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Our home visiting policy > ivy.gs/visits

Our Home Visiting Policy

Requesting a Home Visit

Home Visiting Support Services

Will I be able to get a visit?

See if you are in one of the groups of patients that we will visit - hover over each statement for more info

I am completely bedbound and unable to move

I am terminally ill or near to end-of-life

I am so poorly that I would come to harm if I were moved

► I think I might need a home visit

If you are mobile, even if you require aids or support, please book a surgery appointment

If you are in one of the above groups, and need medical help, you may need a visit

Please ring 01773 514130 before 10.30am so that your call can be assessed

Where can I get more information?

Download our information leaflet

Download our formal home visiting policy

Download our summary poster

Why have you updated your home visiting policy?

Hover over each statement for more detail and read on below.

Other countries manage well without the need for a home visiting service

Home visits may be convenient but they are very inefficient and costly

Home visits are riskier and actually offer a poorer standard of care

The majority of home visit requests are inappropriate or unnecessary

Unnecessary visits have a negative impact upon our services

There is much misconception around when home visits are actually appropriate

It is actually up to the doctor to decide if a home visit is needed

Rising workload means we must all provide care as efficiently as possible

Inappropriate home visits damage staff morale and increase stress

There are genuine safety concerns in visiting patients at home

Medicolegally, home visiting is fraught with difficulties

We have updated our policy based on existing guidance - click to download now

Background Information

Home visits, whilst convenient, actually offer a poorer standard of care compared to surgery consultations.
► More info

This is because of:

  • Poor facilities (eg, soft beds, poor lighting, lack of hygiene)
  • 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)

We have noticed that many patients are requesting visits that are inappropriate or unnecessary. This is having a negative impact upon other aspects of our service. ► More info

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. Because patients might not know this, we are letting you know our policy on home visits.

Some myths about home visits

There are many preconceptions about home visits. We seek to address some of these below. ► More info

  • "It's my right to have a home visit" - under GP terms of service, it is actually up to the doctor to decide, in their reasonable opinion, where a consultation should take place
  • "I should get a visit because I'm old" - our clinical work should not discriminate simply based on age alone
  • "I can't bringing little Freddie out in this weather" - no-one will be harmed by being wrapped up and brought in
  • "The doctor needs to check I'm ready to go into hospital / have a ward to go to" - paramedics can provide initial lifesaving care and patients will be dealt with appropriately in A+E departments
  • "I'm housebound" - being housebound does not always prevent use of transport.
  • "I live in a care home so I always get a visit" - many such patients still go to hospital outpatients and take trips out
  • "Can the GP just pop out and see me" - we have fully booked surgeries and cannot simply drop everything to visit people urgently

Where home visits are NOT appropriate

Many requests for home visits are inappropriate, and a poor use of resources. ► More info

  • 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 – again this is not a medical responsibility
  • 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 all right – 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

Where home visits are appropriate

If we visit you and feel that your request was inappropriate

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.

Useful information and help

Do I actually need a home visit?

► More info

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. Download an information poster This is a PDF download.
  • 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.
  • Social Services – for advice and help on social matters, including respite care, additional help at home, and aids.
  • Podiatry – patients can refer themselves to Ripley Hospital for foot and nail care.
  • Physio – patients can refer themselves to a physio for back, neck and joint problems.
  • Counselling – patients can refer themselves to a counsellor for mild to moderate anxiety and depression.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau – patients can book an appointment to see an advisor at the surgery.
  • Continence Advisory Service – patients can refer themselves to this service for all continence issues.

Don't know who to turn to?

Will I be able to get a home visit?

Please visit our page on making a request for a home visit for more information.

Is there anyone else I can call for advice?

► More info


Can I get more information online?

► More info

More useful information can be found on our website. Type these shortcuts directly into your browser address bar.

This page is © Ivy Grove Surgery and may not be reproduced without permission. Practices wishing to adapt our home visiting policy or visiting information should get in touch first.
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