If you are housebound or too ill to come to the surgery and require a visit at home, please call the surgery before 10.30am. All home visit requests will initially be assessed over the telephone by the Nurse Practitioner or a Doctor. Home visits take up much more of a Doctor’s time than a consultation in the surgery, so if you are mobile please come into the surgery to be seen where possible.
Many patents believe there is a standard home visit service available from a GP between 8am and 6.30pm, but this is not the case – the GP will decide if a home visit is warranted. Upon initial assessment over the telephone the GP may override the request for a home visit and advise the patient to attend A&E; without first seeing them. This is providing the medical condition of the patient makes that course of action appropriate.
111 will only recommend that the patient contacts their own GP service; the type of consultation will be decided by the GP. NHS care is based on patient need as assessed by a Clinician.
Doctors will always encourage people to come into the surgery because this is where the best care can be provided. Specialist equipment is there, tests can be carried out more easily and drugs issued if necessary. However, if a home visit is not approved and the patient needs to attend the surgery they will need to arrange their own transport; this is in line with local and national guidance from health care providers and GP professional bodies.
Nationally and in line with guidance endorsed by the Royal College of GPs, a home visit occurs for the following three reasons:
- The patient is terminally ill and housebound
- The patient is housebound – does not leave home for other appointments
- The patient has a severe learning or physical disability – however many of these patients can be brought to clinic by their carers