The romantic notion of GP's visiting patients regularly is a piece of British nostalgia that only exists on TV programmes today. Unfortunately, real life is quite different from television.
Time constraints mean that we cannot encourage house visits. All house calls are at the doctor's discretion, and are NOT 'a patient’s right'. After our morning surgeries, most GP's these days are busy looking at hospital letters and laboratory reports and dealing with a huge amount of administrative tasks. The myth about GP's playing golf in the afternoons is simply not possible as we are usually doing paperwork until 13.30 – 14.00, before trying to get a bite to eat. After evening surgeries, that officially finish at 18.00, both doctors are usually still working at their respective surgeries until 19.00 – 19.30.
For the above reasons, house calls are only carried out for medical reasons at the doctor's discretion. Requests for a home visit for social reasons (e.g. no bus fare, lack of transport, needing a sick note) are not accepted.
The demands upon GP's means that we can no longer provide regular social house calls to the elderly, although we always found them to be enjoyable and useful.
If you are too ill to attend the surgery and feel you need a house call, please phone before 11:00 and give the receptionist adequate information. The doctor will then spleak to you to ensure that a house call is really required. All information is treated in the strictest of confidence. We can see 3-4 patients in the surgery setting in the same time as one home visit. Patients who request visits for their convenience (rather than clinical illness) will be advised that they could have attended the surgery.
We will of course, continue to visit housebound patients at home - for medical reasons only.