Home visits are a core part of general practice - and invaluable for some vulnerable patients, says RCGP

Publication date: 23 November 2019

The RCGP has responded to the Local Medical Committee decision on the future of home visits.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Home visits are a core part of general practice and for some of our more complex and vulnerable patients, they might be the only means of seeing their GP.

“Of course, home visits should be used wisely as they can be time consuming and take GPs away from our surgeries where we could be seeing more patients. But it is vital that patients who need the skills and expertise of a GP are able to access them if they are unable to make arrangements to get to their local surgery.

"General practice is under enormous pressure at present and we have a severe shortage of GPs, so 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.

"This proposal is now 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.

"Meanwhile, we would urge our patients requesting a home visit to consider very carefully whether they really need one, so that valuable GP time is spent most wisely on those patients who need it most."

 

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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