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Practice Policies

Confidentiality & Medical Records

Locked blue folderThe 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 2018 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Please complete the Access to Medical Records request form and bring it to reception.  If you wish to grant permission to another person to access your medical records, you will need to provide your consent.  Please click on the link to download the appropriate form.  Click here for a patient information leaflet.

Complaints and Compliments

We value patient feedback, both good and bad, as a resource to help us to improve the services we offer our patients.

Compliments

If you wish to rate us publicly, please follow the link to NHS website

Complaints

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the personnel working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of an NHS complaints system, which meets or exceeds national criteria.

HOW TO COMPLAIN

We hope that we can sort most problems out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If you wish to make a formal complaint, please do so AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – ideally within a matter of a few days. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If doing that is not possible your complaint should be submitted within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem. You should address your complaint either verbally or in writing to the Practice Manager (click here to download the complaints leaflet). She will make sure that we deal with your concerns promptly and in the correct way. You should be as specific and concise as possible.

COMPLAINING ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE

We keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality.  If you are not the patient, but are complaining on their behalf, you must have their permission to do so. An authority signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness or infirmity) of providing this.

WHAT WE WILL DO

We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days. When we look into your complaint, we will investigate the circumstances; make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned; make sure you receive an apology if this is appropriate, and take steps to make sure any problem does not arise again.

You will receive a final letter setting out the result of any practice investigations and you may wish to meet with the appropriate staff to talk through the outcome. This can be arranged.

IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED

We hope that if you have a problem with the service you have received, that you will use the Practice Complaints Procedure.

However, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us, or you wish to take the matter further, you can contact the following official body:

NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

england.contactus@nhs.net – FAO The Complaints Manager

0300 311 22 33 – Mon to Fri 8am to 6pm

For further help and advice about NHS complaints please click here for Dorset Advocacy.

If you prefer, you can choose to complain to any of the following organisations rather than to the practice:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

By post: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

By email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk

By telephone: 0345 015 4033

Healthwatch

In person: at any Citizens Advice Bureau in Dorset, Poole or Bournemouth.
By telephone: 0300 111 0102

By post: Healthwatch Dorset, Freepost BH1902, 896 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6BR

By email via the webite: www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk

The Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service

By telephone: 0300 343 7000

Via their website: www.dorsetadvocacy.co.uk

A free confidential service that advises and supports people who are complaining about the NHS. The service is independent of the NHS and is currently provided in Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth by Dorset Advocacy.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Resource

By telephone: 0845 3891762

IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions: including making decisions about where they live and about serious medical treatment options. IMCAs are mainly instructed to represent people where there is no one independent of services, such as a family member or friend, who is able to represent the person.

The Care Quality Commission

By phone: 03000 616161

Via their website: www.cqc.org.uk

You can contact the CQC if you are unhappy with a service even when you don’t want to make a complaint.

Chaperone Policy

This policy is designed to protect both patients and staff from abuse or allegations of abuse and to assist patients to make an informed choice about their examinations and consultations. A chaperone is an “impartial observer”, and as a patient, you can request a chaperone for any clinical examination, but it will normally be offered for intimate examinations. 

WHO CAN ACT AS A CHAPERONE?

A variety of people can act as a chaperone in the practice. Where possible, it is strongly recommended that chaperones should be clinical staff. Where suitable clinical staff members are not available the examination should be deferred.

Where the doctor/nurse determines that non-clinical staff will act in this capacity, this will only be if you agree to the presence of a non-clinician in the examination, and be at ease with this.

The staff member should be trained in the procedural aspects of personal examinations, comfortable in acting in the role of chaperone, and be confident in the scope and extent of their role.

CONFIDENTIALITY 

  • The chaperone should only be present for the examination itself, and most discussion with you should take place while the chaperone is not present.
  • You should be reassured that all practice staff understand their responsibility not to divulge confidential information.

PROCEDURE

Before conducting an intimate examination, the doctor or nurse should:

  • explain to you why an examination is necessary and give you an opportunity to ask questions
  • explain what the examination will involve, in a way you can understand, so that you have a clear idea of what to expect, including any pain or discomfort
  • get your permission before the examination and record that you have given it
  • offer you a chaperone
  • if dealing with a child or young person:-
    the doctor or nurse will assess their capacity to consent to the examination
    if they lack the capacity to consent, the doctor or nurse will seek their parent’s consent
     
  • The doctor/nurse will contact a member of the nursing staff to request a chaperone
  • The doctor/nurse will record in the notes that the chaperone is present, and identify the chaperone
  • Where no chaperone is available the examination will not take place –you should not normally be permitted to dispense with the chaperone once a desire to have one present has been expressed.
  • The doctor/nurse will always ensure that the you are provided with adequate privacy to undress and dress.

During the examination:

The doctor/nursewill

  • explain what they are going to do before they do it and, if this differs from what you been told before, they will explain why and seek your permission
  • stop the examination if you asks them to
  • keep discussion relevant and not make unnecessary personal comments.
  • The chaperone will enter the room discreetly and remain in room until the doctor/nurse has finished the examination.
  • The chaperone will normally attend inside the curtain at the head of the examination couch and watch the procedure if practical. They should be introduced by name.
  • To prevent embarrassment, the chaperone should not enter into conversation with you or the doctor/nurse unless requested to do so, or make any mention of the consultation afterwards.
  •  If you do not want a chaperone, this will be recorded in your notes that the offer was made and declined.
  • The chaperone must be prepared to raise concerns if they are concerned about the doctor’s behaviour or actions.

Violence 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.



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