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Practice Policies

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We are constantly seeking to improve our medical services. Should you have any suggestions (or complaints), please contact the Practice Manager or one of the doctors.

Complaints Procedure

Should you have any reason to make a complaint against the practice or any member of the staff including doctors, whether it be an administrative or a clinical issue, this can be done verbally or put in writing and addressed to the Practice Manager. On receipt of any complaint the NHS procedures will be activated and completely adhered to. 

Overview of NHS complaints procedures – more information available at www.nhs.uk   

In many cases, it may be possible to rectify your complaint by talking to a health professional who is directly involved in your treatment, such as a specialist doctor, nurse, or your GP. 

They may be able to resolve your complaint quickly using the most appropriate means - for example, a conciliatory discussion between the affected parties. 

If you feel uncomfortable directly contacting the NHS staff involved in your treatment, you may wish to contact your local Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS). 

PALS is a confidential service that is designed to help patients get the most out of the NHS. Although PALS is not part of the formal NHS complaints procedure, they may be able to resolve your complaint informally. 

Local resolution 
If the above fails to resolve your complaint, and you want to take it further, you should contact either the primary care practitioner providing the service (such as your GP, or consultant) or the NHS organisation concerned. This is known as a local resolution. 

If you are making a complaint orally, a written record of the complaint should be taken by a member of staff and you should receive a copy of that record. If you are sending a written complaint, you should keep a copy of your original letter, and any other subsequent correspondence. These may be needed if you decide to appeal against a decision regarding your complaint. 

You should receive a response from the primary care practitioner within 10 working days, or from the chief executive of the NHS organisation involved within 25 working days, although this deadline can be extended with your permission. 

Independent Complaints and Advocacy Services (ICAS) 
The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is a free and independent service that can help you make a complaint about a National Health Service (NHS).

The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is:

      • Free
      • Independent
      • Confidential

Their website can help you to understand the NHS Complaints process and make a complaint about your issues. 
If you do not feel comfortable making a complaint by yourself, or you need support at any point during the complaints process, we can give you that support. 
http://nhscomplaintsadvocacy.org

Contact details:- 
Helpline: 0300 330 5454 
Textphone: 0786 002 2939 
Fax: 0330 088 3762

Independent review 
If you are unhappy with the response that you have received to your complaint, you can ask the Healthcare Commission to look at it again. This is known as an independent review. 

The Healthcare Commission is an independent body that has been created to promote healthcare improvements. It is also responsible for reviewing formal complaints about the NHS in England and Wales which have not been resolved by the NHS organisation concerned. 

You must ask the Healthcare Commission to review your complaint within six months of receiving a final formal written response. 

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman 
If you are still unhappy from the response you receive from the Healthcare Commission, you can ask for your case to be reviewed by the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman. 

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is independent of both the NHS and the government and provides a free service. 

The ombudsman will only consider a case if you have exhausted all the other options available to you, such as contacting the NHS organisation concerned, or the Healthcare Commission.

Data Protection Notice

The Data Protection Act 1998 is designed to ensure that information kept on computer, and that which is manually prepared, relating to an individual is obtained fairly, kept up to date and stored securely. All general practices must be registered under the Act. Registrations usually last 3 years before renewal is necessary. 

This practice has been registered under the Data Protection Act since June 1989 

The obligations for the practice with regard to personal data are as follows: 

  • obtain and process it fairly and lawfully 
  • hold it only for the purposes specified in our Register entry 
  • use it only for the purposes and disclose it only to the people listed in our Register entry 
  • hold only data which is adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which it is held 
  • ensure personal data is adequate and where necessary, kept up to date 
  • hold it for no longer than is necessary 
  • allow individuals access to information held about them 
  • take security measures to prevent unauthorised or accidental access to, alteration, disclosure or loss and destruction of information.

It is permitted for this practice to hold personal data for 3 purposes. 

Research and Statistical Analysis: this includes data for health survey purposes, distribution of questionnaires, face to face or telephone interviews carried out by members of the Primary Health Care Team, etc. 
Provision of Healthcare: this includes administration of patient records, provision of general medical services and treatment, diagnosis, therapy, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns. 
Healthcare Administration: this includes the organisation of healthcare services; identification of patients, scheduling of patients, provision of health education information, etc.

Important Information about your clinical records and the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES)

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, there are important changes which will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to collect and share confidential information from medical records.

One of the first changes is the launch of the care.data service. The aim of this service is to make better use of the valuable information in medical records to improve the quality of patient care.

Information about you and the care you receive will be shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.

The NHS will use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. Information will be linked from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to provide a full picture. This will allow comparisons in care received in one area against the care received in another, to see what has worked best.

Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure the best care possible is provided for everyone.

How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.

You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside of the GP practice, please put this request to us in writing. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health emergency).

Alternatively you can Opt Out via our secure online form HERE

You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care, such as hospitals and community services. You should let your GP know if you want to restrict the use of this information.

Your choice will not affect the care you receive.

For more information visit http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/care-data/   

and

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/care-data.aspx

Aggressive, Abusive or Violent Patients

Our staff will do all that they can do to help you but at busy times you may incur a wait, so we would ask you to be patient. 

We will not tolerate aggressive, abusive or violent behaviour towards any member of our staff and operate a zero tolerance approach to violent or aggressive incidents. If you indulge in such behaviour, the incident will be reviewed and if we feel it appropriate, you will be removed from our medical list in accordance with NHS guidelines. 

The Practice considers aggressive behaviour to be any personal, abusive and aggressive comments, cursing and/or swearing, physical contact and aggressive gestures. 

Any incident of verbal abuse whether in person or on the telephone will be reported to the Manager who will keep a log of all incidents. A formal letter will be sent to you (a copy of which will be kept with your medical record) and any response to our letter will be recorded. 

If your name appears in the log book on three occasions you will be immediately be removed from our medical list and the Primary Care Trust will be advised of our action and the reasons for it. 

Physical abuse will be reported immediately to the Police and you will immediately be removed from our list. The Police will then take whatever action they feel appropriate. Please remember that assaults against NHS staff are regarded as a serious matter, worthy of prosecution. (Should any member of staff be put in fear of violence, they are under instruction to call the Police). 

If you are from another Practice, then details of the incident will be reported back to your own Practice and a request for action will be made. Should it warrant it, the incident will be reported to the Police. 

As we said earlier we are all here to help you so please treat us in the manner in which you would wish to be treated yourself.



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