NHS GPs vote to stop home visits because of time constraints
Under current rules, GPs are required to visit patients at home when they are considered to be too ill to travel to their surgery or hospital.
Home visits have been a cornerstone of GP practice for decades, currently over 10,000 are carried out across England every day. However, in a controversial move, regional health bosses have voted 54 per cent in favour of scrapping the rule.
GP staff shortages and waiting times have been in crisis for years and the NHS is working to improving people’s access to their family doctors. However, doctors are concerned about unsustainable workloads and pension regulations, which are leaving them out of pocket, and more are currently retiring than are being replaced.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, last month promised to employ 6,000 more GPs and generate 59 million more appointments each year during the next Parliament.
Chair of the British Medical Association Dr Richard Vautrey, said the modern GP does not currently have the capacity to travel around to see patients. He did however say that ceasing home visits would only affect a small minority of patients and would improve conditions for the majority.
He said “Patients who can be treated only at home will still need to be seen – and NHS England will need to ensure this happens outside of the GP contract.”
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