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Practice News

Home Visits

Please request home visits before 10.30 AM whenever possible.

Home visits are for home bound patients. For others we prefer to arrange assessment in the surgery.

A GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it. Home visit is at the discretion of GPs on the basis of medical need assessment. A GP can also decide how urgently a visit is needed. You cannot insist that a GP visits you at home.

Home Visits are reserved for the following groups of patients:

  • Terminally ill;
  • Housebound;
  • Patients who are severely ill and cannot be mobilised.

Although a traditional part of general practice, home visits are time consuming. Please remember that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. So please help us to help you and our other patients by visiting the surgery whenever possible

We want to see patients as quickly as possible, and the best way is often to encourage them to come to the surgery , because your GP will have access to all your medical records, including those held on computer. There are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the Surgery.

Babies and small children should be brought to the surgery where we will do our best to see them promptly. If the Reception staff are made aware that your child is particularly unwell, they will do everything they can to see that you are not kept waiting unnecessarily to see the doctor.

Transport/social problems – We cannot undertake home visits for reasons of convenience or lack of transport. From experience, we are aware that relatives, neighbours or friends are often willing to help out. Our responsibility to you is to resolve the medical problem you have; your responsibility is to take all the reasonable steps you are able to, to enable us to do that.

Please request visits before 10.30am whenever possible as this allows the Doctor to plan their day accordingly. Late requests often lead to disruption of the appointment system and excessive waiting times for others.

A doctor/nurse will call you back on most occasions to assess your problem. This is to enable the doctor to prioritise visits

It may be that your problem can be dealt with by telephone advice, or that it would be more appropriate to send a nurse, or indeed arrange a hospital attendance. It also prepares the doctor to collect some information required as necessary for the visit.

He/she may ask you to come to the surgery, where you will be seen as soon as possible.

The doctors would like to stress that NO patient in definite need of a home visit will be refused

In the past, GPs were able to do routine follow up home visits. Sadly, pressures of time and more patients needing attention means this is usually no longer possible.

Some problems such as severe chest pains or shortness of breath are medical emergencies and you will be advised to dial 999.

Home Visits

  • If you need a doctor and are too ill to visit the surgery, please telephone before 10.30 am if possible
  • Calls after this time will only be accepted if the problem cannot wait until the next day.
  • We aim to reserve home visits for frail elderly and those whose medical condition warrants a visit.
  • Please bear in mind that home visits are time consuming so please make every effort to attend the surgery. The surgery is also a better place to examine and arrange investigations, if required.

We ask you, therefore, to consider the following:

  • If you request a house visit the nurse or doctor may telephone to discuss the problem. An alternative arrangement may be advised. This could be attending the surgery, attending the local Accident and Emergency department or collecting a prescription from the chemist or the surgery.
  • Home visits are generally for the frail, elderly and terminally ill or for patients who are too ill to come to surgery.
  • Children and young adults should, with very few exceptions attend the surgery rather than request a house call.
  • 'Lack of transport' is not a valid reason for a home visit.

Urgent calls at any time will be attended to immediately. We do expect all children to be brought to surgery, where they will be seen sooner rather than later.

It is very helpful for the doctors in planning their visits and assessing the urgency of your condition if you can give brief details of the problem to the receptionist. Doctor may decide to give advice over the telephone, visit or refer to another appropriate health care personal (such as the community matron, district nurse, community COPD team, etc) as appropriate. Lack of transport is not in itself a reason for a home visit.

When possible it is always best to assess the patients in the surgery as the doctor has greater access to diagnostic testing equipment and treatments within the surgery, as well as having the assistance of other medical staff if required. Facilities are better at the surgery for both examination and treatment.

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