Home visits

Patient information on Home visit requests at Chelford Surgery

Home visits, whilst convenient, actually offer a poorer standard of care compared to surgery consultations.  Some of the reasons for this include:

  • Poor facilities e.g. soft beds, poor lighting, lack of hygiene, lack of transportable medical equipment
  • Inefficiency – the doctor could see 4 to 6 other equally needy patients in the time taken for a home visit
  • Lack of records and chaperones – required for safe care and examinations

On some occasions, patients are requesting visits that are inappropriate or unnecessary.  This is having a negative impact upon other aspects of our service.  Calling the doctor out unnecessarily takes them away from patients who may be in more clinical need.  Most of the consultations during home visits could easily and safely be carried out in the surgery.  We appreciate that many patients might not know this, so it is important patients are aware of our policy on home visits.

If you think you may need a Home Visit, please consider the following:

  • We would kindly ask that any patient who is mobile (own legs, walking aids, wheelchair or scooter) see us in surgery
  • If you are poorly and think you need an urgent same day visit, please ring your request through to our reception on 01625861316, ideally before 11.00am on the day.  The doctor will always consider your request. It may be necessary for the doctor to contact you back to discuss the nature of the request further. Please ensure you are contactable.
  • If we feel that your visit request was inappropriate, we may inform you so that you may use our services more appropriately in the future.  Please do not be offended, as we have a duty to use our resources effectively for the safety and benefit of all patients.

Where Home Visits are appropriate and worthwhile

  • Terminally ill patients – we have no problems at all seeing those who are at most clinical need
  • Truly bedbound patients – we have no problems seeing those who are confined to bed
  • So poorly would be harmed if moved – we have no problems at all seeing those who are at most clinical need.

Some examples of where Home Visits are NOT appropriate

  • Children, young people or anyone who is mobile – children are portable and can be seen quickly in the surgery
  • Lack of money or transport – this is not a medical responsibility.  It is up to patients to organise transport.
  • Lack of childcare or been drinking alcohol and not able to drive – this is not a medical responsibility. It is up to patients to organise transport.
  • Can’t get out due to bad weather – we are also affected by snow, ice or bad weather.
  • Timed visits between hairdressing and shopping appointments – patients who are clearly mobile are taking doctors and nurses away from patients more at need.
  • Well but need a check over to make sure everything is alright – our priority is seeing the unwell.
  • Other help more appropriate e.g. if you think you are having a heart attack or a stroke, please ring 999.

Useful Information And Help – Do I Actually Need A Home Visit?

Attend a major A & E department for the following:

  • A feverish and lethargic (drowsy) child
  • A feverish and floppy (unresponsive) infant
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Accidental or intentional overdose of tablets or medicines
  • Trauma (including falls) and broken bones

Ring 999 for these life-threatening conditions:

  • Chest pain (suspected heart attack)
  • Suspected stroke
  • Suspected meningitis
  • Anaphylactic shock (severe allergy)
  • Heavy bleeding or deep lacerations
  • Fluctuating levels of consciousness or completely unconscious
  • Difficulty breathing or stopped breathing with change in colour
  • Seizure, fit or uncontrollable shaking

Other options for help:

  • Self-care – for minor grazes, coughs and colds, sore throats, and hangovers.
  • Pharmacist – for diarrhoea, runny nose and headaches.
  • Minor injuries unit – for sprains and strains, cuts, rashes, stings and bites, road traffic accidents.
  • Dentist – toothache, abscesses, gum disease. Ring NHS 111 if you need to find a dentist.
  • NHS 111 – general advice, medical help or not sure who to call.

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