Ill and Home Alone
Do any GP practices in South-west Essex do still home visits ? An elderly friend of mine, with congested lungs, low back-pain and feeling extremely weak, recently had to struggle out on an very cold November morning to get a diagnosis and prescription from her GP and then on to the pharmacy for the medication. What are those of us who live alone to do, oldies particularly, if we don’t drive (or not feeling well enought to drive) and buses are at some distance, or infrequent. Doctors (probably rightly) won’t prescribe over the phone for a patient unseen, but without a home visit, the temptation is to go to A & E (open all hours) calling for a taxi or ambulance – yet A & E departments do not want to see relatively minor complaints which don’t really need hospital expertise at that stage. Do GP practices publish what they offer and the standards they aim to maintain ? How they deal with the issue of home visiting would be an important part of this.