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Leicestershire LMC Visiting

Guidelines

 

It should be remembered that in all cases the doctor must put himself/herself in a position to properly assess the medical state of a patient and thus the need for a house call.

 

The following groups are for guidance only and are not mutually exclusive.

 

GP 1 Visit recommended

 

We believe home visiting makes clinical sense and is the best way of giving a medical opinion in cases involving:

 

· The terminally ill

· The truly house-bound patient, for whom travel to premises by car would cause a deterioration in their medical condition or unacceptable discomfort

 

GP2 Visit may be useful

 

After initial assessment over the phone a seriously ill patient may be helped by a GP’s attendance even if it is felt appropriate to order an ambulance first.

 

Examples of such situations are:-

 

· Myocardial infarction

· Severe shortness of breath

· Severe haemorrhage

 

Even if a GP is busy elsewhere, and has ordered an ambulance, it may still be appropriate in the above circumstances to visit, particularly where it is likely that the GP could arrive ahead of the ambulance, and his/her presence could improve the patient’s chances of survival.

 

GP 3 Visit is not usual

 

In most of these cases, to visit would not be an appropriate use of a GP’s time:

 

· Common symptoms of childhood: fevers, cold, cough, earache, headache, diarrhoea/vomiting and most cases of abdominal pain.  These patients are usually well enough to travel by car.  It is not necessarily harmful to take a child  with a fever outside.  These children may not be fit to travel by bus or to walk, but car transport may be available from friends, relatives or taxi firms.  It is not a doctor’s job to arrange such transport.

· Adults with common problems, such as cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain, are also readily transportable by car to a doctor’s premises.

· Common problems in the elderly,  such as poor mobility, joint pain and general malaise, would also best be treated by consultation at a doctor’s premises.

 

However, inspite of the above some may feel that due account needs to be taken of a patient’s circumstances, and where necessary a visit should be made.  This is all the more so when the safety of a child has to be taken into account.

 
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