Confidentiality & Medical Records
The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
- To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
- When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.
Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.
Access to Records
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
Although we endeavour to give you the best possible service, there may be times when you feel you have received less than this. If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
Practice Complaints Procedure
How to complain
If your problem cannot be sorted out easily and quickly at the time it arises and you wish to make a complaint, please let us know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, preferably within a matter of days. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If this is not possible, please let us have details of your complaint:
- Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints should be addressed to “The Complaints Manager, Katherine Herzmark” or any doctor you are registered with or ask for an appointment with Katherine Herzmark in order to discuss the matter. Alternatively a Complaints Form can be obtained from our Reception or you may wish to email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
What we shall do
- Acknowledge your complaint
- Clarify any parts of the compliant that are not clear, if necessary
- Agree how to deal with the complaint (e.g. offer a meeting)
- Signpost complainant to advocacy if appropriate
- Identify preferred outcomes
- Agree timescale and review date
- Notify other organisations, if appropriate and consent has been given
- Draw up the complaint plan for complainant to agree
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we do have to respect our duty of confidentiality to our patients. Therefore the patient’s consent must be obtained in writing if a complaint is not made by the patient in person.
London region complaints team NWLCSU.CBCLondonComplaints@nhs.net or 020 3350 4500
NHS England PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT T Tel: 0300311 22 33
The Practice is committed to providing a safe and effective service for our patients and we endeavour to review procedures on a regular basis.
Zero Tolerance Policy
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.
The above policy also applies to patients wishing to register with the practices.Any patients who are verbally or physically abusive to any staff will have their registration refused under this policy.
Out of Hours Emergencies:
We will do everything possible to ensure that our system for contacting the duty doctor is easy to follow, reliable and effective.
- surgeries will normally start on time.
- we expect patients to be seen within thirty minutes of their appointment time, and in the event of a delay we will offer an explanation.
- when a doctor is called away on an emergency we will inform the patients and give them an opportunity to book an alternative appointment, or if preferred, to be seen by another doctor.
With these rights come responsibilities and for the patients this means:
- Courtesy to the staff at all times - remember they are working under doctor’s orders.
- Responding in a positive way to questions asked by the reception staff.
- To attend appointments on time or give the practice adequate notice that they wish to cancel. Someone else could use your appointment!
- An appointment is for one person only - where another member of the family needs to be seen or discussed, another appointment should be made.
- Patients should make every effort when consulting the surgery to make best use of nursing and medical time - home visits should be medically justifiable and not requested for social convenience.
- When patients are asked to give 48 hours notice for repeat prescriptions, please give us this time as it is to allow for accurate prescribing.
- Out-of-hours calls (e.g. evenings; nights & weekends) should only be requested if they are felt to be truly necessary.
ALL MEMBERS OF THE SURGERY PRIMARY CARE TEAM ARE DEDICATED TO A QUALITY POLICY TO ACHIEVE HEALTH SERVICES WHICH MEET THE PATIENT'S REQUIREMENTS.
All new patients will receive a copy of our practice leaflet. Should any user of the health centre want a practice leaflet a copy will be available at reception.
Our surgery building will be welcoming, easy for patients to find their way around and appropriate to the needs of users, including the disabled.
Patients' rights to General Medical Services:
Patients have the rights to:
- be registered with a General Practitioner
- change doctor if desired
- receive urgent care at any time from the practice or our Out of Hours Service
- receive appropriate drugs and medicines
- be referred for specialist or second opinion if they and the GP agree
- have the right to view their medical records, subject to the Acts and associated procedure, and to know that those working for the NHS are under legal obligation to keep the contents confidential.
Changes to Procedures:
When changes are introduced to practice procedures that affect patients, we will ensure that these are clearly explained, by means of a brochure; waiting room noticeboard or individual leaflets, giving as much notice as practicable.
To ensure the best possible knowledge of your personal health, these will be signed by your usual GP wherever possible.
- Urgent referrals to other health and social care agencies will be made within one working day of the patient consultation. Where requested, our GPs will refer you to a private health provider.
- We will normally process non-urgent referrals within five working days of the patient consultation or the doctor's decision to refer.
When a doctor or nurse arranges for a test to be taken the patient will be informed how to obtain the result. (results are normally available 3 to 4 days later)
Transfer of Medical Records:
The Practice will endeavour to dispatch any medical record required by the Health Authority within seven working days and same day if the request is urgent.
Privacy and Confidentiality:
We will respect our patients' privacy, dignity and confidentiality at all times.
With a Doctor: For routine consultations we will endeavour to offer patients an appointment within four working days of the request where possible. For medically urgent requests, we will offer an appointment on the same day.
With a Practice Nurse: For routine appointments we will offer an appointment within five working days.
If there is a delay in the appointment wait (when you arrive) of more than 20 minutes we will let you know.
We are happy to update you on any delay situation if you feel that you have been waiting too long.
We are unable to guarantee a specific doctor will visit you as this depends on availability and other factors. The decision to home visit will be at the doctor’s discretion