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.
PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria Miss Fiona Pickering (Practice Manager) is the complaints manager. She will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.
How to complain
Our aim at The Harvey Practice is to provide you with a high standard of medical treatment and care. We are keen to learn of any instances where you may feel we have fallen short of our aim. 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 – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details or your complaint within 12 months of an incident happening or of becoming aware of the matter complained about.
The 12 month time limit does not apply if the practice is satisfied that there were good reasons for not making the complaint within that time limit or that despite the delay, it is still possible to investigate matters fairly and effectively.
Complaints made orally and resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction not later than the next working day are not included in these complaints procedures. Written complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, the written consent of the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days either orally or in writing, and offer to discuss the matter with you. If you do not wish to accept the offer of a discussion, we will decide how to handle the complaint, based on the available information. We will aim to have looked into your complaint within 14 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. 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 like this
- make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again
- advise you of your right to take your complaint to an alternative body (see below)
We will provide a written response as soon as reasonably practicable after completing the investigation.
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. If you remain dissatisfied with the response to the complaint you have the right to complain to an alternative body. (see below.)
If you wish, you can choose to complain to any of the following organisations rather than to the practice:
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
By post: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By telephone: 0345 015 4033
NHS Commissioning Board- NHS England
By post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
By email: email@example.com with ‘For the attention of the complaints manager’ in the subject line.
By telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding English Bank Holidays) They will take a note of your complaint and arrange for it to be passed to the complaints manager.
In person: at any Citizens Advice Bureau in Dorset, Poole or Bournemouth. By telephone: 0300 111 0102
By post: Healthwatch Dorset, Freepost BH1902, 896 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6BR
By email via the webite: www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk
The Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service
By telephone: 0300 343 7000
Via their website: www.dorsetadvocacy.co.uk
A free confidential service that advises and supports people who are complaining about the NHS. The service is independent of the NHS and is currently provided in Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth by Dorset Advocacy.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Resource
By telephone: 0845 3891762
IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions: including making decisions about where they live and about serious medical treatment options. IMCAs are mainly instructed to represent people where there is no one independent of services, such as a family member or friend, who is able to represent the person.
The Care Quality Commission
By phone: 03000 616161
Via their website: www.cqc.org.uk
You can contact the CQC if you are unhappy with a service even when you don’t want to make a complaint.
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.