GP practices are testing a new system of early-morning home visits, aimed at reducing pressure in surgeries and unnecessary overnight hospital admissions.
The scheme, rolled out across Bath and North East Somerset, sees patients able to call in the early morning to request a home visit, either by a GP, a nurse practitioner or a specialist paramedic.
NHS Bath and Nort East Somerset CCG said this meant patients who need to go to hospital for further checks following the home visit will have time to do so and return home again on the same day.
The CCG said this differed from the historical practice of home visits being carried out during late morning, which meant patients sometimes had to stay overnight in hospital when they did not need to.
The pilot is a collaboration between NHS Bath and North East Somerset CCG, its member GP practices, B&NES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS) and the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
CCG clinical chair Dr Ian Orpen said: ‘It takes time to make a proper assessment of a patient’s condition, both by primary care professionals and by the day-patient team at the hospital.
‘If we start this process at the very beginning of the day, there is a much higher chance that if a patient does need to go to hospital, they will be seen and be able to go straight home again, where they will recover faster and feel more comfortable.’