AIBU to be angry that I now have to find a new GP practice.

(76 Posts)
TheSparkling Sat 13-Oct-12 18:02:19

I moved house, one measly mile further away from where we were. Last week I registered our new address at the GP practice we are with. Two days later I receive a letter saying that I am being put off their list and need to register with someone closer to where we live.

IMO this is ridiculous. I could understand it if they had too many people on their lists but they don't. They are still registering people in their practice boundary so why can't we stay with them?

It just annoys me. I don't want to register with the only practice near us as they have a piss poor reputation.

So annoying. < stamps feet >

longjane Sat 13-Oct-12 18:04:20

i think all you have to say is that you accept that they wont do home visits
and you can stay on their list

OddBoots Sat 13-Oct-12 18:04:24

Ours let us stay but did warn us that they wouldn't do home visits. Would you be prepared to opt out of home visits to stay with the practice?

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 18:05:15

If GPs kept on people outside their boundaries it would be chaotic, esp for those who needed home visits, resulting in poorer care overall for everone - shame you're just over the border but there has to be a cut-off point

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 18:05:30

everyone not everone

WhenShallWeThreeMeetAgain Sat 13-Oct-12 18:06:56

My friends have been kicked off their GPs list after 22 years. They haven't moved house, instead the GP practice said they were 'shrinking their boundaries'.

mutny Sat 13-Oct-12 18:07:20

Happened to me. I was told if I needed an emergency doctor o would be able to have one. Because th area I was registered with wouldn't send one to me area and the area I was in would supply one as i was registered elsewhere. Wouldn't mind except you can't get and emergency doctor for love nor money. Last time as was very sick, they offered to pay for a taxi to the walk in centre rather than send a doctor.

Yabu to angry, miffed maybe. Its just one of those paperwork things that make things worse for the people.

I had this last year when I moved half a mile. I went to my midwife booking in appointment only to be told when I got there that I shouldn't bother as I had to move. Had to go and register with a new GP then make a another midwife appointment. Just what you want in your first pregnancy. I asked if I could move after Ds was born but no, not an option.

issyocean Sat 13-Oct-12 18:08:00

My practice deregistered myself and my D because we hadn't been to see a doctor since 2008 confused

LineRunner Sat 13-Oct-12 18:09:45

What are these 'home visits' of which you speak?

We can't even get through to ours on the phone.

GhostofMammaTJ Sat 13-Oct-12 18:12:45

No GP ever does home visits anyway, so that is irrelevant.

OddBoots Sat 13-Oct-12 18:14:14

I thought home visits were a thing of myth until my grandparents got very elderly and my Grandpa got cancer, the GP (also my own GP and from the same practice my Grandma has been with since she was born, a loooooong time pre-NHS) was very good at visiting them and still comes to Grandma on occasion.

Popumpkin Sat 13-Oct-12 18:14:48

At the practice I used to work at, it was at the Drs' descretion as to whether someone who have moved just out of catchment could stay registered or not.

It usually came down to whether they were receiving any ongoing treatment which might be inconvenienced by a change of GP (it takes time for medical records to be transferred between practices, letters from hospital & Consultants may get mislaid going to old practice etc.). Generally, though, if there was no "special need" the answer would be no.

Even if you did get a "yes" it would be on the understanding that no home visits would be made, which is really just a time & distance issue as the GP's only have a certain amount of time between morning and afternoon surgery to complete visits/paperwork etc.

TheSparkling Sat 13-Oct-12 18:15:44

I didn't realise that about the home visit. I was thinking of phoning and pleading my case anyway so I might mention that too. We have never had or requested a home visit.

I suppose I am mostly angry because I will have to register with the worst rated practice in our county now. and I don't want to

Popumpkin Sat 13-Oct-12 18:17:18

Home visits still exist in Staffordshire grin. Mainly to elderly housebound patients though. They are not on offer to people who could reasonably be expected to get themselves into the surgery.

GhostShip Sat 13-Oct-12 18:19:19

^What are these 'home visits' of which you speak?

We can't even get through to ours on the phone^

grin same here!

Popumpkin Sat 13-Oct-12 18:20:00

If you have one regular GP you tend to see OP, you might well get more joy speaking to them as opposed to a Receptionist or Practice Manager. At the end of the day, it's down to their descretion (sp).

I do know it's not always easy to get to speak to your own GP though!

Softlysoftly Sat 13-Oct-12 18:20:45

SIL is always home very late after making home visits.

snooter Sat 13-Oct-12 18:21:47

Home visits are an incredibly inefficient way for GPs to see patients so they will always try to lure you into the surgery. Home visits take up a lot of time & much of the useful equipment available cannot be taken along. The genuinely housebound & terminally ill patients will of course be seen at home, as will the usually fit who are too ill to come in. Children are hardly ever seen at home because they are portable.

ToothGah Sat 13-Oct-12 18:31:14

Wasn't the government talking about allowing people to register at any doctor's surgery of their choice a while back? Which would allow folk to register with one, say, nearer to work than home if that was more convenient?

Don't know what happened to that idea.

Anyway. No YANBU as it's annoying, but I can understand they have to have rules. Though I know they do make exceptions, so it's worth a try.

I didn't change my address when I moved for a long time so I still went to the same GP as I was concerned about continuing my care under the same surgery - but when I eventually did move, it was to a much better surgery with shorter waiting times, much less vile receptionists nicer staff and significantly better care.

In fact I found I had been quite badly misled and neglected in terms of regular medication I take (I hadn't had an asthma review in 20+ years) and was on the wrong medication and using it incorrectly.

So it didn't turn out all bad. As for home visits - I'd echo, what's one of those?

thebitchdoctor Sat 13-Oct-12 18:31:15

That's a load of bullshit that no GP does home visits because I can tell you I now I do PLENTY of them! Every day. One practice I worked at every doctors did 3 home visits a day 5 days a week.

OP I know it's a total pain in the arse but if you are outside the practice boundary then you have to move so YABU, sorry.

thebitchdoctor Sat 13-Oct-12 18:32:47

Thankyou softly softly and snooter, people who speak sense.

thegreylady Sat 13-Oct-12 18:34:44

Our GP will do home visits if really needed. She came out to me when I had chemo and didn't want to risk the surgery.

Schrodingershamster Sat 13-Oct-12 18:38:58

Same issue. Registered at my GPs they have the same post code as me. hmm Their catchment oes 3 miles on one direction and 5 in the other. hmm again.Im right on the border of the 3 mile one so they said i can never have a home visit.

Luckily for me the huge city hospital is 5 mins away in a taxi and maybe 10 or so on foot so i can go there. I wouldnt unless i really had to though and being a healthy adult , i imagine if I am so unwell i couldnt get a taxi to my surgery it would be the hospital i need anyway.

GhostShip Sat 13-Oct-12 18:41:24

thebitch, it's not bullshit though. My GP doesn't do home visits at all. Just because you do plenty of them (which I think is fab by the way) doesn't mean they all do unfortunately sad

trumpetsandkettledrums Sat 13-Oct-12 18:45:37

This happened to us as well, we really liked everyone at the practice & it wouldn't matter who you saw they were all lovely.

Yet to be convinced of new practice- we were given ridiculous advice when on our first visit when ds was sick(although admittedly yes he did get better by himself after a few days!)

trumpetsandkettledrums Sat 13-Oct-12 18:47:50

Too many whens in that post. I even previewed it!

AThingInYourLife Sat 13-Oct-12 18:58:15

"If GPs kept on people outside their boundaries it would be chaotic,"

No, it really wouldn't.

There are places in the world, in fact in the UK, where GPs don't have catchment areas, and there is not chaos.

I find the idea of having no choice to change surgeries if I didn't rate the one I was with quite frightening.

Some doctors are shit.

I value continuity of care and still attend a GP's surgery where I used to live. I really rare the senior partner as a diagnostician and the practice specialises in children's health.

I would be furious to have to change my family's doctor because we moved house.

LineRunner Sat 13-Oct-12 19:05:29

I am very pleased (and grateful) that home visits are being provided to the patients who really need them.

I seriously can hardly ever get through to my GP's surgery on the phone during the day. For that reason I am thinking of changing, but I am very wary of doing so in case I end up with something worse.

It's not really 'choice', more desperation.

TheSparkling Sat 13-Oct-12 19:14:58

I can't see how it would cause chaos. Surely there should be some element of patient choice here and continuity of care.

I am frightened of the 'choice' I am now faced with.

FlibbertyGibbets Sat 13-Oct-12 19:15:55

This happened to me whilst I was pregnant. I made an appointment to see the GP & then brought it up with them. They are the employers so they were able to sort it out for me straight away. Turns out I was but feet away from the boundary line.

I would hasten to add I would not have been so sneaky if the Practice Manager hadn't told me off for moving whilst I was giving her the new address. She also told me she'd see what she could do, before deregistering me anyway. (not still bitter, honest!)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thebitchdoctor Sat 13-Oct-12 20:39:09

Ghostship it is bullshit making sweeping generalisations about GPs. We're not all shit and we dont all refuse to do home visits. I'm sorry your GP doesn't do them,although how do you know for sure they don't do them to their housebound or palliative patients who make up the majority of our home visits?

rogersmellyonthetelly Sat 13-Oct-12 20:45:36

My practice have let me stay on temporarily as I'm pregnant and don't want to change midwives, and also have a history of pnd afterwards so I will want to see my usual doctor. Dh and kids have changed surgery though to one closer to home. It's annoying but in the end will mean better service for everyone so that's fine for me. I'll be moving surgery when baby is about 6mo and the worst is over

thebitchdoctor Sat 13-Oct-12 20:47:12

Thesparkling, it would cause chaos because if people chose to stay with a certain GP even though they don't live in the boundary of the practice because it would mean there is no limit to the amount of patients one practice can have and if the practice is a popular one it would be oversubscribed and not enough Doctors/Nurses to meet patient demand. This would be VERY unsafe for patients.

Also I don't think it is unreasonable to have boundaries for home visits. If someone lives too far from the surgery it would take too long for the Doctor to get there if it was an emergency visit and also we do home visits between surgeries, if we had to travel long distances to multiple visits a day then we would be late for afternoon/evening surgeries and that wouldn't be good for patients either.

GhostShip Sat 13-Oct-12 20:51:47

Ghostship it is bullshit making sweeping generalisations about GPs. We're not all shit and we dont all refuse to do home visits. I'm sorry your GP doesn't do them,although how do you know for sure they don't do them to their housebound or palliative patients who make up the majority of our home visits?
The only person to make a sweeping generalisation was Ghostofmama and that was it confused I've not read anyone saying that youre shit. I love my doctor! He certainly isn't shit, his practice just doesn't offer home vists. And yes I do know for sure because my grandad was on his deathbed and the doctor wasn't allowed to come out, and my mum had to change doctors when her depression was that severe she couldnt go out of the house.

I do agree with your second post, people should have to change doctors if they move out of the boundaries.

ToothbrushThief Sat 13-Oct-12 20:55:37

It's completely reasonable to set a boundary outside of which you will not get a home visit. It's probably harder for the GP to enforce at the point that a patient (who previously never needed one...) needs one. So I can appreciate their reluctance

They are massively time consuming. Think how many patients could be seen at surgery in the time that it takes GP to pack bag, gather notes and check recent and past history*, walk to car, drive to home, find a parking space, walk to home, get let in, make small talk, wash hands and see patient (*without access to previous notes).

I have been given home visits - the hospital organised them when I was very sick. My main memory was that was too sick to clean the house and it was a tip and I was unkempt and sweaty and I was hugely ashamed of the state of things grin

I think people assume they choose the GP - GPs strike patients off nowadays for all sorts of reasons

Bunbaker Sat 13-Oct-12 20:58:34

"OP I know it's a total pain in the arse but if you are outside the practice boundary then you have to move so YABU, sorry."

We took that into consideration when we last moved house. DD had a tracheostomy and all the doctors at the surgery were familiar with DD's medical issues, so we made sure we moved to an area that was covered by the same practice.

hermioneweasley Sat 13-Oct-12 21:02:04

Home visits? No such thing where I am. You get yourself to the surgery or call an ambulance to take you to a&e!

cestlavielife Sat 13-Oct-12 21:11:47

There. Has been new legislation n boundaries.

Or search outer practice boundaries.

ImaginateMum Sat 13-Oct-12 21:11:50

bunbaker us too. Well, we have no major health issues but love our GPs and dentist so made sure we stayed in catchment.

Sidge Sat 13-Oct-12 21:25:03

GPs do do home visits - they are strictly rationed wink

Generally if you think your GP doesn't do them it's probably because you've never really needed one.

nannyl Sat 13-Oct-12 22:17:09

My GP gave me a home visit last year.

it was the offical Dr check of my bany after my planned home birth smile

QueenStromba Sat 13-Oct-12 23:21:23

It's terrible having to change practices when you have an ongoing health problem. We moved about six months ago but didn't inform our practice straight away because my DP was in the middle of a course of CBT and if we had told them we'd moved then he probably wouldn't have been able to finish it. On the day of our new patient appointment at our new practice I realised that my depression had come back with a vengeance and walked into my appointment in tears because I'd convinced myself that I was better and it was really hard to admit even to myself that I wasn't. The doctor I saw was lacking empathy to the point where I had to walk out because I was so upset. I spent the rest of the day crying because I really wanted to see the doctor at my old practice who had seen me through my last bout of depression. My DP had to ring the new practice the next day for me and ask for an appointment with their nicest doctor and then take time off work to come and actually sit in the room with me and the doctor because I was so anxious about it. Fortunately the doctor I saw is fantastic, she's one of those doctors who's always running late because she spends as much time with a patient as they need and tells you to come back in a month to check that the treatment is working.

nailak Sat 13-Oct-12 23:29:52

after my homebirth we were told to take baby to gp, no home visit here!

somedayma Sat 13-Oct-12 23:30:06


justmyview Sat 13-Oct-12 23:33:15

Although I appreciate it's difficult for you, I think it's reasonable that GP practices have to set a boundary somewhere, so for that reason I'd say YABU

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 13-Oct-12 23:35:59

I can see why you're cross but i understand why they have the policy.

I thought home visits stopped years ago, do gps actually still do them?!

thebitchdoctor Sat 13-Oct-12 23:52:05

Yes HokeyCokey, GPs still do home visits but for many reasons they are restricted to people who genuinely can't get to the practice such as the housebound or the terminally ill.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sun 14-Oct-12 00:14:04

I had no idea, i assumed such visits were done by nurses.

That being said i guess i am lucky that i have never needed to request one.

Viperidae Sun 14-Oct-12 00:19:07

Our practice let anybody register but will only do home visits, if somebody should be too ill to get to the surgery, within a certain area.

Goldmandra Sun 14-Oct-12 00:38:44

I'm a bit shock at the number of people who can't get home visits, can't get through on the phone, have to deal with vile receptionists, etc.

Ours seems to get all of those things right and lots more. I do still hear people moaning because the phone lines are very busy first thing every morning but that's about the worst it gets and I always get through within 5 minutes.

I left a message for my GP about pain relief for my 6 year old DD on a Friday lunchtime once. He called back at 8pm, apologised for taking so long and offered to drive about 15 miles extra on the way home to deliver the meds.

I think I need to send them something to show my appreciation of a job well done and pray very hard that they don't change the practice boundary!

ChookKeeper Sun 14-Oct-12 00:48:02

I'm a practice manager and any 'out of area' address changes are referred to me.

If a patient has moved a few extra minutes over the boundary then it's no problem to keep them on the list but otherwise I do have to remove them as our PCT won't allow us say we'll keep them on with the proviso of no home visits. We must offer the full contracted service to all of our patients.

We don't just remove the patient though, we do write to give notice and provide contact details of the PCT so that they can request a list of surgeries local to them. Also if a patient is unhappy with the decision to remove them from the list they are asked to put their request to stay in writing and it is discussed at the weekly practice meeting. The final decision then rests with the Partners.

We do provide home visits to patients who are too ill to get the surgery. Home visits are very time consuming so all requests are triaged by a doctor first but anyone in genuine need will be seen. As was said upthread we rarely go out to children as they can be brought in.

FamilyStress Sun 14-Oct-12 02:30:07

Don't know why bitchdoctor is getting so upset. It's a lot of people's experience that their own GP's don't do home visits. My current GP doesn't and neither did my previous one. Even says so on the website. Brilliant for your patients that you do bitchdoctor, but not everyone has access to the same service.

ToothbrushThief Sun 14-Oct-12 06:56:02

What were you refused a home visit for Family? Or anyone else who has been?

Is anyone able to link to a GP website that says they don't do home visits?

I'm curious to know how they avoid them if they do, or if its perception that they don't just because people have not been ill enough to require it.

I work with GP practices and every single one I work with does do home visits but they are usually terminally ill patients choosing to die at home (really unable to leave their bed).

I think people would like more home visits. Getting a sick child to a GP on a dark November evening when it was pissing down and I had to push youngest in pushchair whilst eldest walked (no buses in the area) was a memorable event for me (14 yrs ago) The receptionist was so so lovely and told me to hang on 10 minutes and she'd take me home in her car because she was just finishing. A home visit would have been better but I totally accept unworkable for the GP. Can you imagine how many they'd end up doing, if they were allowed for those situations?

jicky Sun 14-Oct-12 07:40:52

The bizarre thing is that hospitals and orthodontists seem to try to encourage you to stay put.

We have moved 40 minutes up the motorway and I want to swap ds2 to a local orthodontist. I have been told that to do this I will have to have his fixed brace removed and then go through the whole referral process again!

When I called the hospital where ds1 sees a consultant and said we had moved so would they like to refer him on to our new hospital I was told that due to patient choice they didn't move people and again I start the whole process again.

sashh Sun 14-Oct-12 07:50:10

No GP ever does home visits anyway, so that is irrelevant.

Mine does.

BalloonSlayer Sun 14-Oct-12 07:56:45

They always come round to see you when you have had a new baby, don't they?

AThingInYourLife Sun 14-Oct-12 08:01:07

"Thesparkling, it would cause chaos because if people chose to stay with a certain GP even though they don't live in the boundary of the practice because it would mean there is no limit to the amount of patients one practice can have and if the practice is a popular one it would be oversubscribed and not enough Doctors/Nurses to meet patient demand. This would be VERY unsafe for patients."


Neither of your outcomes necessarily follow confused

I have never been restricted to boundary areas in my choice of GP, it's a peculiarly English thing.

It is obviously entirely possible to limit the capacity of a surgery. That has nothing to do with boundaries.

A surgery could get oversubscribed in either scenario. A lot of people moving into an area and being forced to subscribe with the local GP (regardless of quality) would have the same effect as a very popular surgery.

Why should crap surgeries be given a quota of forced patients with no choice to move because of administrative boundaries?

That is all about doctors' convenience, not what is best for patients.

GPs' surgeries are private businesses. It is really dodgy that they can be delivered patients (and thus business) by the state rather than by being any good at what they do.

weegiemum Sun 14-Oct-12 08:07:44

My dh isa single-handed rural GP and does several visits every day and sometimes moans about the time they took

His practice takes people who work locally as it's easier to see them in working hours. He provides emergency (BASICS) pre-hospital care and Home Hospice for terminal patients. He works 60-80 hours a week to do all this.

Where we live we moved a couple of miles and had to move GP. fuckers . It's not great haviing to start from scratch on my disability/my dds hip problem.

Being further away is not such an issue in rural areas, but health boards can be very, very tight about boundaries in urban areas.

Fakebook Sun 14-Oct-12 08:10:38

The only times I've seen a gp come for a home visit is once, when my mum was dying an then once to confirm her death, and once when my bil did something to his back and he couldn't move at all so the doctor had to come and see what the problem was.

I had a terrible chest infection and high temp when my dc2 was 6 weeks old and I had to drive to the ooh doctor to be seen to. No one offered to come to me.

OddBoots Sun 14-Oct-12 09:00:14

It seems the thing that is upsetting the OP most is the choice of GP she is left with, it does seem wrong that anyone is only able to go to one GP surgery, there should be at least two options - although I am saying this as someone living in a very large town so with 4-5 surgeries in walking distance.

snooter Sun 14-Oct-12 09:11:25

It is definitely convenient for patients to be seen at home for the patients, but takes the doctor out of circulation for a long time, especially in large rural practices or busy urban ones when just getting to the patients house can take ages. Trying to properly assess an ill patient in their own squashy bed in often poor light is less than ideal. Assuming the patient is actually ill & needing treatment, the doctor will leave a prescription, not a course of medicine, so the patient or their representative is going to have to leave the house to go to the chemist anyway, in which case they could have gone to the doctors' in the first place, the surgery probably being near to the chemist...
Some elderly & chronically ill folk have the chemist deliver their prescriptions, but most people don't.

WelshMaenad Sun 14-Oct-12 10:14:28

How odd. I left my local utterly shit Gp due to malpractice/him being a cunt. My new surgery is a fifteen minute drive away. It was recommended for me by the LHB who helped me switch, there are others nearer. My HV still comes to the house,theoretically, not seen her since dc2 was teeny.

You could call your LHB and see if they can help convince your surgery to keep you?

TeenTwinsToddlerandTiaras Sun 14-Oct-12 10:55:43

I had a situation where DC4 was a few days old and needed an emergency GP appointment. While we waited I had to fill out the form to register him as he was new and put our new address down (we had moved 2 months before and none of us had needed a doctor until then so I had forgotten to inform them of change of address).

Immediately the receptionist saw the address, she told us the GP would not be able to see us as we had moved out of area so they would not register DS! She said we would have to drive all the way into town to the 'walk in' centre and wait hours there. I had no idea we would be kicked out of the surgery we had been registered with for 7 years for moving 2 miles away within the same town. I was absolutely disgusted that they would not see the baby and told them so loudly!

thebitchdoctor Sun 14-Oct-12 14:39:28

Family stress I'm not getting upset. I just get sick of people doctor bashing. Generalisations like 'no GP does home visits ever' is a pile of horseshit and I'm well within my rights to challenge such twaddle when it's not true.

thebitchdoctor Sun 14-Oct-12 14:43:55

Not all GPs are private surgeries either. The practice I am registered with is one run by the PCTs and staffed by Salaried GPs/Locums. I would rather be registered in a partnership practice because in my experience they provide better services.

bitbizzare Sun 14-Oct-12 16:45:21

They definitely still do visits, I was staying at my mum's house after an op once and her GP and the nurse both came out to check me over the day after I got home, wasn't even their registered patient.. They were lugging catheterisation equipment and all that with them! They did only do that as I was completely bedridden though..

RowgtfcGOLD72 Sun 14-Oct-12 18:20:00

My exh lived in our practice boundaries, I didnt but they were happy to register me. We moved well out of the boundaries and still had home visits. When we got divorced and he moved out I remained registered and dh and dd are now all registered at the same practice now and noone has even suggested we shouldnt be. Is there something I should know about ?

crazynanna Sun 14-Oct-12 18:28:10

Same here.

Been with the practice 30 years'.Brought up 3 dcs' with my GP. Moved 6 minutes' walk from previous house,out of the postcode...and it was bye bye.

They were bloody brilliant,too. sad

babybarrister Sun 14-Oct-12 18:30:42

Happened to me too - I was in fact the same distance from gp before and after move but in wrong postcode hmm . The fact that I would agree to no home visits was irrelevant - they stillchucked me off angry

valiumredhead Sun 14-Oct-12 18:35:31

In the last 10 years I have requested one home visit which they refused to come out for. So I would just stay and accept they won't come out for visits.

valiumredhead Sun 14-Oct-12 18:36:33

My surgery only does home visits for over 65's and children.

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Sun 14-Oct-12 19:26:27

*BalloonSlayerSun 14-Oct-12 07:56:45
They always come round to see you when you have had a new baby, don't they?*

Not here they don't. I was "encouraged" to go home so quickly, the 24 check was not done at hospital, I had to ring the surgery to get an appt. I had to go there with DS, no chance of a home visit at all.

valiumredhead Mon 15-Oct-12 08:39:25

No home visit when I had ds either -I don't know anyone who has had a visit after a baby either.

valiumredhead Mon 15-Oct-12 08:39:51

Maybe it's regional as to wether they visit or not?

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