How is Night Doctor different than a GP?

GPs provide a much greater range of services than after hours home visit services and are primarily responsible for patient care in the community. After hours home visit services work in partnership with GPs to look after their patients when the GP is not available, or the patient is unable to visit the GP. Patients should prioritise seeing their GP if it is safe and appropriate to do so.

What do we review

Night Doctor reviews:

  • acutely unwell patients that need assessment before their GP is next available
  • patients that are unable to get to their GP as they are too unwell (e.g. patients with lots of vomiting) or have barriers to accessing their GP (e.g. mobility issues)
  • Residential care home patients
  • Disability care home patients

What can we not review?

GPs provide a much broader range of services than after hours home visit services. New government regulations (as of 1st March 2018) ensure that home visit services are not providing services outside of their scope of practice.

Our doctors are not permitted to undertake the following management, procedures or certifications:

  1. Management of chronic disease
    • Blood pressure or blood glucose monitoring
    • Discussion of test results (for tests not organised by Night Doctor)
    • Repeat prescriptions
    • Medication reviews
    • GP management plans
    • Chronic disease management plans
    • Mental health care plans
    • Specialist referrals
    • Routine referrals to other health professionals, or pathology or imaging services
  2. Procedures that require resuscitation facilities
    • Immunisations
    • Surgical procedures such as joint injections and skin cancer surgery
  3. Procedures that may need a chaperone, good illumination or specific equipment
    • Examinations such as urological or gynaecological unless specific to the presenting illness
    • Cervical screening tests
    • Ear syringing
    • Hearing tests
    • Skin checks
    • Routine uncomplicated dressing changes for patients who are able to present to their regular GP or community centre
  4. Certification
    • Medical reports such as pre-employment, insurance, and Centrelink
    • Driving licence medicals
    • Taxi subsidy forms