Comment: GPs home visit vote to impact on the vulnerable

26th November 2019

Fletcher Solicitor’s Junior Litigation Executive, Bobby Sessions believes the recent GPs vote to end home visits widens the debate on patients’ access to healthcare.

At a meeting of local medical committees in London on Friday, Doctors across England voted against future home visits.

As a result, the British Medical Association (BMA) will intensify pressure on the NHS to stop home visits being a contractual obligation.

Bobby said:

GPs in England have recently voted to remove home visits to their patients’ homes from the core GP contract.

Their argument is that shortages and high workloads limit their capacity to deliver this service.

Firstly, the issue at hand raises many questions in respect of inclusiveness, accessibility and practicality.

Moreover, home visits can be quite time consuming. We must consider those members of the public whose means of seeing a GP lies solely with a home visit.

Some of the UK’s most vulnerable depend on home visits for health access

Despite support from doctors, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock is completely against the vote, describing it as “a non-starter”.

According to the Telegraph, the majority of Government sources appear to be in unison with Hancock.

Bobby continued:

The importance and value of home visits cannot be disregarded as those who are most vulnerable may be denied access to health services when they need it most.

GP home visits are arguably a central aspect to the NHS.

The NHS state that “everyone counts” as one of their core values. A reduction or a removal of home visits may be a negative and exclusive change to the lives of many dependent on GP home visits.

The three-part motion will now instruct GPC England, the delegates within the BMA that represent English GPs.

A policy with NHS England will then be negotiated.

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