Home visits

Doctor's bag

Call if possible before 10.00am

Patients should only request a home visit if they are house-bound, have serious illness and are too poorly to attend the surgery.  Patients with certain severe conditions that can be easily transmitted from person to person may receive special advice on how they may be assessed and treated.

Doctors are very busy and it is possible for them to see several patients in the surgery in the time it takes to do a single home visit. Think carefully before asking for a home visit and consider the available alternatives. Please read information about these on this page.

We understand that it can often be difficult to attend at the surgery, but we cannot take this into account in most cases. The needs of ALL patients need to be taken into consideration and we have to use our judgement on priorities.

So that we can more easily identify urgent cases that may need emergency care at the hospital or are in need of an urgent GP assessment, when you ring for a visit please give as much information as possible. Please call before 10am. You may find the following checklist helpful:

Please tell us

  • The caller's name and contact information
  • Patient's name, address, location and contact details

To help prioritise your call please give:

  • When symptoms started
  • List of symptoms
  • How often symptoms being experienced
  • Names and dosages of medication and when taken

Our Response

  • The call taker will pass all information to the doctor. We may contact you for more information.

One of the following may happen:

  • Ambulance
  • Doctor call-back
  • Visit to assess the patient
  • Self treatment advice 
  • Hospital referral
  • A prescription
  • Other advice or action, as appropriate

If the patient's condition worsens after you have spoken to us, please call us back for a reassessment, contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or the out of hours service on 0845 056 8060 - if the surgery is closed. In an emergency at any time- dial 999.

Alternatives to requesting a GP Visit:

Ring NHS 111

Click here for more information

Consult your local pharmacist

Your local pharmacist is qualified to advise you on how to treat minor illnesses. They can suggest over the counter medication or refer you to a doctor, if necessary.

Emergency Service – Ambulance

If you believe that your condition [or a patient’s condition] IS serious and an emergency, you should consider calling 999 and requesting an ambulance response.  You could also attend the hospital Accident & Emergency Department.

Emergency ambulance responses or attendance at the accident and emergency departments should be reserved for genuine emergencies and not be used simply because you cannot get an appointment or visit from your GP.


"There is a fairly wide-held belief that patients have an automatic right to a home visit from a GP within core hours (8am to 6.30pm). This is not in fact the case.

"Practices will reach a “reasonable opinion” about whether to attend to a patient at their residence based upon information received on the condition of the patient, and whether it would be inappropriate to expect the patient to attend the practice premises. 

"There is nothing to prevent the GP from arranging for the referral of a patient without first seeing the patient, in cases where their medical condition makes that course of action appropriate. 

If a patient is encouraged to come into the surgery, it is often on the basis that this is where the best care can be provided. The specialist equipment is located at the practice, tests can be carried out more easily there, and drugs issued."
"We make home visits only when it is clinically indicated and the patient is too ill or infirm to attend the surgery."
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