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This network has been developed as part of the Royal College of General Practice’s Quality Improvement programme, led by two Clinical Lead’s Dr Mike Holmes and Dr Simon Stockill. If you have any questions about the programme please get in touch with the team at QI.Ready@rcgp.org.uk.
RCGP RSS News FeedVital that patients who need the skills of a GP can access them - but home visits do take GPs out of surgery where they could be seeing more patients, says RCGP
The RCGP has responded to Local Medical Committee proposals on the future of home visits.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair 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.
"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."