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Practice Policies

Practice Charter

We aim to provide the best possible service to our patients and hope you will feel that we achieve that aim.

The care of your health is a partnership between yourself and the Primary Health Care Team. The success of that partnership depends on an understanding of each others' needs and co-operation between us.

Our Responsibility to You

  • You will be greeted courteously
  • You have a right to confidentiality. We will not disclose any information without your written consent. You have the right to see you medical records subject to the limitations of the law
  • You will be seen the same day if your problem is urgent
  • You will be seen by your own doctor whenever possible
  • You will be informed if there will be a delay of more than 20 minutes for your appointment
  • You will be referred to a consultant when a GP thinks it necessary
  • You will be given the result of any test or investigation on request or at your next appointment
  • Your repeat prescription will be ready for collection within 48 hours of your request
  • Your suggestions and comments about the services offered will be considered sympathetically and any complaint dealt with quickly. Should we be unable to resolve the problem we will advise you on other agencies to assist you further.

Your Responsibility to Us

  • Please treat all surgery staff with the same respect - we are all just doing our job. Violent or abusive behvaviour may result in removal from our list
  • Do not ask for information about anyone other than yourself
  • Tell us of any changes of name or address, so that our records are accurate
  • Only request an urgent appointment if appropriate. Home visits should only be requested if you are really too ill to attend surgery, and night visits should be for emergencies only - the doctor on call will be at work as usual the next day
  • Please cancel your appointments if you are unable to attend
  • Please be punctual but be prepared to wait if your own consultation is delayed by an unexpected emergency
  • Please allow sufficient time for your consulation's letter or the results of any tests to reach us. You will be advised of the usual length of time to wait
  • Use the tear-off slip to request your repeat prescription whenever possible. Please attend for review when asked, before your next prescription is due.
  • Do let us know whenever you feel we have not met our responsibilities to you
  • We would, of course, be please to hear when you feel praise is due as well


Confidentiality

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

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

FOI replaced the Open Government Code of Practice, which has been in operation since 1994.

Data Protection and FOI – how do the two interact?

The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It provides living individuals with a right of access to personal information held about them. The right applies to all information held in computerised form and also to non-computerised information held in filing systems structured so that specific information about particular individuals can be retrieved readily.

Individuals already have the right to access information about themselves (personal data), which is held on computer and in some paper files under the Data Protection Act 1998.

The right also applies to those archives that meet these criteria. However, the right is subject to exemptions, which will affect whether information is provided. Requests will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

The Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act are the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor’s Department. A few of its strategic objectives being:

  • To improve people’s knowledge and understanding of their rights and responsibilities
  • Seeking to encourage an increase in openness in the public sector
  • Monitoring the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information
  • Developing a data protection policy which properly balances personal information privacy with the need for public and private organisations to process personal information

The Data Protection Act does not give third parties rights of access to personal information for research purposes.

The FOI Act does not give individuals access to their personal information, though if a request is made, the Data Protection Act gives the individual this right. If the individual chooses to make this information public it could be used alongside non-personal information gained by the public under the terms of the FOI Act.


Chaperone Policy

Crewkerne Health Centre is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel this is required.

Wherever possible please request a chaperone at the time of booking an appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way.  Where this is not possible, we will do our best to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request.  However, if we are unable to do so, it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy.

If you would like to see a copy of our Chaperone Policy or have any questions or comments regarding this, please contact the Practice Manager or one of the Practice Nurses. 



 
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