Home Visits

Doctor's bag

A request for a home visit should be made before 10:00 am, and the receptionist will need to be given a brief outline of the problem. Please ensure you give the receptionist your name, address and telephone number. It is very important to inform the receptionist if you are not staying at your home.

In the time taken for the doctor to do one home visit he could see three patients at the surgery. For this reason it is in the doctor’s and the patient’s best interests that, whenever possible, an effort is made to get down to the surgery. This does sometimes mean patients having to wait a while, but efforts are made to see people as soon as they arrive if their condition so dictates.

Please note: In some cases the GP may telephone you first to discuss your home visit request and from the information provided the doctor will then decide what action to take next.

Guidelines have been drawn up by the national association of GP co-operatives on when a visit should and should not be requested. These are as follows

  • Terminally ill patients.
  • The truly bed bound patients for whom travel to the surgery by car would cause a deterioration in their medical condition or unacceptable discomfort.

It must be understood that if a GP is engaged seeing patients in the surgery when an emergency arises elsewhere, it may be appropriate for an ambulance to be called immediately. The ambulance would be normally ordered by the surgery in such circumstances.

GP Visit Unusual:

In most of these cases to visit would be an inappropriate use of a GP’s time.

Common symptoms of childhood, such as fevers, coughs and colds, earache, diarrhoea / vomiting and most cases of abdominal pain. Childhood infections, such as measles and chicken pox and patients with rashes, should normally be fit enough to attend surgery. We usually accommodate such patients in a side room, to avoid spread of infection. 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 long distances, but car transport is frequently available from friends, relatives or local taxi firms. It is not the doctor’s job to arrange such transport.

Adults with common problems such as cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain are also safe to travel to the surgery.

Common problems in the elderly such as poor mobility, joint pain and general malaise would be best treated at the surgery.

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