In Hour Home Visit Policy
The following safe practice procedures have been developed to enable staff employed by
Patrick St Medical Centre to carry out home visits with a high level of safety.
As part of any safe workplace, doctors are strongly encouraged to always use past experience and to consult with colleagues and management at all times.
Maintenance of a safe work environment for staff is a joint responsibility for staff and management.
We will not provide a service in a patient’s home if formal assessments identify an unacceptable level of risk indicating it is not safe for the doctor providing the service.
When conducting home visits, workers must take the following steps.
1. Carry out risk assessments
Always conduct an assessment of risk of aggression before visiting any patient at home.
Patients who have stable mental health should have the level of risk reassessed at their management/ individual plan review or where there is reason to believe that the level of risk has changed. Assessment, prevention and management planning should include the consumer, as well as the roles of relevant others and their contributions.
Doctors who are uncertain as to the level of risk involved in a home visit must discuss the situation with their other doctors before going to and/or entering the patient's home.
Consider risk to male doctors concerning possible allegations of sexual misconduct by female patients, particularly in the privacy of a patient’s home.
Advice should be sought and taken from local mental health services that may have relevant history or information about the consumer being assessed.
2. Once a risk assessment has been carried out, the level of risk determined and the risks
prioritised, a decision needs to be made about risk management options. For example:
a) The level of risk is acceptable and able to be managed with existing procedures.
b) The level of risk is acceptable but requires adjustments to human resources (e.g. must be
visited by 2 people) and the development of a risk management plan:
Risk management strategies need to be built into the individual’s care plan.
The effectiveness of the strategies must then be monitored and evaluated:
individually between the patient and their care coordinator
through regular team meetings and care conferences (where applicable).
c) The level of risk is too high and cannot be mitigated through rearrangement of resources or
a risk management plan:
Explain and document the reasons.
Work with the patient to identify more appropriate options.
With the patient’s consent, refer appropriately.
3. Identify risks and make decisions relating to the risks identified, for example, cancel visit.
4. Have the necessary equipment, for example:
Always carry a mobile phone that is appropriately charged and in good working order.
Have 000 and the relevant office numbers programmed into the speed dial function of the mobile phone.