Research Article

Changing patterns of home visiting in the north of England.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 16 April 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1259
  1. J Whewell,
  2. G N Marsh,
  3. R A McNay


    The visiting habits of general practitioners in the north of England in 1969 and in 1980 have been compared. During this period overall visiting was reduced by 41%. The reduction was most pronounced in repeat visits, particularly to children. There was a greater reduction in visits to patients with respiratory disease than to those with other illness. The reduction was least in visits to patients over the age of 65. New visits requested by patients were reduced by 31%, but the general practitioner still considered that about the same percentage of patients could have attended the surgery as in 1969. The reasons for these differences include flexible appointment systems, improved efficiency, better organisation of the surgery, and more flexible arrangements for certification of absence from work. Though total workload (as measured by the number of consultations with patients) has diminished, general practice has changed, being more concerned with prevention, chronic disease, and vocational training.