Home visits are a recognised part of the GMS contract. According to this contract;
“(1) In the case of a patient whose medical condition is such that in the reasonable opinion of the contractor—
(a) attendance on the patient is required; and
(b) it would be inappropriate for him to attend at the practice premises,
the contractor shall provide services to that patient at whichever in its judgement is the most appropriate of the places set out in sub-
(2) The places referred to in sub-
(a) the place recorded in the patient's medical records as being his last home address;
(b) such other place as the contractor has informed the patient and the Board is the place where it has agreed to visit and treat the patient; or
(c) some other place in the contractor's practice area.
(3) Nothing in this paragraph prevents the contractor from—
(a) arranging for the referral of a patient without first seeing the patient, in a case where the medical condition of that patient makes that course of action appropriate; or
(b) visiting the patient in circumstances where this paragraph does not place it under an obligation to do so”
Thus, home visits are recognised as required from time to time but are not a right of the patient. That is, it is up to the clinician assessing the patient to decide how best to make arrangements to carry out care for the patient, which may or may not include a home visit.
Home visits are also assessed as a part of the Care Quality Commission Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE).
R3 – can people can access care and treatment in a timely way?
The CQC acknowledge that they specifically look for evidence from practices on home visits and whether they are available for people who would benefit from them. In particular, they are looking for;
How a practices decides whether a home visit is necessary,
How a practice prioritises home visits, and,
What a practice does if the urgency of need is so great that a GP home visit is not appropriate.
Downloads and Links