Computers & Confidentiality
In each consulting room there is a computer and a printer. Any information held on the computer is confidential between yourself and the Practice. It is designed to improve the running of the practice, to help patient care and it also provides fast retrieval of important details. The Practice is registered under the Data Protection Act of 1984. All of the Practice team are strictly bound by the rules of confidentiality and privacy. This means that we are unable to give out any information about a patient without his/her consent. Please respect this code when enquiring about relatives.
You have the right to view your medical records or have a copy of them, and we would be happy to arrange this if you apply in writing to the practice manager. Ask about the current fee for this service. Please look at the Access to Records page for more details. Certain anonomised data is used for clinical audit. Members of the Primary Care Trust (PCT) may occasionally wish to inspect your records to check the quality of our services. They are NHS workers and bound by the same rules of confidentiality.
We are working with the NHS in “Connecting for Health”. This is a huge IT project and the ultimate aim is for all your records from hospitals and GP practices to be held on one central computer data base. The advantages of this include the immediate availability of your records for a doctor in casualty, for instance, should you be taken ill away from home or in a hospital. More information will come available and we will display notices and posters on each step of this exciting development.
We also take part in the Choose and Book NHS initiative. This is in its early stages and there are some teething problems, but it means you now have the choice of more than just your local hospital to go to, should you require a referral to the hospital, and you and your doctor can compare some details like waiting lists, cancelled operations, MRSA infection, hospital cleanliness and more. Once you have chosen and been referred by your GP you ring up the telephone number supplied to you and you can then discuss where and when you want to be seen within the appointments offered. The reception staff can help anyone who is unable to do this for themselves or have no friend or relative to help them.
Our Bailrigg premises have just installed a new computerised check in service which our patients have found to be quick and simple to use. This means the receptionists are free to deal with enquiries and booking next appointments.
Patients Rights & Responsibilities
You will be treated with respect and as a partner in your care. Being a partner means you have responsibilities too.
- 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. Reception staff may have to ask some personal questions to assist us in providing you with the best service.
- 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.
As patients, you are responsible for your own health and that of any dependents. It is important that you adhere to information and advice given to you by health professionals, and co-operate with the practice in endeavouring to keep you healthy.
Your medical records are used to help to provide you with the best possible care. They are legal documents owned by the department of health and once an entry has been made it cannot be removed. If you do not want certain information recorded in your records let your doctor know before it has been entered. Like all health professionals we endeavour to ensure that your records are safe with us.
The Practice staff and everyone else working for the National Health Service (NHS) have a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. In some instances, you may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS and we may need to share some information about you with them, so that we can all work together for your benefit. Anyone who receives confidential information about you from us is also under a legal duty of confidence.
In normal circumstances we will not disclose your information to third parties without your authority. We will only give your relatives, friends or your employer/college information about you if you want us to and if we have your express permission to do so.
In certain circumstances we are required by law to report information to the appropriate authorities when the health or safety of others is at risk, for the notification of new births, where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others (e.g. meningitis or measles, but not HIV/AIDS) or where a formal court order has been issued. This information is only provided after formal authority has been given by a qualified health professional
Your records are used to guide and administer the treatment you receive and to ensure that your doctor or the nurse has accurate and up to date information to assess your health and decide what you need.
They ensure that full information is available should you see another doctor, or be referred to a specialist in another part of the NHS. They ensure that there is a good basis for looking back and checking on the type and quality of care that you have received. They also ensure that your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain about the service or your treatment. Whilst always preserving your confidentiality, your records can also help us to help you by assisting with the teaching and training of health care professionals (you can choose whether or not to be involved personally) and by assisting with health research.
Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses and therapists, collect information about you. This leaflet explains why information is collected and the ways in which this information may be used.
Your health information
Everyone should be able to see the information that is kept in their medical records. If you want to see them, you should make a written request to the Practice Manager. We are obliged to let you see the information and also to explain any part of the record that you do not understand.
You are also entitled to receive a copy of the information you have seen but a small charge may be made for the administration and time involved. Should your doctor decide that seeing your records might put your health at risk, you may only be shown part of your records or your request may be declined.
More details about your rights of access to information held can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website.
Suggestions & Complaints
We are keen to improve our services and welcome your views, both good and bad! Comments and suggestions can be made in writing, by phone or in person, to the Practice Managers or Practice Director. You may occasionally be asked to complete a patient survey questionnaire. These are used to help us improve our services, and your contribution would be greatly appreciated.
We endeavour to give you the best service possible at all times, if however, you feel this has not been the case and have a complaint or concern, please let us know. We operate a Practice procedure as part of an NHS system dealing with complaints.
What you should do
We hope that most problems can be sorted our easily and quickly, often at the time they arise with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out this way and you wish to make a complaint we would like you to let us know as soon as possible, ideally within a matter of days. Please address your letters to our Practice Manager, Mrs. Lesley Cassar.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strict rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable.
The time limit for making a complaint will normally be within six months of the event giving rise to it. If the complainant was not aware that there was cause for complaint then the complaint can be made six months of becoming aware of cause for complaint