Patients whose illnesses prevent them from attending the surgery can be visited in their own homes. Requests for home visits should preferably be made between 8:00 and 11:00am. Please be ready to give the receptionist your name, address, telephone number, age and brief details of what is wrong.
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 terminally ill
- 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 May Be Usual
After initial assessment over the telephone, a seriously ill patient may be helped by a GP's attendance to prepare them for travel to hospital - that is, where a GP's other commitments do not prevent them from arriving before the ambulance. Examples of such situations are:
- Heart attack
- Severe shortness of breath
- Severe haemorrhage
It must be understood that if a GP is about to start a booked surgery of 25 patients, or is attending another emergency and is told that one of their patients is suffering from symptoms suggesting a heart attack, the nationally recommended approach is to call an emergency paramedical ambulance rather than attending.
GP Visit Is Not Usual
In most 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 harmful to take a child with a fever outside. These children may not be fit to travel by bus or 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 a 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 where the facilities are available for full examination and investigations. The exception to this would be the truly bed-bound patient.
Please remember that we can see several people at the surgery in the time that it takes to do a home visit - so please do not request a visit for convenience.