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 Business Partner and 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.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To pursue a complaint please contact one of our managers who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.
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.
Our aim is to provide the highest possible quality of care to our patients. As part of our Quality Assurance System we operate a Practice Complaints Procedure which meets Department of Health criteria. 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.
How to Complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly at the time they arise and with the person concerned or with the assistance of our senior managers.
If, however, you wish to make a complaint we would like you to let us know as soon as possible because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint
* within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem
* within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided
this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints should be addressed to the Business Partner & Practice Manager or any of the doctors.
Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment or a telephone consultation with the Business Partner & Practice Manager to discuss your concerns.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint, normally within 3 working days, and aim to have completed our enquiries and be ready to offer you an explanation within 25 working days (no more than 6 months for more complex problems). When we look into your complaint we will aim to
* find out what happened and what went wrong
* make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned if you would like
* make sure you receive an apology where this is appropriate
* identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we will need a letter of consent signed by the person concerned giving us permission to discuss their problem (unless they are incapable [because of illness] of providing this).
We hope our procedure can resolve the problem to your satisfaction. However, you have the right to request an independent review if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us, or if you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation.
For further advice you should contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) at your local Hastings and Rother Primary Care Trust, Bexhill Hospital, Holliers Hill, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN40 2DZ (0300 1000 891) or the Healthcare Ombudsman at www.ombudsman.org.uk (0345 015 4033)
CODE OF PRACTICE
This Practice aims to provide comprehensive care to patients, whereby your designated Doctor is responsible for your ongoing care whenever possible.
We are committed to the best possible service which can only be achieved if we work together.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO YOU
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO US
You will be treated as an individual and will be given courtesy and respect at all times. You have a right to absolute confidentiality.
We ask that you treat the Doctors and their staff with the same courtesy and respect. Bullying behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated and may result in your removal from the Doctor’s list.
We will give you full information about the services we offer in our Practice Leaflet.
Please read our Practice Leaflet where available. Let us know if you change your name, address or phone number.
You are entitled to see your medical records.
We are entitled to make a charge for making these records available to you.
You will be asked to see your designated Doctor by appointment - within 48 hours generally - but, for more urgent matters, you can be seen on the same day by another Doctor.
Our aim is to see the majority of patients within 20 minutes of their appointment times, but some consultations take longer than others and, if an emergency occurs, it will receive priority. In the event of a prolonged delay, you will be notified by the receptionist.
Please keep your appointment punctually. Let us know as soon as possible if you have to cancel.
Ask for more than one appointment if you want more than one patient seen.
If we are running late it will be for a good reason, so please be patient. Do not blame the receptionist.
If you are genuinely unable to attend Surgery, your Doctor will visit you at home.
In the case of acute life-threatening illness, you will receive immediate attention. However, you may consider calling 999 for an ambulance.
Please phone your request for a home visit (Tel: 08444 778577) between 8am and 10am unless a genuine emergency arises later. Please do not ask for a home visit unless the patient cannot be brought to Surgery. Most children can be safely brought to Surgery by car and can be seen promptly.
Emergency cover out of hours is provided by your local Primary Care Trust (PCT) in co-operation with other agencies, by dialling our surgery on: 08444 778577, your call will be transferred.
Please ask for a night visit only when you feel it is truly necessary and cannot wait until the next Surgery. Remember the on-call Doctor will have to work the next day also.
We will offer advice and treatment we believe is best for you, including the steps you can take to promote good health. This will not always include a prescription. Your Doctor will share information and decision making with you as much as possible and will take personal responsibility for your follow up where required.
You are responsible for your own health, and that of your children, so should take appropriate action and advice.
We aim to process requests for repeat prescriptions within 2 full working days (not including weekend or Bank Holiday days), but requests for medication not printed on your repeat chart may take a little longer.
Please do not let your long-term medicines run out. Put in your repeat prescriptions request several days before you need a further supply.
Your Doctor is available for telephone advice before and after surgeries. You may be asked your telephone number for your Doctor to call you back.
Please do not request repeat prescriptions by telephone. We ask for requests to be made in writing to avoid prescription errors.