If possible please try to telephone reception before 10:30am if you require a home visit. The receptionist will ask why you think a home visit is needed so this information can be passed on to the doctors and ensure that the correct clinician visits. Sometimes it may be that the symptoms are too severe to wait for a routine visit and we need to have enough information to know whether to interupt the on-call doctor and possibly arrange a visit immediately or arrange emergency hospital admission.
A doctor or nurse may phone you back at around 12.00 as it may be that your problem can be dealt with by telephone advice, or they may wish to obtain further information before visiting. It may also be decided that it would be more appropriate to send one of our nurses, a district nurse, a community matron, arrange hospital attendance or the doctor may ask you to attend at the surgery.
House visits are only available for patients who are housebound. The criteria for making housecalls has changed substantially in recent years. Please remember that, on average, three patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. There are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the surgery.
A patient will be deemed to be housebound if they are unable to leave their home environment due to a physical and/or psychological illness, or if they require significant assistance to leave the house. This may be due to illness, frailty, surgery, disability, mental ill health, or because they are nearing end of life. A person who is housebound would be unable to receive their healthcare in a GP practice or clinic.
A patient is not housebound if they are able to leave their home environment with minimal assistance. This includes the ability to use a wheelchair or mobility scooter with no/minimal support, access to transport via relatives/friends or the ability to use a taxi or community transport. A person who is not housebound would be able to attend a GP practice or clinic to receive their healthcare.
By way of an example, an individual will not be eligible for a home visit if they are able to leave their home environment on their own with a minimal assistance to visit public or social recreational public services (including shopping).
The practice will maintain a register of "Current Housebound Patients" which will be the responsibility of the Practice Manager to maintain after notification from clinicians of patients statuses (following appropriate assessment).