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.
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.
Making a Complaint
We aim to provide patients with the best care we can, but we will sometimes fall short of the mark. If you have any compliments, comments, concerns or complaints about our service, we want to hear about it. If you have a complaint to make, please don’t be afraid to say how you feel. We welcome feedback to help us improve our standards and you will not be treated any differently because you have complained. We will just do our best to put right anything that has gone wrong.
How to Complain
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be resolved this way and you wish to make a formal complaint you should address your complaint to the Complaints Manager preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and be as specific and concise as possible. And ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be within 12 months of the incident or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved you must have their permission to do so. A third party consent form will be required unless the patient is incapable (because of illness) to complete this.
What we do next
We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt and will investigate the issues raised and respond. If we expect a delay we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to finish. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue.
When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so. When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you. Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. Social Services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with. The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome you may refer the matter to:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
Telephone: 0345 0154033
Who else can I complain to?
NHS Commissioning Board, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Telephone: 0300 311 2233
The Independent Complaint Advocacy Service (ICAS)
This is a national service that supports people who wish to make a complaint about their NHS care or treatment. It is a free and confidential service that is independent of the NHS and tailored to individual client need.
1st Floor rear, Clarendon House, 9-11 Church Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7QG
Telephone: 0845 6008616 (local rate) or 01256 463758
NHS Complaints Advocacy Service POhWER
Telephone: 0300 456 2370
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.