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.
Comments, complaints and suggestions are a good way for us to learn about how to improve our service. If you want to make a complaint, comment or suggestion about out service please wirte to: Mrs G Hawlins, Practice Manager.
We would ask that this facility is not used purely to contact the Surgery about a matter that could be dealt with more quickly by one of our reception team. Responses will be dealt with as quickly as possible. Please phone the Surgery if your problem is more pressing.
Your comments will be treated in confidence and will not put your care at risk. If you are unsure whether you want to make a complaint but you would still like to reslove an issue, you can call: Community Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
This service can help you with advice, information and support Tel: 08000 151 584. or you can email them on the link below, or access their website on the PALS Website.
Making a Complaint
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:
- Within 12 months of the incident,
- or within 12 months of you discovering that you have a problem.
State your case clearly giving as much detail as you can.
If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section in this leaflet.
We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing this covers all the necessary aspects.
Send your written complaint to:
Mrs G Hawlins
19b Church Road
Gloucester, GL2 0AJ
What we do next
We look to settle complaints as soon as possible.
We will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days, and aim to have looked into the matter within 10 working days. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.
When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so.
When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.
The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Complaining on behalf of somebody else
We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it.
Please ask at reception for the Complaints Form which contains a suitable
authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter.
Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply.
We may still need to correspond direct with the patient, or may be able to deal direct with the third party, and this depends on the wording of the authority
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome
You have the right to approach the Ombudsman. The contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Tel: 0345 0154033
You may also approach PALS for help or advice;
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is based at Gloucestershire PCT provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS
GUIDE and Community Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS)
The practice Complaints Manager is:
Mrs G Hawlins Practice Manager
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.