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 that you have received from your practice or any of the staff working here, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often 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, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally, within a matter of days, or at most a few weeks, as this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. Complaints should be made:
- Within 12 months of the matter which caused the problem; or
- Within 12 months of becoming aware you have something to complain about.
You should contact or write to the Practice Manager, or your practitioner, if you wish to raise a concern or make a formal complaint. You may ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager or your practitioner to discuss your concerns. He/she will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It would be helpful if you could give us specific details of what you feel went wrong and what outcome you would like.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days, and offer to discuss your concerns and agree the way forward with you. We will investigate your complaint and aim to provide you with our findings within a time frame agreed with you.
When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong.
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would find this helpful.
- Make sure you receive an appropriate apology.
- Identify what we can learn from your complaint and what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again in order to improve our services.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
Complaining to PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
If you do not feel able to raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS Advisers will be able to help and advise you and/or arrange for a member of the complaints staff to contact you. The PALS team are based at West Yorkshire Commissioning Support Unit, Douglas Mill, Bowling Old Lane, Bradford, BD5 7JR and can be contacted on 0800 0525 270 or email WestYorksPALS@nhs.net.
Additionally, you may like to address your complaint to NHS England:
Complaints, NHS England, P.O. Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT, email England.firstname.lastname@example.org
Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)
If you do remain dissatisfied you can approach the PHSO with your complaint. This should be done within 12 months of the final outcome of the practice complaints procedure. You can contact the PHSO, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP or telephone 0345 015 4033.
Independent help and support
You may also like to contact ICAS, the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service who can offer you independent help and advice in making a complaint. The telephone number to contact is 0845 120 3734.
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.