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PCTs fail to agree terms for GP home visits in practice boundary pilots

Managers across the country have yet to finalise agreements to support home visits for commuters registering with practices taking part in the Government's pilots of the removal of practice boundaries.

In another administrative delay to the scheme, a snapshot survey of 20 PCTs in non-pilot areas carried out by Pulse reveals that none have yet agreed a LES agreement with their local LMC to support home visits to commuters registered in pilot areas.

The agreements were due to be in place last month and form a crucial part of the scheme, ensuring that commuters registered in urban areas still have access to urgent care in-hours and are able to have visits from GP practices close to home.

The delay comes after Pulse revealed last week that not one practice had signed up to the scheme in the six pilot sites, even though 11 practices have now signed up in Westminster since then.

Dr Paul Roblin, secretary of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon LMC, said he was close to agreeing a LES that would pay GPs £60 for a home visit and £20 for a consultation.

He said: ‘At the moment, it looks like this is a big failure because not enough practices in the pilots are signed up to it.'

‘We're virtually there. We've agreed a pricing structure, a form, a means of communicating the fact that a consultation has occurred back to the practices. But we don't know if it has been a lot of work for a tiny or negligible number of patients.'