Open all hours: night visits in general practice

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6941.1386 (Published 28 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1386
  1. T O'Dowd,
  2. H Sinclair

    Home visiting is enshrined in the terms and conditions of service of general practitioners in the NHS, who are required to visit patients in their own homes if in their opinion the patient's condition demands it. Home visits have increased fivefold over the past 25 years, with a substantial increase in night calls since the introduction of the 1990 contract.1 Last year, night visits in England cost the NHS pounds sterling 70 million.2 Protests from distressed general practitioners have reached a crescendo, with most being baffled by the lack of underlying clinical explanation for this increase in their workload. Many general practitioners have also shown quite clearly that they no longer want to be available to their patients at all times and would happily trade independent contractor status for a salaried service to be rid of out of hours work.3

    Negotiations between the General Medical Services Committee on behalf of general practitioners …

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