Conservatives and Labour are necessary but do nothing in the short term. What we need is removal of work immediately. 

Next week we will be releasing our manifesto. If you think there is anything we should include, please email me on

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Vinci Ho

    (1) Undoubtedly, the time spent on visiting one patient can always be used to see at least , several patients in surgery , fact and common sense . In terms of ‘productivity’ in economic terms , home visit is not a favourable commodity .
    (2) Then it is the ‘type’ of patient who can genuinely ‘qualify’ for a home visit . Deep down, we all know who they are (totally housebound , terminal care etc).
    But the question is who and how to justify the qualification of any home visit being requested ? Arguably , this can be something potentially ‘abusable’ . I suppose every single case can be debated whether the patient really could have come to our surgeries to see us or not . Means of transport is one major factor .
    (3) History does not help because it has created expectations . In the ‘old , good’ days , one can say we have enough resources ( time and manpower ) to satisfy these expectations. Yes , continuity of care(COC) is important. But it was then , this is now . General practice can barely survive under this current retention and recruitment crisis . The ‘right’ thing to do could have become the ‘wrong’ thing to do at the wrong place at the wrong time . Morale amongst our colleagues is so low that we must save ourselves before saving others . The fact we are moving towards working by scale sacrificing COC ( something I always fight for ) is arguably and already a form of capitulation. Let’s be honest to ourselves . Perhaps , home visit is just another ‘virtue’ we have to give up to endure our survival. Of course , politicians would not let this happen easily for their own sake ( Since when would they really want to care about ‘overpaid’ NHS GP?).
    Clearly , if the total number of GPs available drops below a certain threshold, some items of GP service automatically becomes ‘luxuries’ . Put it in a simple term , the government and the country cannot afford to have GP home visits.

    I would be more than interested in the outcome of this ballot on 22/11( as well as the one about rejection of PCN) .
    The irony is PCN DES has included paramedics in the extended workforce deal , who can potentially do home visits for us. But we have to foot 30% of the cost at PCN . And we all wonder where the hell can they recruit these paramedics without destabilising the already precarious ambulance services ?

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