Home Visits

A home visit is when a clinician visits a person at their home because they are unable to travel to the surgery for clinical reasons.

Who are home visits for?

Home visits are only for those patients who are unable to travel to the surgery because they are permanently or temporarily housebound.

Whether a patient is ‘housebound’ is a clinical decision. We are not able to visit a patient if the sole reason for requesting a home visit is a lack of transport.

We could arrange a home visit when a patient is:

  • permanently housebound and cannot leave the house for any appointments (such as visits to the GP, optician, hairdresser, dentist or hospital) without specialist ambulance support (a code of ‘Housebound’ should be in the clinical record)
  • temporarily housebound due recent illness, injury or operation and cannot be reasonably expected to travel to the surgery in private and public transport without significant pain or distress
  • is acutely unwell and the severity of the illness means that getting to the surgery may make the condition worse
  • receiving palliative care, or is reliant on medical equipment that means they cannot get to the surgery.


Who visits the patient at home?

Home visits are made by a GP or other member of the practice team (which may include a physician associate, a nurse practitioner, a clinical pharmacist, care coordinator or another clinician). Vaccinations given at home may be given by an external organisation (such as a local pharmacy) where this has been agreed by the practice. District nurses may also administer vaccinations.


When is a home visit not appropriate?

If a patient is not deemed to be housebound on clinical grounds, then they will need to come into the surgery for an appointment or have a telephone appointment if appropriate.

How to arrange a home visit

If you need a home visit and meet the circumstances described above, please call the surgery in the usual way, before 12:00 noon if at all possible.

If a home visit has been arranged, the clinician will usually call you ahead of the visit to assess the urgency of the visit and to let you know their estimated arrival time. Visits are prioritised according to clinical need.