Please ring to make your home visit request between 08:30am and 11am, if possible, so that the doctor will be able to see you on their rounds and not have to make a special journey. These visits will normally be with your own GP however if you ring later, the duty doctor may be the one who visits at the end of the afternoon surgery. We are dedicated to providing the best possible standard of care at home, but seeing the patient at home rather than at the surgery has a lot of disadvantages. Computerised records and some pieces of medical equipment are only available at the surgery. In addition, your doctor can usually see several patients at the surgery in the time it takes to make a single house call. For these reasons the doctors have asked staff to book home visits only if a patient is truly housebound and too ill to come to the surgery. In most of the following cases, to visit would not be an appropriate use of a GP’s time:-
- Children with common problems (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 necessarily harmful to take a child with a fever outside. These children may not be fit to travel by bus or to walk, but car transport may be available from friends, relatives or taxi firms. It is not a doctor's responsibility to arrange such transport.
- Adults with common problems (such as cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain) are also readily transportable by car to a doctor's premises.
- Elderly patients usually have a family member who can take them to the surgery in the car. Those with longstanding problems such as mobility problems, joint pain and general malaise would also best be treated by consultation at a doctor's premises.
Lack of transport is not a justifiable reason for a house call