Home visiting service frees up time for Gosport GPs

MORE than 200 visits to patients' homes by GPs have been saved thanks to a new five-month pilot scheme.

Saturday, 17th June 2017, 7:12 am
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 12:47 pm
Dr David Chilvers

The new Acute Home Visiting Service is helping to free up vital GP appointment times for other patients at seven practices in Gosport.

Launched last month the scheme involves a GP or nurse visiting the homes of people who are too sick or infirm to travel to their GP practice.

In its first month of operation 202 patients were seen with 15 referred to hospital for further treatment.

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Dr David Chilvers, a GP at Waterside Medical Centre who also chairs Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, said: ‘Patients have probably noticed the days have gone when they can expect to see a GP in a day or two for a routine appointment. One great benefit of the Acute Home Visiting Service, apart from the improved service to our patients, is that it is relieving pressure on GP practices.

‘To have cut down on 202 appointments in just a month may not sound much, but it has potentially meant up to 157 less car journeys for GPs to have to go out and see a patient.’

Seven of Gosport’s 11 practices are taking part in the scheme which has one GP, specially recruited for the role, and four nurses, two from community care and two with emergency care expertise.

The team operates from 9am until 2pm every weekday.

Kerie Hargrave, the clinical nurse manager for the scheme and Gosport’s Same Day Access Service, said: ‘The GP or nurse can spend longer with a patient for the home visit – and because patients are being seen earlier, we can get them through the system much faster.

‘If they get referred on to Queen Alexandra Hospital, they are now being seen there much earlier in the day than before.’

A patient who calls the practice requesting a home visit is triaged by a care navigator at the practice, before a GP will become involved to determine if the case is an appropriate one for the new service.

It is being reviewed on a weekly basis to enable any appropriate improvement to be made.