GPs ‘no longer have capacity’ to offer home visits, doctors sayIvy Madziva
GPs ‘no longer have capacity’ to offer home visits, doctors say.
NHS staff under ‘enormous pressure to keep pace’ with increasing patient demand
It says the BMA’s general practitioners committee should renegotiate with the NHS to “remove the anachronism of home visits from core contract work, negotiate a separate acute service for urgent visits, and demand any change in service is widely advertised to patients”.
The current GP contract outlines other healthcare professionals such as physician associates and advanced paramedic practitioners to undertake home visits once they are recruited, Pulse said.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and our teams are under enormous pressure and are working flat out to try and keep pace with rising patient demand.
”We have a severe shortage of GPs and many practices are having to make very difficult decisions about where best to allocate their time and resources in order to deliver the maximum benefit for their patients.
“Home visits can be very time consuming and take the GP away from the surgery when they could be seeing other patients, and where there are far better facilities to properly assess patients.
”But for some of our more complex and vulnerable patients, home visits are an invaluable, and often the only, means of seeing their GP.
“We are very supportive of proposals to train other members of the GP team such as physician associates and advanced paramedics to carry out home visits as appropriate, but they are not a substitute for GPs and it is vital that patients who need the skills of a GP are able to access them.
”Ultimately, this proposal will be for the BMA, as the doctors’ union, to decide, but it would need a lot of consideration and any changes would need to be widely and sensitively communicated to patients.”
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