Patient Access

Want advice from your doctor, self-help information or have an admin request?

Home Visits

If you are poorly and think you need a home visit, please call us on 0208 319 5400

  1. The triage nurse or doctor will always consider your request and ensure you are seen by the most appropriate health care professional in the most appropriate location
  2. An Emergency Hospital admission may be organised for the patient via the ambulance service without first seeing the patient, in cases where their medical condition makes that course of action appropriate.
  3. Remember: you do not have an automatic right to a home visit. Under their terms of working, GPs are required to consider home visits for medical reasons only.
  4. Always provide a current landline/mobile number so that the Doctor or Nurse can contact you.

If you think an urgent home visit is required, please advise the Receptionist. In cases of major injury or critical condition, it may be more appropriate to go directly to Accident & Emergency. If an Ambulance is required, dial 999.

Where home visits are appropriate and worthwhile

  • Terminally ill patients:  those who are at most clinical need
  • Truly bedbound patients:  those who are confined to bed
  • So poorly, the patient would be harmed if moved: those who are at most clinical need.
AppropriateNot appropriate
BedboundNo transport or money  
Terminally illChildren, young people and anyone who is mobile
Would come to serious harm if movedSocial reasons or for convenience

You can also be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP. In other cases you can be visited at by a health visitor, if you have recently had a baby or if you are newly registered with a GP and have a child under five years.

If we visit you at home and feel that your request was inappropriate, we may inform you so that you 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 not appropriate

Please note this list only includes some examples, and is not exhaustive.

  • Children, young people or anyone who is mobile
  • Lack of money or transport. This is not a medical responsibility. It is up to the patient to organise transport
  • Lack of childcare or been drinking alcohol and not able to drive. This is not a medical responsibility
  • Can’t get out due to bad weather. Remember that medical staff 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 with greater need
  • Feeling well, but need a check over to make sure everything is all right. Our priority is seeing those patients who are unwell.
  • Other help may be more appropriate – for example, if you think you are having a heart attack or a stroke, please ring 999.
Myth Fact
It’s my right to have a home visit.Under the 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 does not judge based on age alone.
I can’t bring my child out in this weather. No-one will be harmed by being wrapped up and brought in to the surgery.
The doctor needs to check I’m ready to go into hospital.Paramedics can provide initial lifesaving care, and patients will be cared for appropriately in emergency departments.
 I’m housebound.  Being housebound does not always prevent use of transport.
I live in a care home. Many patients living in care homes still go to hospital outpatients and take trips out.
Can the GP just pop in to see me?We have fully booked surgeries and cannot simply drop everything to visit people at home.

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