If you think an immediate home visit is required, please tell the Receptionist. In cases of major injury or critical condition, it may be more appropriate to go directly to your local Hospital Accident & Emergency Department. If an Ambulance is required, dial 999.
Our GP Practice is keen to ensure that we make the best use of our clinical staff, allowing them to provide the most appropriate care to those most in need of it. For the vast majority of patients, attending an appointment at the Practice is the best option for them and for the Practice staff.
You may think that a home visit by a family doctor (GP) is best for patient care. However, while home visits are convenient for the patient, they actually offer a poorer standard of care compared to surgery consultations.
This is because of:
- poor facilities – for example, soft beds, poor lighting or lack of hygiene
- inefficiency – the doctor could see four to six other equally needy patients in the time taken for one home visit
- patient records – which are required to provide appropriate and safe care, are not immediately available; and
- patient chaperones, who are required to be present for some examinations, are not always available.
We have noticed that many patients are requesting visits that are inappropriate or unnecessary. This has a negative impact on other aspects of our service. Calling the doctor out unnecessarily takes the doctor away from patients who may have a greater clinical need. Most of the consultations during home visits could easily and safely be carried out in the surgery.
Some myths about home visits
|It’s my right to have a home visit.||Under the GP terms of service, it is actually up to the doctor to decide, in their reasonable opinion, where a consultation should take place.|
|I should get a visit because I’m old.||Our clinical work does not judge based on age alone.|
|I can’t bring my child out in this weather.||No-one will be harmed by being wrapped up and brought in to the surgery.|
|The doctor needs to check I’m ready to go into hospital.||Paramedics can provide initial lifesaving care, and patients will be cared for appropriately in emergency departments.|
|I’m housebound.||Being housebound does not always prevent use of transport.|
|I live in a care home.||Many patients living in care homes still go to hospital outpatients and take trips out.|
|Can the GP just pop in to see me?||We have fully booked surgeries and cannot simply drop everything to visit people at home.|
If you think you may need a home visit
|Bedbound||No transport or money|
|Terminally ill||Children, young people and anyone who is mobile|
|Would come to serious harm if moved||Social reasons or for convenience|
Remember: you do not have an automatic right to a home visit
Under their terms of working, GPs are required to consider home visits for medical reasons only. If you think you require a home visit, please try to call the surgery before 10:00 in the morning. All home visit requests will be medically assessed to check if a visit is appropriate.
Always provide a current landline/mobile number so that the Doctor or Nurse can contact you.