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.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctor, nurses or any of the personnel working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaint 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 in writing to Sarah Bryant, Practice Manager. She will make sure that we deal with your concerns promptly and in the correct way. Please be as specific and concise as possible.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality (a separate leaflet giving more detail on confidentiality is available on request). 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. A Third Party Consent Form is provided below.
Third Party Consent Form
What we do
We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to have fully investigated within 14 working days of the date it was received. If we expect it to take longer we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to finish. When we look into your complaint, we will investigate the circumstances and make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned. We will ensure 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
Taking it further
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you may refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review how the complaint has been handled.
By post: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
By Telephone: 0345 015 4033
If you are not happy with the Ombudsman’s decision, then you can appeal directly to the PHSO, and details of this process can be found on their website;
Once the Ombudsman or one of their senior staff has considered the complaint and sent a response, their decision is final. Unless you raise any new issues that they consider significant to the complaint, they will not
Complaints to NHS England
If a complainant has concerns relating to a directly commissioned service by NHS England, then the first step is, where appropriate, for complaints and concerns to be resolved on the spot with their local service provider. This is called by NHS England ‘informal complaint resolution’ and is in line with the recommendations of the Complaints Regulations of 2009.
If it is not appropriate to raise a concern informally or where informal resolution fails to achieve a satisfactory outcome, the complainant has the right to raise a formal complaint with either the service provider or the commissioner of the service NHS England.
A complaint or concern can be received by mail, electronically or by telephone via these details;
By telephone: 0300 311 22 33
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
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.