Home visit requests need to be booked before 10:30. Requests after this time are assessed by the duty doctor.
When you phone, the receptionist will ask you for some brief details to enable the doctor to prioritise the visits. It is essential that you give us a working telephone number. The doctor may phone you back to discuss the problem and decide if a visit is the most appropriate action or not.
If you are making a visit request on behalf of a patient please make sure the patient is aware of this and agrees to the request being made. We acknowledge that some patients with significant memory problems or who are very unwell may be unable to make their own requests for visits and need help from a third party to access the right medial care.
Please do not ask a doctor to call unless you are too unwell or disabled to leave your home. Patients who we consider housebound are those who never, or rarely, leave the house without significant assistance. Age, frailty and ill health in themselves are not reasons to assume that a visit is necessary.
A GP can see three or four people in the surgery in the time taken to make one home visit, making it a very poor use of a doctor's time if a visit is not necessary, and we would therefore request that you come to the surgery if physically possible.
Lack of transport does not necessarily make a patient housebound and is not usually regarded as a justification for a visit. We may ask you to see if friends or relatives can bring you to the surgery or to consider arranging a taxi.
We work alongside a number of other health care professionals who visit patients at home. Sometimes we might refer you to these agencies if we feel this would be more appropriate than a doctor's visit. This might be the district nurses if a patient complains of a pressure sore or wound or the McMillan/Palliative care team for patients at the end of life.