Home Visits

Non-urgent advice: Patient Notice

Chest pain, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness are emergencies please dial 999 for these symptoms.

Our home visit policy is based on the GMS contract, local LMC guidance, and BMA guidance 

Although a traditional part of general practice, home visits are time consuming. 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.

Home Visits are reserved for the following groups of patients:

  • Terminally ill
  • Truly bedbound patients

Please request visits before 11am whenever possible as this allows the Duty Doctor to assess the request for necessity and urgency so that it can be appropriately managed, the receptionists are trained to deal with your call so do expect to be asked; all information is confidential.

Home visits are discretionary and not an absolute requirement of GP terms and services, the doctor may telephone prior to, or instead of visiting as home visit requests are triaged.

In some situations the Duty Doctor may arrange assessment by another member of the community team (eg District nurse). Home visit requests are not always appropriate, visits are triaged and dealt with according to clinical need.

You cannot insist that a GP visits you at home, 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.

The following ARE NOT valid reasons to perform a home visit:

Transport issues for the patient

It is not the GP practice 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.

GPs are not responsible for ensuring that a patient has financial means to attend the surgery nor that the patient chooses to register with a practice that is difficult for them to get to in bad weather or without a car.

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.

Poor Mobility

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 appointments at other healthcare settings, then they should also be expected to attend appointments in GP surgeries.

An unwell child

It is in the best interest of the child to attend the surgery where they can be properly assessed and treated.

The Clinician can make a more informed clinical judgment when seeing the child in 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 Please note that 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.

Benefits for patients seen at the surgery: 

We have full medical equipment to examine you and staff to give patients a higher quality of care if a clean environment.

You are likely to be seen quicker – we offer urgent same day appointments if they are needed and we try were possible to accommodate different appointment times if required.

Triaging patients and visiting patients based on clinical need helps us provide a better service to you and the rest of our patients.

As long as the GP has provided a plan for a patient then the partners of Haden Vale Medical Practice with support any such decision made. This may be an appointment the same day, a future day, telephone advice, a message communicated via reception, or attendance at another healthcare site such as A&E.