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Home Visits


Home visits by GPs 


If you're unable to come to the surgery because you've got a serious illness, you can call the surgery to request a home visit. The doctor will consider a home visit if the patient is too ill to travel to the surgery or is housebound due to disability. Home visits can only ever considered for medical not social/transport reasons.


Home visits are very time consuming and reduce the number of surgery appointments we can offer since a doctor can typically see 4 to 5 patients in the surgery in the time it takes to do one visit.


The modern NHS & time pressures

In the past, GPs were able to travel around their patch dropping in on patients as they liked. Sadly, pressures of time and more patients needing attention means this is no longer possible.


If your GP is to meet the Government's target of seeing you in the surgery within 48 hours of your request, you'll have to help your GP too.


High quality modern medicine is becoming increasingly technical and complex, involving a primary care team of doctors and other health professionals and relying on the availability of investigations and equipment. This cannot be replicated in the home environment.


If you do call to request a home visit, you will be asked for some details to determine the reason, and urgency, for the visit, then after surgery your GP will probably phone you back to find out more about your problem before deciding:

  • Whether the visit is necessary
  • Whether other professionals such as the district nurse may be more appropriate to visit
  • Whether you need to come to the surgery for tests or even go straight to the hospital

Please be prepared to answer questions the doctor will ask you such as:

  • How long you have had the problem
  • What treatments have you already tried
  • Where's the pain

It may be that a home visit isn't the best course of action and the doctor offers advice over the telephone.

If the doctor does decide a visit is appropriate it is important you are available when the doctor arrives, it causes great problems and is time consuming if the patient is not at home at the time of the visit. If you are alone and unable to get to the door please ensure the doctor can gain access.


As most visits are done in between surgery, please ensure you call as early in the morning as possible and before 10.30am. Requests after this time can be disruptive to surgery and may result in a very late visit.


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