What is a home visit by a psychiatrist?
A home visit is a consultation that happens in your home or another private location of your choice, such as a hotel where you are staying. During a home visit, your psychiatrist (or another specialist such as a therapist) will carry out the consultation with you face to face, just as if you had visited our clinic. They will be able to undertake an evaluation or assessment or issue you with a prescription, should any medication be required. In most situations, we can liaise directly with a courier pharmacy which would deliver the medication directly to you (if that is your preference).
Before the home visit, a basic risk assessment may be required to ensure everyone's safety. In some situations, particularly if you have never met with your psychiatrist before, they may want to speak to you or a loved one before to discuss the setting and the purpose of the consultation.
Can a family member be present during a home visit?
Certainly so. Similar to what would happen in a face-to-face appointment in a consultation room, you can ask a family member or loved one to attend the appointment, either in full or just for a certain amount of time. This could be for emotional support or because you feel that having somebody else attend your appointment would be helpful as they can help you ask the right questions and understand the advice from the specialist.
How long does a home visit last?
A home visit typically lasts for between one to two hours. The length of time for your home visit appointment will usually be agreed upon beforehand between you and the specialist visiting you.
It may be possible to arrange a home visit without a specific duration or end time in certain situations. The benefit of having an open end time is that you and your psychiatrist can decide how much time is necessary to cover all the points you want to discuss during the consultation. For example, an extended-duration home visit can be beneficial during a crisis. In this case, the specialist would charge only for the time they have spent during the home visit, and the fees would be the same as their usual hourly rates pro-rata, generally calculated at 10-minute intervals. Please bear in mind this is possible only in some circumstances when the specialist does not have other appointments scheduled afterwards. Please also read the information about travel fees below.
How much does a home visit cost?
Generally, a home visit is charged at the treating psychiatrist’s usual clinical rate. There may be additional charges for consultations that take place out of hours in the evenings or on weekends and bank holidays (generally an additional 25% surcharge to the fee).
Please note that the specialist will also need to charge additionally for travel time at the standard hourly rate pro-rata, usually at 15-minute intervals. Before scheduling a home visit, we will let you know the travel fees, depending on your location.
Our friendly practice management team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our home visit service, including details about fees. Please bear in mind that most insurances will not cover travel fees.
How do we make home visits safe from Covid?
The following precautions are taken to protect both you and our doctors to keep everyone safe from possible Covid exposure:
- Washing hands upon arrival and departure.
- Wearing gloves and face mask where necessary and possible.
- We suggest you clean (and if appropriate, disinfect) surfaces before and after the home visit.
- You may want to open windows or have good ventilation to minimise the risk of exposure.
What are the benefits of a home visit?
There are many benefits of home visits, some of which are:
- Some people feel safer in their own homes (for example, somebody with agoraphobia).
- Home visits can sometimes be arranged outside our usual clinic opening hours, including evenings and weekends.
- Your psychiatrist may better understand your personal situation and circumstances by seeing your home environment.
- If you want your psychiatrist to speak to a family member or loved one, a home visit may be more convenient in some situations.
- It offers more discretion and privacy if required by your circumstances or preferences.
Where can I have a home visit?
We can provide home visits with a psychiatrist, therapist or another specialist of your choice in the following locations: