Home Visiting at Dr Sheward & Partners
Making Best Use of Your GP Practice
For the vast majority of patients attending an appointment at the Surgery is the best option for them and for the Practice staff. Attending the surgery allows our clinical team to see many more patients in a day than if we are undertaking home visits. A doctor could see 4-6 other equally needy patients in the time it takes for a home visit.
If you think you may need a home visit
We would kindly ask any patient who is mobile (including using a walking aid, wheelchair or scooter) to see us in the surgery. If you are poorly and think you need an urgent same day visit, please ring the surgery on 01655 882708 before 12.30pm on the day. The doctor will always consider your request.
|Bedbound||No transport or money|
|Terminally ill||Children, young people and anyone who is mobile|
|Would come to serious harm if moved||Social reasons or for convenience|
|Other help would be more appropriate|
Other support available. There are other options that are available to provide support including:
|Self care||For minor grazes, coughs and colds, sore throats and hangovers||NHS Inform has excellent information available to support you www.nhsinform.scot|
|Pharmacist||For diarrhoea, runny nose and headaches, stings, bites, emergency contraception|
|NHS 111||General advice, medical help or not sure who to call||Phone 111|
|Social Services||For advice and help in social matters, including respite care, additional help at home and aids||Phone 01655 883293 for Maybole Social Work|
|Podiatry||Patients can refer themselves for foot and nail care
FootcAyr provides a range of toe-nail cutting clinics
|Direct to Lister Street on 01563 826361
Please contact 01292 281800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Community Link Practitoner||Appointments can be arranged here in the surgery with Tracey Middleton|
|South Ayrshire Life||Website has hundreds of other activites and local services listed||www.southayrshirelife.org
or phone 0800 432 0510 if you do not have access to the internet
For real life threatening emergencies such as those below PHONE 999
- Chest pain (suspected heart attack)
- Suspected stroke
- Suspected meningitis
- Anaphalactic shock (severe allergy)
- Heavy bleeding or deep lacerations
- Fluctuating levels of consciousness or completely unconcious
- Difficulty breathing or stopped breathing with a change in colour
- New seizure, fit or uncontrolable shaking
For immediatley serious conditions such as the following, GO TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT (A&E) IMMEDIATLEY
- A fever and lethargic (drowsy) child
- A feverish and floppy (unresponsive) child
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden, severe abdominal pain
- Accidental or intentional overdose of medication
- Trauma (including falls) and possible broken bones or road traffic accident
Home visits, whilst convenient for patients, actually offer a pooer standard of care comapired to surgery consultations. This is because:
- Poor facilities (e.g.: soft beds, poor lighting, lack of hygiene)
- Lack of records and chaperones (required for safe care and examination)
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. Calling the doctor out unnecessarily takes them away from the patient 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.
Home visits are entirely appropriate for:
- Terminally ill patients - we have no problems at all seeing those who are at most clinical need
- Truly bedbound patients - we have no problems seeing those who are confined to bed
- Patients who are so poorly they would be harmed if moved - we have no problems at all seeing those who are at most clinical need
Home visits are not appropriate for the following reasons:
- Children, young people or anyone who is mobile - young children can be carried and seen more quickly in the surgery
- Lack of money or transport - this is not a medical responsibility. It is up to the patient and/or families/friends to organise transport
- Lack of childcare
- People who have been drinking alcohol and not able to drive - this is not a medical responsibilty
- Can't get our 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 in 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 that you are having a heart attack or stroke please phone 999
Some Myths about Home Visits (All of these are not true)
- "It is 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 am old" - our clinical work should not discriminate simply based on age alone.
- "I can't bring 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 care home so I get a visit" - many such patients still go to hospital outpatients appointments 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.
If we visit you and 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 appropriatly in the future. Please do not be offended, as we have a duty to use our limited resources efectely for the safety and benefit of ALL patients.