How to Request a Home Visit
How Do I Obtain A Home Visit?
Patients are requested to telephone as soon as possible if a visit is required that day. Emergency visits only will be arranged after 10.00am. Please give the receptionist as much information as possible to enable the doctor to allocate priority to house calls. Please remember that several patients can be seen at the surgery in the time that it takes to do a home visit. Home visits are at the doctors’ discretion. She/he may telephone you to ascertain if a visit is appropriate.
The visiting guidance below was drawn up by the Local Medical Committee (LMC). It is the LMC view that the guidelines apply to all patients in the community whether they are in their own homes, assisted housing, residential or nursing homes.
General Practitioner Home Visiting Guidelines
If you are seeking a home visit from your GP follow the traffic light code to help you decide when a home visit might be appropriate.
GP visit is not usual
Common symptoms of childhood: fevers, cold, cough, sore throat, earache, headache, diarrhoea/vomiting, and most cases of abdominal pain. In these instances patients are usually well enough to travel. More accurate diagnosis can also be made with the tests available to your GP in the surgery.
Adults with common problems such as cough, sore throat, influenza, malaise, back pain and abdominal pain, are also readily transportable to the doctors surgery. If patients do not have carers there are usually family, friends or neighbours who will be willing to help out.
GP visit may be helpful
Where the patient or a relative will be unsure or have doubts. On these occasions patients should discuss their concern with a health professional following which, it may be agreed that a seriously ill patient would be helped by a GPs home visit.
GP visit recommended
A GP visit is recommended as the best way of giving medical opinion in cases involving:
- The terminally ill – patients who are dying and/or not expected to recover from a current illness.
- The truly housebound patient for whom travelling to the GP practice by car would cause deterioration in their medical condition.
The symptoms can be a sudden pain in the centre of the chest, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, cold clammy skin. If you are experiencing a combination of any of these symptoms the very strong advice is to call an ambulance immediately when paramedics will give treatment before transfer to hospital.
Home Visits are very time consuming. In the time it takes to visit one patient at home your doctor can see several patients at the surgery. Home visits also restrict the range of examinations that can be carried out. Please also remember that transport to the surgery is the responsibility of the patient not your doctor.
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