Medacs Healthcare

SEP 12/2014

New GP boundaries initiative to include home visits

Staff in general practice jobs will be providing an expanded range of services to patients who have registered outside of their areas, according to newly-revealed plans.

As part of the government's flagship practice boundary removal policy - set to launch on October 1st 2014 - GPs will be encouraged to sign up to providing home visits, urgent treatment in-hours and post-hospital discharge follow-up care to patients from beyond their typical catchment areas, reports Pulse.

Revealed in a letter from the Darlington primary care commissioning team for NHS England, the enhanced service will soon be detailed further in a national announcement that is expected to be imminent.

According to the local area team, the publication of a national framework and guidance detailing how support services for out-of-area registered patients in the home will work can be expected around September 14th.

At the moment, it has not yet been confirmed how much funding GPs will receive for providing the service, with other key details remaining unannounced as yet.

Many professionals in the sector have called on the government to provide additional information on the planned removal of practice boundaries in order to make it possible for GPs across the country to prepare properly for the regulatory change before it comes into effect.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's general practice committee, said: "NHS England are talking to us about the arrangements relating to the choice of practice scheme, including details about what will happen when patients registered as an out of area patient are unable to travel to their new practice. Discussions have not yet concluded."

The government's plan will give patients the right to register with a practice that is most convenient for them, such as one located near their workplace, in order to offer people more choice.

It is also hoped that this move will help to drive up standards in the sector, as GPs providing a good service will naturally become more popular, encouraging others to raise their level of quality.

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