YOUR INFORMATION AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and treatment and care you receive from the National Health Service. These help ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. They may be written down (manual records), or held on a computer. The records may include:
•Basic details about you, such as address and next of kin
•Contacts we have had with you, such as clinic visits
•Notes and records about your health and any treatment, care you have received
•Details and records about the treatment and care you receive
•Results of investigations, such as x-rays and laboratory tests
•Relevant information from other health professionals, or those who care for you and know you well.
Your records are used to guide professionals in the care you receive to ensure that:
Your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professionals involved in your care has accurate and up-to date information to assess your health and decide what care you need so full information is available if you see another doctor, or are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS there is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain.
Your information may also be used to help us:
•Assess the needs of the general population
•Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future
•Review the care we provide to ensure it is the highest standard
•Teach and train healthcare professionals
•Conduct health research and development
•Pay your GP, dentist and hospital for the care they provide
•Audit NHS accounts and services
•Prepare statistics on NHS performance
•Investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents
Some of this information will be held centrally, but where this is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organization with legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units and research institutions. Where it is not possible to use anonymous information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. These may include research and auditing services.
This will only be done with your consent, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
You may be receiving care from other organisations as well as the NHS (like Social Services). We may need to share some information about you so we can all work together for your benefit.
We only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under legal duty to keep it confidential
We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. Occasions when we must pass on information include:
•Notification of new births
•Where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
•Where a formal court order has been issued
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence
Suggestions & Complaints
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.
We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our practice manager will give you further information if you feel the need to pursue a complaint.
Leaflets are available which gives details of the procedure.
Practice Complaints Procedure
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service
Access to Health Records
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives every living person (or authorized representative) the right to apply for access to their health records. All requests must be made in writing to the GP and contain the patient signature and the Practice provides application forms for this purpose which can be obtained from reception.
A scale of fees applies to both viewing medical records and providing copies and this information will be provided with the application form.
Patients should note that separate guidance applies for requests to access the medical records of children and patients seeking this information are advised to discuss their request with the Practice Manager.
Copies of Doctors letters
It is Practice policy to offer Patients copies of any referral letters sent to specialists. If you would like a copy of your referral letter, please ask the Doctor at your consultation.
You will be treated with respect and as a partner in your care. Being a partner means you have responsibilities too.
Ensure our patients have 24-hour access to medical advice.
Aim for you to have access to a suitably qualified medical professional within 48 hours of your initial contact during surgery hours, or in an urgent case, the same day.
Work in partnership with you to achieve the best medical care possible.
Involve you and listen to your opinions and views in all aspects of your medical care.
The prevention of disease, illness and injury is a primary concern.
The medical staff will advise and inform you of the steps you can take to promote good health and a healthy lifestyle. We would respectfully ask that you:
• Let us know if you intend to cancel an appointment or are running late.
• Treat staff with courtesy and respect.
Reception staff may have to ask some personal questions to assist us in providing you with the best service
• Inform the practice staff of any alterations in your circumstances, such as change of surname, address or telephone number. Please ensure that we have your correct telephone number, even if it’s ex-directory.
As patients, you are responsible for your own health and that of any dependents. It is important that you adhere to information and advice given to you by health professionals, and co-operate with the practice in endeavouring to keep you healthy.
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 threatening physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify that patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in that patient medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.