Houesebound Patients

We would like to update our patient information with details of how, as a practice, we address the issue of whether our patients are deemed to be housebound and would require a visit at home if unwell.

A patient is deemed to be housebound when they are unable to leave their home environment through a physical or psychological illness.

A patient is not considered housebound if he or she is able to leave their house with minimal assistance or support. For example: unassisted/assisted visit to the Doctor, dentist, hairdresser, supermarket, social events or hospital outpatients.

Some patients may not be housebound permanently but rather are housebound temporarily as a consequence of an episode of illness.

Minimal assistance would be described as a person who can leave their own home and travel to a clinic appointment in a vehicle such as a personal car, taxi or public transport adapted for their use or not and with or without the use of a wheelchair either by themselves or with an escort. To avoid confusion any person who requires a specialist vehicle (Ambulance) or a two person escort would be regarded as housebound.

To avoid further confusion a person will not be regarded as housebound because they do not personally have a companion to escort them to a clinical appointment.

Each patient’s eligibility for a home visit will be individually determined by the clinician, based on the above definition and patients assessed as not meeting the criteria for being housebound will be expected to attend a clinic or surgery setting. Individual circumstances will be monitored and where an individual and/or health care professional assesses that the patient’s needs have changed, the patient’s housebound status will be reviewed.

If a patient is acutely unwell on the day, it may be necessary to visit a non-housebound patient at home. The definition above is for routine care, routine scheduled reviews and vaccinations.