Practice Charter

We aim to provide a high standard of personal medical care to all our patients at all times.

We could not achieve this without the participation and support of our practice nurses, reception and administrative staff.

This charter sets out the standards that we undertake to achieve and also ways in which you can help us to help you.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

  1. You can expect to be greeted in a friendly, helpful and professional manner.
  2. If you have an urgent problem you will be offered an appointment to see the Doctor the same day.
  3. For routine appointments we hope to be able to offer you an appointment with a doctor within 48 hours. If that is not possible, we will offer you an appointment with another doctor or healthcare professional.
  4. All home visit requests will be met the same day where medically necessary.
  5. Every effort is made to make surgeries run on time, but you will appreciate that some consultations take much longer than others and it is not possible to predict in advance which these will be. If the delay is more than 20 minutes, the receptionist will offer an explanation
  6. You can be assured of complete confidentiality by all the staff members dealing with your medical records.
  7. Referral letters to the hospital will be dispatched within 5 working days of your appointment.
  8. We will respect your need for dignity, privacy and your religious and cultural beliefs.
  9. If you are disabled or have special needs we will ensure our premises and services cater for you as far as possible.
  10. You have a right to see your medical records (subject to medico-legal limitations).
  11. You can expect a full and prompt reply to any complaint you make about our services

PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

We always try to provide the best service possible but there may be times when you feel this has not happened. If you have any complaint about the service that you have received from the Doctors or staff working for this practice, then you are entitled to ask for an explanation. We operate an informal, in-house complaints procedure. This procedure does not deal with matters of legal responsibility or compensation.

In some cases the in-house procedure is not an appropriate form of investigation, in which case you will be referred to the appropriate authority.

HOW TO COMPLAIN

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, preferably at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, please let us know as soon as possible as this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.

We have an in-house complaints procedure should you have any complaints. Please contact the practice manager for further details.

You don’t have to use it if you prefer to set out your complaint in your own way. We can help you to write down your complaint if you feel you need help to do so. Your complaint should be addressed to the Practice Manager who will ensure that it is investigated thoroughly as soon as possible. We aim to report back to you within two weeks although, in some cases, more time may be required.

This procedure does not affect your right to make a formal complaint to the Primary care Trust if you wish. Nor does it affect your right to seek compensation in law.

WHAT WE SHALL DO

We shall acknowledge your complaint and look in to it as soon as we can.

We shall aim to:

  1. Find out what happened and what went wrong.
  2. Make it possible for you to meet and discuss your complaint with those concerned, if you would like this. You may bring a friend or relative with you to help with this discussion.
  3. Make sure you receive an apology where this is appropriate.
  4. Identify what we can to make sure the problem does not happen again.

COMPLAINING ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE

We ensure strict adherence to the rule of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we will need to have their written permission for you to do so. Neither can we provide confidential information without the appropriate authority to do so.

VIOLENT OR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR

This practice supports the government’s Zero Tolerance Campaign towards physical or verbal abuse in line with other NHS practices. Our staff have the right to carry out their work without threat of violence or abuse.

Violent patients will be reported to the police and we will remove from our practice list any patient who is physically or verbally abusive or threatening towards any member of staff or other patients. We are committed to treating all our patients with respect; we ask only that our staff be treated with the same respect.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION

All patient-identifiable information will be kept in the strictest confidence and will not be given to unauthorized third parties.

All medical and administrative records are held on computer in accordance with the rules of the Data Protection Act. We hold no more information than is needed for medical care and this information is only used for that purpose.

Confidential medical information may be shared with authorized practice staff and other health agencies where this is necessary for your treatment or care. If we refer you for further care we may share some or all of this information. You are entitled to request to see copies of any letters we send out.

Patients have right of access to view their medical record. This should be requested in writing, stating the dates of records you wish to see and there may be an administration fee for this service.

DATA PROTECTION ACT

All consultations are recorded on the practice computer system. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals use the computer system to record clinical data. Practice staff use the computer system to prepare prescriptions, arrange appointments, recall patients, enter letters and results, update personal details and perform clinical audit.

The Practice is registered under the Data Protection Act.