Home Visits

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
  • fevers
  • cold
  • cough
  • earache
  • headache
  • diarrhoea/vomiting
  • 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.