Patients will receive a home visit if:
Patients will be invited to attend a treatment centre by a GP or nurse who has provided their telephone consultation and feels that they need to be seen.
- The GP or nurse who provides their telephone consultation feels that they need to be seen and
- travel to a treatment centre would cause deterioration in the patient’s medical condition or unacceptable discomfort.
GPs have locally agreed guidelines to help them decide if a home visit is appropriate. Their clinical judgement presides, based on the individual case presented. Each case is assessed on its own merit.
Home visits are the best way of giving a medical opinion in cases involving:
- The terminally ill
- The truly bed-bound patient
In most of these cases a visit would not be an appropriate use of GP time:
- Common symptoms of childhood: fevers, cold, cough, earache, headache, diarrhoea/vomiting and most cases of abdominal pain. It is not necessarily harmful to take a child with a fever outside. These children may not be fit to travel by bus or to walk, but car transport is available from friends, relatives or taxi firms. It’s is not a doctor’s duty to arrange such transport.
- Adults with common problems such as a cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain are also readily transported by car to a doctor’s premises.
- Common problems in the elderly such as poor mobility, joint pain, and general malaise may be best treated by the patient’s registered GP
We have to meet Department of Health quality standards.
- Urgent cases visited within two hours of telephone consultation.
- Less urgent (routine) cases visited within six hours of telephone consultation.