THEY were a thing of the past – now a Hampshire health bosses are to revive GP home visits in a new pilot scheme.

The five-month Acute Home Visiting Service (AVHS) has been launched by Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The AHVS will involve a GP or nurse visiting the homes of those who are too poorly or unable to travel to their local surgery.

Seven practices are participating in the scheme – Waterside, Stoke Road, Brune and Forton medical centres in Gosport (all part of the Willow Group) and Bury Road and Manor Way surgeries in Lee-on-the-Solent.

The AHVS will consist of one GP who has been directly recruited for the role, and four nurses – two seconded from community care and two from emergency intensive care.

The team will operate between 9am-2pm Monday to Friday.

Some GPs still make home visits in extremely rare cases and the CCG say the new scheme will allow those GPs to stay in their surgeries and see more patients.

Kerie Hargrave, the clinical nurse manager for the AVHS and Gosport’s Same Day Access Service added: “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 to Queen Alexandra Hospital, they are now being seen there much earlier in the day than before, which can be the difference between the patients having to stay in hospital overnight or not.

“All this means we are providing better local care – and saving money for the hard-pressed local health system.”

A patient who calls their practice to request a home visit is triaged by a ‘care navigator’ over the phone at the practice before a GP will become involved to determine if the case is an appropriate for a home visit.