Home Visits are generally reserved for the following groups of patients:
- Those who are terminally ill.
- Those who are housebound.
- Those 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 to encourage them to come to the surgery wherever possible; your GP will have access to all your medical records, including those held on computer and there are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the surgery.
Home visits should not be requested for babies and small children – they 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 and will not undertake home visits for reasons of convenience or lack of transport. We will be happy to provide you with details of local taxi firms. 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 am whenever possible as this allows the doctors to plan their days accordingly. Late requests often lead to disruption of the appointment system and excessive waiting times for others.
A doctor or 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 arrange a hospital attendance. It also allows the doctor to collect some information that may be necessary for the visit. Following that conversation, the doctor 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, the pressures of time and the ever-increasing number of 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.