Patient Home Visit Protocol


Home Visit Protocol for Patients

The practice home visit policy is based on the General Medical Service (GMS) contract, the Local Medical Committee (LMC) guidance and the British Medical Association (BMA) guidance.

Home visits are time consuming; several patients could be seen in the practice in the time it would take to carry out one home visit.  Please help the practice to help our other patients by visiting the surgery whenever possible.

The practice will carry out home visits for:

  • Terminally ill patients
  • Housebound – a patient who is defined as being an individual who is unable to leave their home environment due to a physical or psychological illness
  • Patients who are severely ill in bed

Patients are asked to request home visits before 11am. This allows the practice to access the request for necessity and urgency so that it can be appropriately managed. The practice may arrange for another member of the community team to carry out the home visit.

The following ARE NOT valid reasons to request a home visit:

Transport issues for patient

It is not the practice’s responsibility to arrange transport or to perform home visits because the patient has difficulty arranging transport. In these circumstances patients should seek transport help from relatives, friends or taxi firms.

Childcare issues for a patient

If a patient has difficulty arranging for someone to care for their children whilst attending appointments, the patients are welcome to bring their children to the surgery.

Poor mobility

Whilst it is understood that having poor mobility is in convenient and unpleasant, GP surgeries re designed to cater for patients with restricted mobility, if patients are able to attend appointments at other healthcare settings, then they should also be expected to attend appointments in the surgery.

Unwell Child

It is in the best interest of the child to attend the surgery where they can be properly assessed and treated. The Clinician can make a more informed clinical judgement when seeing the child in surgery.

If a parent believes that the child is too unwell to travel to surgery, and is a medical emergency then it would be advisable for them to seek help from the emergency services by calling 999.

Residents of care home

Care home residents are no different to patients in their own homes. The need to visit should be based upon clinical need, not the availability of transport or staff to attend the surgery. It is the responsibility of care facilities to make transport available for residents so that they can get to medical and non-medical appointments. Routine visit requests for care homes can be requested however will be deferred until appropriate clinical resource available.