a doctor doing a home visit

Home Visits

Requesting a home visit

Whilst we encourage our patients to come to the surgery where we have the proper equipment and facilities available, we do appreciate this is not always possible. In this respect, if you do need a home visit, you can help us by calling reception before 10:30am.

Home Visits Policy

Eligibility for home visit

Home visits are discretionary and not a requirement of GP terms and services. Visits are reserved for the following groups of patients:

  • terminally ill
  • housebound
  • patients who are severely ill and cannot mobilise

Definition of housebound – confined to one room of the house by nature of illness often with carers attending throughout the day.

GPs will only visit a patient at home if they assess that patient’s medical condition requires it. They will also decide on the priority of each visit and how urgently a visit is required.

General Rules

If a patient is fit enough to mobilise to visit an optician, dentist, relative, local shops or hairdresser, they will be advised to attend surgery.


The following do not require routine home visits:

  • young children – fevers, coughs and colds, wheezing, minor breathing difficulty, earache, rashes, diarrhoea and vomiting, abdominal pain 
  • older children and adults – fevers, coughs and colds, “flu”, sore throats, back pain, abdominal pain, minor breathlessness and other minor illnesses
  • senior citizens – poor mobility, joint pain, poor memory, tiredness

Transport / Social Problems

GPs will not carry out home visits for reasons of convenience or lack of transport. It is the GP's responsibility to resolve the patient’s medical problem; it is the patient’s responsibility to take all reasonable steps to enable the GP to do this.

Where a patient is not well enough to travel by bus, we expect the patient to arrange car transport (friends, relatives, carers, taxi). It is not the GP's responsibility to arrange such transport. Our receptionists are able to provide details of local taxi firms.

You can also be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP. You should also be visited at home 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 of age.