Home Visit Policy

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 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
  • Housebound
  • Patients who are severely ill in bed

Please request visits before 11am at the latest as this allows the triaging Doctor to assess the request for necessity and urgency so that it can be appropriately managed. In some situations the surgery may arrange assessment by another member of the community team (District Nurse/Neighbourhood Team)

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 other providers (e.g. 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

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 is available

Requests from Carers

  • Visit requests will not be accepted from Carers, instead a telephone appointment will be offered to the Carer with a GP to discuss the need for the visit. The GP can then make a clinical judgement as to whether or not the visit is necessary, otherwise the patient will be expected to attend the surgery

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

This policy is based on the GMS contract, local LMC guidance, BMA guidance and medico-legal advice taken from gplaw.co.uk