Policies

Confidentiality

 

confidential_fileAll members of the primary health care team in the course of their duties have access to your medical records. They all adhere to the highest standards of maintaining confidentiality.

 

As our reception area is a little public, if you wish to discuss something of a confidential nature please mention it to one of the Receptionist who will make arrangements for you to have the necessary privacy.

 

Information sharing

 

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.

 

Access to medical records

 

Under the Access to medical records act 1990 patients are allowed to view their medical records. Copies of such records can also be requested, in writing, for which we make a charge. We hold patient information on computer and comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

To provide you with the care you need, we hold the details of your consultations, illnesses, tests, prescriptions and other treatments that have been recorded by everyone involved in your care and treatment e.g. Doctor, Health Visitor, and Practice Nurse.  This information may be stored on paper or electronically on computer files by practice staff.

We sometimes disclose some of your personal health information with other organisations involved in your care.  For example, when your Doctor refers you to a specialist at the hospital we will send relevant details about you in the referral letter and receive information about you from them.

Our practice also participates in regional and national programmes such as cervical cytology screening service and your name and address, date of birth and health number will be given to them in order to send an invitation to you.

We need to use some of your personal health information for administrative purposes.  In order to receive payment for services provided to you, we have to disclose basic details about you to the NHS Board responsible for this area and to the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service.  These organisations have a role in protecting public funds and are authorised to check that payments are being properly made.  We are required to co-operate with these checks and the disclosure of your data is a necessary part of our provision of healthcare services.

Sometimes, we may participate in studies that are designed to improve the way services are provided to you or to check that our performance meets required standards and benchmarks.  Whenever we take part in activities such as these, we will ensure that as far as possible, any details that may identify you are not disclosed.

We are sometimes involved in health research and the teaching of student nurses, doctors and other health professionals.  We will not use or disclose your personal health information for these purposes unless you have been informed beforehand and given your consent for us to do so.

Where you need a service jointly provided with a local authority, we will seek your permission before giving them your details.

Sometimes we are required by law to pass on information, e.g. the notification of births and deaths and certain diseases or crimes to the government is a legal requirement.

Our use of your personal health information is covered by a duty of confidentiality and is regulated by the Data Protection Act.  The Data Protection Act gives you a number of rights in relation to how your personal information is used, including a right to access the information we hold about you.

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and adheres to a Code of Practice on Protecting Patient confidentiality.  Further information on this can be found on the NHS Scotland Website.  Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.

 

Comments & Complaints

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we’re 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.

Simply contact the Practice Manager to arrange to speak to them about your complaint.

Further written information is available on the complaints procedure from reception.

We are continually striving to improve our service.

 

Patient Rights/Responsibilities

docstethYou will be treated with respect and as a partner in your care. Being a partner means you have responsibilities too. We will:

  • Ensure our patients have 24-hour access to medical advice.
  • Aim for you to have access to a suitably qualified medical professional within 48 hours of your initial contact during surgery hours, or in an urgent case, the same day.
  • Work in partnership with you to achieve the best medical care possible.
  • Involve you and listen to your opinions and views in all aspects of your medical care.
  • The prevention of disease, illness and injury is a primary concern. The medical staff will advise and inform you of the steps you can take to promote good health and a healthy lifestyle.

We would respectfully ask that you:

  • Let us know if you intend to cancel an appointment or are running late.
  • Treat staff with courtesy and respect.
  • Inform the practice staff of any alterations in your circumstances, such as change of surname, address or telephone number.
  • Please ensure that we have your correct telephone number, even if it’s ex-directory.

Zero tolerance policy

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

No abuse of staff is acceptable whether verbal or physical. All abuse will be reported to the Practice Manager who will keep a log of all incidents.

All physical abuse of any of our staff by our patients is reported to the police. The patient will then be removed immediately from our list.

If the Police are not informed, the health authority will inform the patients of the need to register with a new Doctor.

Removal of patients from our list

In exceptional circumstances, a breakdown may occur between the practice and the patient.

If the breakdown is of such a serious nature, e.g. serious physical or verbal abuse to any member of the team, or if the doctor feels that the doctor/patient relationship has been compromised, then steps may be taken to have the patient removed from the doctor’s list.

  • Where possible, conciliation will always be the preferred route. An initial warning outlining the unacceptable behaviour and giving notice of the consequnces of a repeat of such behaviour is normally given. If a patient is removed from the list thay are informed of the reason why and given advice on how to find another practice.