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How do I arrange a home visit?

These are for patients who are housebound or too ill to come to the surgery. Requests for visits should be made before 10.30am when possible.

Please give a clear description of the problem.

IF THE PATIENT HAS A TEMPERATURE OR A RASH, COMING TO THE SURGERY WILL DO NO HARM and will not endanger others but please inform the receptionist on arrival.

Many patents believe there is an automatic right to a home visit from a GP between 8am and 6.30pm but this is not the case.

For the avoidance of doubt it is the GP who decides if a home visit is warranted and not the patient nor an Allied Health Professional (Schedule 6, Regulation 26 Part 1 of GMS Contract Regulations 2004).

There is nothing in the Regulation to prevent the GP from overriding the request for a home visit and advise the patient to attend A&E, without first seeing them. This is providing the medical condition of the patient makes the course of action appropriate.

It is not the role of 111 to decide whether a GP visit is required, but to recommend that the patient contacts their own GP services.

Doctors will always encourage people to come into the surgery because this is where the best care can be provided. Specialist equipment is there, tests can be carried out more easily and drugs issued if necessary.

It is not the job of the doctor or the surgery to arrange transport to the practice. This is in line with local and national guidance from various health care providers and GP professional bodies.

Nationally and in line with guidance endorsed by the Royal College of GPs, a home visit occurs for the following three reasons:

  • The patient is terminally ill
  • The patient is housebound
  • The patient has a severe learning or physical disability