Effective patient care in general practice is best delivered in the majority of instances at our surgery premises, with support staff, treatment and investigation facilities, as well as record systems close to hand. However, if you are too unwell to attend surgery, or have a condition that would mean that you would not be able to travel except by ambulance transport, you may request a home visit by a doctor.
For same day visits, please phone before 11.00. Visits usually take place after morning surgery finishes, which may mean an arrival time of approximately 11.45 – 13.30, or sometimes later on busier days. Visit requests received after 11.00 for pre-existing or non-urgent conditions will usually be deferred until the following working day.
Make clear to reception staff if you consider the problem to be urgent. Leave a brief outline of the problem, and a contact number as sometimes we need to speak to you prior to visiting. If the doctor believes that the problem can be best dealt with at the surgery, you may be asked to attend.
Home visits are discretionary and not an absolute requirement of GP terms and services. Lack of transportation is not in itself an indication for a home visit. Visits are extremely time consuming for healthcare professionals, as only 2-3 patients can be seen per hour in a home setting (with fewer assessment and treatment options), compared with 6 or more at the surgery. While we will not decline patients who are genuinely too ill to travel by themselves or others, we would respectfully ask that visits are kept to a minimum to make the best use of clinical time. We have a flexible urgent fit-in policy with clinics, particularly at the end of morning surgery, and some conditions can be dealt with safely over the telephone.
Whatever the time of day, if you or someone else experiences severe prolonged chest pains or breathing difficulties, major loss of blood or obviously broken bones, you will undoubtedly need hospital assessment. The quickest way to enable this is to dial 999 or attend the nearest major A+E department (usually Southmead hospital, or Bristol Children’s if under 16, particularly very young children).
For less dramatic but urgent symptoms, and particularly for minor injuries that may not need hospital treatment (including cuts, sprains, bruises or possible breaks to small bones), then contact the surgery first as we are likely to be able to treat you. We have nebulising equipment and can treat moderate asthma exacerbations.