We cannot maintain a comprehensive surgery based service unless we reserve home visits for the genuinely housebound. Both community nurses and doctors will visit you at home, but may choose to see you at the surgery if a home visit cannot be justified. Requests for home visits should be made by telephone by 10:00 if possible, and no later than 11:00. The doctor will normally call between 11.00am and 3.00 pm, after morning surgery.
How to make the best use of your Practice (Home Visits)
If you are too ill to come to the surgery your doctor will visit you at home. This would normally mean you are confined to bed or otherwise physically unable to come to the surgery.
If the visit is needed urgently please make this clear to the receptionist.
It must be understood that if a GP is about to embark on a large booked surgery and is told that one of his/her patients is suffering from a potentially serious illness, the sensible approach may well be to call an emergency paramedic ambulance rather than attending.
The decision on whether a visit is appropriate or not rests with the doctor.
Home Visiting Guidelines
GP Visit Recommended
GP home visiting makes clinical sense and is the best way of giving a medical opinion in cases involving the truly bed bound patient, for whom travel to premises by car would cause a deterioration in their medical condition or unacceptable discomfort.
GP Visit is Not Usual
In most of these cases, to visit would not be an appropriate use of a GP's time:
- Common symptoms of childhood: fevers, cold, cough, earache, headache, diarrhoea/vomiting and most cases of abdominal pain. These patients are usually well enough to travel by car. It is not usually harmful to take a child with a fever outside. These children may not be fit to travel by bus or to walk, but car transport is available from friends, relatives or taxi firms. It is not a doctor's job to arrange such transport.
- Adults with common problems, such as cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain, are also readily transportable by car to a doctor's premises.
- Common problems in the elderly, such as poor mobility, joint pain and general malaise, would also best be treated by consultation at a doctor's premises. The exception to this would be the truly bed-bound patient.
After initial assessment over the telephone, a seriously ill patient may be better helped by attendance at hospital - Examples of such situations are:
- Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack).
- Severe shortness of breath.
- Severe haemorrhage.