Royal Primary Care:
Home Visit Position Statement
A GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it. A GP can also decide how urgently a visit is needed. You cannot insist that a GP visits you at home.
Due to increasing demand GPs can no longer automatically visit any patient who requests a home visit. All visits must now be triaged and dealt with according to clinical need.
Home Visits are reserved for the following groups of patients:
The terminally ill;
The genuinely housebound;
Patients who are severely ill in bed;
Chest pain, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness are emergencies please dial 999 for these symptoms
Requesting a Home Visit
Requests for visits must be made by 1030. Please only request home visits if you are incapable of attending the surgery.
Whenever possible, try and come into the surgery as facilities here are far better for examination and treatment.
It helps us to judge the urgency of the call if you describe the symptoms. Our Call handlers and Receptionists are trained to deal with your call so do expect to be asked. Our Receptionist work to the same standards of confidentiality as our doctors and nurses.
The doctor may telephone prior to, or instead of, visiting. In some situations the Doctor may arrange assessment by another member of the Primary Care team (Advanced Nurse Practitioner/District Nurse/Community Matron)
Visits requested later in the day that are for the genuinely housebound, but are not urgent, will not be seen that day. Ring early if you wish for a routine call if you are housebound.
Please remember that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. So please help us to help you and our other patients by visiting the surgery whenever possible.
The following ARE NOT valid reasons to perform a home visit:
Transport issues for the patient
It is not the GP practices’ responsibility to arrange transport, or to perform home visits because the patient has difficulty arranging transport. In these circumstances patients should seek transport help from relatives, friends, or taxi firms.
Childcare issues for a patient
If a patient has difficulty arranging for someone to care for their children whilst attending appointments, the patients are welcome to bring their children to the surgery.
Whilst it is understood that having poor mobility is inconvenient and unpleasant, GP surgeries are designed to cater for patients with restricted mobility. If patients are able to attend any other appointments (hairdresser, dentist, lunch out), then they must be expected to attend appointments in GP surgeries.
An unwell child
Sick children will always be seen as soon as possible if brought into the surgery; it is not appropriate to wait for a visit. We rarely visit children at home as a responsible adult should be available to bring them to the surgery.
If a parent believes that the child is too unwell to travel to surgery, and is a medical emergency then it would be advisable for them to seek help from the emergency services by calling 999.
Residents of care home
Care home residents are no different to patients in their own homes. The need to visit should be based upon clinical need, not the availability of transport or staff to attend the surgery. It is the responsibility of care facilities to make transport available for residents so that they can get to medical and non-medical appointments. Routine visit requests for care homes can be requested however will be deferred until appropriate clinical resource available.
Resident outside the Practice boundary
The Patient Choice Scheme will allow GP practices to register new patients who live outside the practice area, without any obligation to provide home visits or out of hours services when the patient is unable to attend their registered practice.
Requests made by another Health Care Professional.
Visit requests made by other health care professionals from other services for patients who are not housebound will not be undertaken.