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Independents' Day

No more home visits except for the severely debilitated

Regarding Dr Nick Luscombe's letter (October 20), I have a few examples of home visit requests of my own.

 · During evening surgery I was asked by a woman to visit her

18-year-old son who had a cough. I offered to see him in surgery but she said he could not possibly attend as he felt too ill. When I arrived at the house at 7.30pm she told me he had been unable to wait as he had to go to the pub.

Far from being apologetic she was annoyed I had not come earlier. The surgery finished at 7.15pm.

 · A mother requested a visit for her six-year-old who had had a rash for a few days but was not ill.

They were unable to attend surgery as they were going on holiday the following day and were 'too busy packing'.

 · A mother rang at midnight one Friday to ask for headlice treatment for her two children who at the time were in bed, asleep.

After giving advice I gently suggested this could have been dealt with at a more appropriate time.

I was subjected to a torrent of abuse and threats of complaint. 'Anything to do with my kids is

an emergency' the woman screamed.

I believe the time has come to end home visiting except for the terminally ill, housebound elderly or severely disabled.

Unfortunately I am sure the Government will find this politically impossible to achieve.

Dr Patricia Critchley

London SE5

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