Personal Views

Moving forward: to surgery by taxi, or a home visit?

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 08 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1485
  1. Stephen J Parkes

    Three years ago I started to offer patients the option of a free trip to and from the surgery by taxi as an alternative to a home visit. If necessary they can be seen on arrival without waiting. This service has not been abused and the total number of home visits and patients' taxi trips is less than half my previous home visits. The balance is made up by family and friends bringing patients to the surgery.

    In my inner city practice of 2107 patients I make an average of four visits a week and provide a similar number of taxi trips. I never refuse a visit, but always make it plain if I think that the patient is making an unnecessary fuss. With most acute illnesses, advice about taking the maximum dose of paracetamol and leading a relatively quiet life but not being bedbound or housebound is appropriate. It is what I do for myself and my family. The taxi is also …

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