When a visit is recommended
We believe home visiting makes clinical sense and is the best way of giving a medical opinion in cases involving:
- the terminally ill
- the truly housebound for whom travel to the surgery by car would cause a deterioration in their medical condition or unacceptable discomfort
After an initial assessment over the telephone a seriously ill patient may be helped by a GP’s attendance. However the GP may advise the patient, or person with the patient, to ring 999 to receive the appropriate immediate care.
Examples of such situations are:
- heart attack
- severe shortness of breath
- severe haemorrhage
When a visit is not appropriate
In most of the following cases, to visit would not be an appropriate use of a GP’s time:
- common symptoms of childhood illness
- 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.
Common problems in the elderly (such as mobility problems, joint pain and general malaise) would also best be treated by consultation at a doctor’s premises.