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HOME VISITS

Information for Patients

  • Home visits are reserved for patients who are genuinely housebound and who do not leave the house for any reason.  Including those in residential and nursing homes.

  • We will visit only if the patient’s clinical condition prevents them from travelling to the surgery and they are deemed to have a medical condition that necessitates an urgent medical opinion.

  • Age is not a criterion for a home visit, the criteria applies to both older and younger people.

  • We rarely visit children and young people at home and this age group should attend the surgery where the appropriate equipment is available and the clinician has access to the medical records.

  • Home visits will not be undertaken for social / transport reasons.

  • Home visit requests must be made before 10.30am. Visits usually take place 12pm-2pm. Visiting 1 patient at home usually results in 4 appointments being missed at the surgery.

  • The clinician may decline to visit the patient and offer an urgent appointment at the surgery if he/she feels that is more appropriate.

 

The surgery will follow these guidelines

  • Please dial 999 in case of a genuine life threatening emergency. For life-threatening emergencies, requesting a visit from a GP can delay life-saving treatment.

 

Examples of such situations are

  • Myocardial infarction (Heart attack)
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Severe haemorrhage (Bleeding)
  • Suspected stroke
  • Collapse

Patients are therefore advised to ring the emergency services directly.

 

GP/NP is likely to visit for these conditions

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 deterioration to their medical condition or unacceptable discomfort.

 

GP/NP MAY visit for these conditions

Those who are not usually bed-bound but have a clinical condition that prevents them from being ambulatory.

GP/NP will NOT usually visit for these conditions and circumstances and it is expected that the patient will attend the surgery to be seen.

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.

Adults with common problems, such as a cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain, are also readily transportable by car to the surgery premises.

Common problems in the elderly, such as poor mobility, joint pain and general malaise, would also best be treated by consultation at the surgery premises where the facilities are available for full examination and investigations. The exception to this would be the truly bed-bound patient.

 

Please note the following

  • The practice is not responsible for arranging transport to the surgery.

  • Home visits are assessed on their need, clinical symptoms and the information given. The most appropriate clinician will conduct the home visit if one is warranted. This may be a GP, nurse practitioner, district nurse, physiotherapist, and occupational therapist, amongst other clinicians.

  • We will not visit for convenience.

  • We do not provide emergency home visits. We are not an emergency service.

  • Patients cannot request a visit by a certain clinician by name.

  • Wherever possible patients requiring a consultation with a GP will be asked to attend the surgery.

  • The surgery has the correct facilities for undertaking examinations.

  • In the surgery the GP undertaking the consultation has access to the full clinical record and access to support services such as Practice Nurses and therefore a consultation at the practice is better quality with regard to governance issues.

  • Home visits are not an efficient or effective use of pressurised GP time.

  • If you request a home visit, you may initially receive a telephone consultation from the Doctor or Emergency Care Practitioner, who will discuss your symptoms with you.  You may be asked to attend the surgery as a result of this consultation if clinically appropriate. The Doctor will decide on the most suitable place and time for your condition to be assessed.

  • There is no obligation to provide a home visit where the clinical need has been assessed and an appropriate appointment at the surgery has been provided.


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