Home visiting remains an important part of General Practice, but with an escalating workload and diminishing workforce, the practice is obliged to review its home visiting policy.
The criteria for a home visit are:
- Those at end of life care
- The completely housebound (uncommon)
- Those whose clinical condition would be adversely affected by attending the surgery (rare)
The practice has traditionally interpreted these criterial fairly liberally, but such is the pressure of work, this is no longer possible. Between 8-10 hours per day is set aside for home visiting and consequently this has a profound effect on our ability to provide timely appointments in the surgery.
The most frequent complaint is of the time to wait for an appointment and an important means to address this is to ensure that home visiting is targeted to those with a genuine need and therefore allow us to free up some of the time otherwise spent on visiting.
All requests for home visits will be assessed by the duty doctor who will decide on the most appropriate way to deal with the individual’s problem. This might consist of telephone advice, referral to another health professional, a home visit, or for the patient to attend surgery in a booked appointment.
Difficulties with transport, arranging childcare, personal inconvenience etc are not valid medical reasons to receive a home visit.
We hope you will understand the enormous difficulties facing the practice in trying to maintain a high quality service and we thank you in anticipation of your responsible use of the services we provide.