Regal Chambers Surgery

50 Bancroft, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1LL

Telephone: 01462 453232

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Home Visits

Reasons For A Home Visit


  • Bed Bound
  • Terminally Ill

The Small Print:

  • Patients do not have an automatic right to a home visit
  • Under their terms of working, doctors are required to consider home visits for medical reasons only
  • If you think you qualify for a home visit, please ring before 10.00 a.m.
  • All visit requests will be medically assessed to check if appropriate and a doctor will call you to assess urgency.


  • No transport or money
  • Children, young people and anyone who is mobile
  • Social reasons or convenience
  • Other help more appropriate

Home Visiting at Regal Chambers Surgery – information for patients

Home visits, whilst convenient, actually offer a poorer standard of care compared to surgery consultations. This is because of:

  • Poor facilities (e.g. soft beds, poor lighting, lack of hygiene)
  • Inefficiency (the doctor could see 4 to 6 equally needy patients in the time taken for a home visit)
  • Lack of records and chaperones (required for safe care and examinations)

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 patients 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

Some Myths about Home Visits (all of these are not true)

  • “It’s 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’m 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 be 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 by A&E departments
  • “I’m housebound” – being housebound does not always prevent use of transport
  • “Can the GP just pop out and see me” – we have fully booked surgeries and cannot simply drop everything to visit people urgently

Where Home Visits are NOT appropriate (some examples only)

  • Children, young people or anyone who is mobile – children are portable and can be seen quickly in the surgery
  • Lack of money or transport – this is not a medical responsibility. It is up to patients to organise transport
  • Lack of childcare or been drinking alcohol and not able to drive – this is not a medical responsibility
  • Can’t get out due to bad weather – we are also affected by snow, ice and bad weather
  • Times visits between hairdressing and shopping appointments – patients who are clearly mobile are taking doctors and nurses away from patients more at need
  • Well but need a check over to make sure everything is alright – our priority is seeing the unwell
  • Other help more appropriate – e.g. if you think you are having a heart attack or a stroke, please ring 999

Where Home Visits are appropriate and worthwhile

  • Terminally ill patients – we have no problems at all seeing those are at most clinical need
  • Truly bedbound patients – we have no problems seeing those who are confined to bed
  • So poorly would be harmed if moved – we have no problems at all seeing those who are at most clinical need

If you think you may need a Home Visit

We would kindly ask that any patient who is mobile (own legs, using walking aids, wheelchair or scooter) see us in surgery.

If you are poorly and think you need an urgent same day visit, please ring your request through to reception on 01462 453232 before 10.30 a.m. The doctor will telephone you to assess urgency and consider the request for a home visit. Please make every effort to answer this phone call. The doctor will try to ring you twice. If the doctor is unable to obtain details via telephone, a visit will not be undertaken.

If we visit you and feel that 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 appropriately in the future. Please do not be offended as we have a duty to use our resources effectively for the safety and benefit of all patients.

Please remember that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. There are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the surgery.

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Phone lines closed 13.00-14.30
  • Tuesday
    08:00am to 12:30pm
    02:00pm to 06:30pm
  • Wednesday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Phone lines closed 13.00-14.30
  • Thursday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Phone lines closed 13.00-14.30
  • Friday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    Phone lines closed 13.00-14.30
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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