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.
Email communications with the Surgery
Introduction. Electronic communications can be a very effective form of communication for patients. However, there are safeguards that must be in put in place if information is being sent electronically, especially where patient identifiable or sensitive information is being communicated.
The practice’s policy regarding email communications is as follows: Emails Generated By the Practice Generic If you have agreed to share your personal email address with the practice, we may send out generic emails from time to time. These emails will not contain any specific clinical information about you. For example, we may send out practice newsletters, information about flu campaigns, details of practice opening times or events that the practice is running. If you do not wish to receive these emails, please notify the Practice (include details of how e.g. email address)
Specific These are emails that contain information about the person to whom the email is addressed; for example: • Invitations to clinics, • Appointment scheduling, • Diagnostic test results, • Referral letters, • Medical records, • Recall letters.
In order for us to send you personal emails, we need your written consent. You can withdraw your consent at any time by notifying the practice. It is our policy not to send specific emails to any patient under 18 years old. All specific emails will be included as part of the medical record.
Emails Generated by Patients It is the practice’s policy not to accept emails from patients regarding clinical matters. We do not believe that is appropriate to discuss more complex matters (such as queries regarding medical symptoms, treatments etc.) over email as we may not be in a position to respond quickly and we do not feel it is clinical best practice.
Should a patient have a general, non-clinical query, it should be sent to practice email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the matter is urgent, the Practice should be contacted directly as we cannot guarantee as emails will be monitored daily.
To access the Email Service When the patient decides to contact us via practice email address, we will take this as an agreement and consent from the patient to use practice email service according to this policy. • Details of the patient’s personal email address (we do not accept work email addresses). • One email address per patient.
Patient Responsibilities • Patients must inform the Practice of a change in email address immediately. • Emails received from the Practice must not be forwarded on to another person. • Patients are responsible to checking their email accounts regularly to ensure any information from the Practice is not missed. • All attachments will be in Word or pdf format. • If the Practice receives emails that are inappropriate (such as continual requests for an urgent response, excessive numbers of emails, abusive or vexatious emails), then the Practice reserves the right to block the patient’s email address and revert to contacting the patient by telephone or letter only.
Email Security Emails are sent over the Internet and are not secure. All patient identifiable data will be removed from any attachments and replaced with the unique identifier. All emails sent or received by the Practice are subject to monitoring.
Sometimes things go wrong. Most complaints can be resolved informally by raising the issues with the relevant clinician or member of the administrative team. If you’re still not happy with the care or treatment you’ve received, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply.
In the first instance you should put your complaint in writing to Dr Turner, Senior Partner, Leybourne Surgery, I, Leybourne Ave, Bournemouth BH10 6ES. Your complaint should normally be made within 12 months of the event that you are complaining about. You will receive an acknowledgement of your letter within 3 working days and a full response within 10 working days. If you wish, a meeting can be arranged at the surgery to discuss your complaint.
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 such consent.
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our complaints
procedure. We believe that 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.
As an alternative to complaining to the Surgery, if you wish, you can choose to complain to any of the following organisations:-
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
by post: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
by email: email@example.com
NHS Commissioning Board - NHS England
by post: NHS England PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
by email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
via their website: www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk
The Care Quality Commission
by phone: 03000 616161
via their website: www.cc.org.uk
You can contact the CQC if you are unhappy with a service even when you don’t want to make a complaint.
for help in making a complaint:-
Dorset Advocacy / The Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service
by telephone: 0300 343 7000 or 01305 251033
by email: email@example.com
via their website: www.dorsetadvocacy.co.uk
Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Resource
by telephone: 0845 3891762
IMCA’s 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. IMCA’s 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. In Dorset this service is provided by Dorset Advocacy.
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.