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HOME VISITS

If you are too ill to come to the surgery your doctor will endeavour to visit you at home. This would normally mean you are confined to bed or otherwise physically unable to come to the surgery.

Please telephone your request for a visit before 11.00 am if possible. The doctor will normally call between 12.45 and 3.00 pm, after morning surgery. If the visit is needed urgently please make this clear to the receptionist.

The following Visiting Guidelines & Examples are approved by many Local Medical Committees around the country.

1. GP visit recommended.

GP home visiting makes clinical sense and is the best way of giving a medical opinion in cases involving:

The terminally ill.
The truly bed bound patient, for whom travel to premises by car would cause a deterioration in their medical condition or unacceptable discomfort.

2. GP visit may be useful.

After initial assessment over the telephone, a seriously ill patient may be helped by a GP's attendance to prepare themselves for travel to hospital - that is, where a GP's other commitments do not prevent him/her from arriving before the ambulance.

Examples of such situations are:

Myocardial Infarction.
Severe shortness of breath.
Severe haemorrhage.

It must be understood that if a GP is about to embark on a large booked surgery and is told that one of his/her patients is suffering from a myocardial infarct, the sensible approach may well be to call an emergency paramedical ambulance rather than attending.

3. GP visit is not usual.

In most of these cases, to visit would not be an appropriate use of a GP's time:

Common symptoms of childhood: fevers, cold, cough, earache, headache, diarrhoea/vomiting and most cases of abdominal pain. These patients are usually well enough to travel by car. It is not usually 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 is not a doctor's job to arrange such transport.

Adults with common problems, such as cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain, are also readily transportable by car to a doctor's premises.

Common problems in the elderly, such as poor mobility, joint pain and general malaise, would also best be treated by consultation at a doctor's premises. The exception to this would be the truly bed-bound patient.

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