Our staff are committed to providing quality healthcare for the benefit of all of our patients.
View our policies to see how this is achieved.
The Surgery prides itself in maintaining professional standards. For certain examinations during consultations an impartial observer (a “Chaperone”) will be required.
This impartial observer will be a practice Nurse, Health Care Assistant or a member of our reception team who is familiar with the procedure and be available to reassure and raise any concerns on your behalf. If a nurse in unavailable at the time of your consultation then your examination may be re-scheduled for another time.
You are free to decline any examination or chose an alternative examiner or chaperone. You may also request a chaperone for any examination or consultation if one is not offered to you. The GP may not undertake an examination if a chaperone is declined.
The role of a Chaperone:
• Maintains professional boundaries during intimate examinations.
• Acknowledges a patient’s vulnerability.
• Provides emotional comfort and reassurance.
• Assists in the examination.
• Assists with undressing patients, if required.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that all patients (or their representatives) who have the cause to complain about their care or treatment can have freely available access to the process and can expect a truthful, full and complete response and an apology where appropriate. Complainants have the right not to be discriminated against as the result of making a complaint and to have the outcome fully explained to them. The process adopted in the practice is fully compliant with the relevant NHS Regulations (2009) and guidance available from defence organisations, doctors` representative bodies and the Care Quality Commission. Everyone in the practice is expected to be aware of the process and to remember that everything they do and say may present a poor impression of the practice and may prompt a complaint or even legal action.
The general principle of the practice in respect of all complaints will be to regard it first and foremost as a learning process, however in appropriate cases and after full and proper investigation the issue may form the basis of a separate disciplinary action. In the case of any complaint with implications for professional negligence or legal action, the appropriate defence organisation must be informed immediately.
Availability of information
The practice website and any other public material (Practice Leaflet etc.) will provide this information and also signpost the complainant to the help available through the NHS Complaints Advisory Service.
Who can a formal complaint be made to?
Formal complaints can be made to either the practice or NHS England.
In the event of anyone not wishing to complain to the practice they should be directed to make their complaint to NHSE at:
By telephone: 03003 11 22 33
By email: [email protected]
By post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
In those cases where the complaint is made to NHS England, the practice will comply with all appropriate requests for information and co-operate fully in assisting them to investigate and respond to the complaint.
Who can make a complaint?
A complaint can be made by or, with consent, on behalf of a patient (i.e. as a representative); a former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice; or someone who may be affected by any decision, act or omission of the practice.
A Representative may also be
- by either parent or, in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult who has care of the child; by a person duly authorised by a local authority to whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989; or by a person duly authorised by a voluntary organisation by which the child is being accommodated
- someone acting on behalf of a patient/ former patient who lacks capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (i.e. who has Power of Attorney etc.) or physical capacity to make a complaint and they are acting in the interests of their welfare
- someone acting for the relatives of a deceased patient/former patient
In all cases where a representative makes a complaint in the absence of patient consent, the practice will consider whether they are acting in the best interests of the patient and, in the case of a child, whether there are reasonable grounds for the child not making the complaint on their own behalf. In the event a complaint from a representative is not accepted, the grounds upon which this decision was based must be advised to them in writing.
Who is responsible at the practice for dealing with complaints?
The practice “Responsible Person” is the partner currently responsible for complaints. They are charged with ensuring complaints are handled in accordance with the regulations, that lessons learned are fully implemented, and that no Complainant is discriminated against for making a complaint.
The practice “Complaints Manager” is the Practice Manager and they have been delegated responsibility for managing complaints and ensuring adequate investigations are carried out.
Time limits for making complaints
The period for making a complaint is normally:
(a) 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint occurred; or
(b) 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant’s notice.
The practice has discretion to extend these limits if there is good reason to do so and it is still possible to carry out a proper investigation. The collection or recollection of evidence, clinical guidelines or other resources relating to the time when the complaint event arose may also be difficult to establish or obtain. These factors may be considered as suitable reasons for declining a time limit extension, however that decision should be able to stand up to scrutiny.
Action upon receipt of a complaint
- A) Verbal Complaints: It is always better to try and deal with the complaint at the earliest opportunity and often it can be concluded at that point. A simple explanation and apology by staff at the time may be all that is required.
A verbal complaint need not be responded to in writing for the purposes of the Regulations if it is dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant by the end of the next working day, neither does it need to be included in the annual Complaints Return. The practice will however record them for the purposes of monitoring trends or for Clinical Governance and that record will be kept and monitored by the Practice Manager. Verbal complaints not formally recorded will be discussed when trends or issues need to be addressed and at least annually, with minutes of those discussions kept.
If resolution is not possible, the Complaints Manager will set down the details of the verbal complaint in writing and provide a copy to the complainant within three working days. This ensures that each side is well aware of the issues for resolution. The process followed will be the same as for written complaints.
- B) Written Complaints: On receipt, an acknowledgement will be sent within three working days which offers the opportunity for a discussion (face-to-face or by telephone) on the matter. This is the opportunity to gain an indication of the outcome the complainant expects and also for the details of the complaint to be clarified. In the event that this is not practical or appropriate, the initial response should give some indication of the anticipated timescale for investigations to be concluded and an indication of when the outcome can be expected.
It may be that other bodies (e.g. secondary care/ Community Services) will need to be contacted to provide evidence. If that is the case, then a patient consent form will need to be obtained at the start of the process and a pro-forma consent form included with the initial acknowledgement for return.
If it is not possible to conclude any investigations within the advised timescale, then the complainant must be updated with progress and revised time scales on a regular basis. In most cases these should be completed within six months unless all parties agree to an extension.
The practice will ensure that the complaint is investigated in a manner that is appropriate to resolve it speedily and effectively and proportionate to the degree of seriousness that is involved.
The investigations will be recorded in a complaints file created specifically for each incident and where appropriate should include evidence collected as individual explanations or accounts taken in writing.
The practice will keep a timeline of all events relating to the complaint and a log of actions/conversations regarding the complaint.
The practice will contact the complainant after 28 days and thereafter every 2 weeks to update them as to the progress of the complaint investigation and response.
This will be provided to the complainant in writing (or email by mutual consent) and the letter will be signed by the Responsible Person or Complaints manager under delegated authority. The letter will be on headed notepaper and include:
- An apology if appropriate (The Compensation Act 2006, Section 2 expressly allows an apology to be made without any admission of negligence or breach of a statutory duty)
- A clear statement of the issues, details of the investigations and the findings, and clear evidence-based reasons for decisions if appropriate
- Where errors have occurred, explain these fully and state what has been or will be done to put these right or prevent repetition. Clinical matters must be explained in accessible language
- A clear statement that the response is the final one and the practice is satisfied it has done all it can to resolve the matter at local level
- A statement of the right, if they are not satisfied with the response, to refer the complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP or visit the ‘Making a complaint page‘ at http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint (to complain online or download a paper form). Alternatively the complainant may call the PHSO Customer Helpline on 0345 015 4033 from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday or send a text to their ‘call back’ service: 07624 813 005
The final letter should not include:
- Any discussion or offer of compensation without the express involvement and agreement of the relevant defence organisation(s)
- Detailed or complex discussions of medical issues with the patient’s representative unless the patient has given informed consent for this to be done where appropriate.
Annual Review of Complaints
The practice will produce an annual complaints report to be sent to the local Commissioning Body (NHSE) and will form part of the Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme.
The report will include:
- Statistics on the number of complaints received
- The number considered to have been upheld
- Known referrals to the Ombudsman
- A summary of the issues giving rise to the complaints
- Learning points that came out of the complaints and the changes to procedure, policies or care which have resulted
Care must be taken to ensure that the report does not inadvertently disclose any confidential data or lead to the identity of any person becoming known.
All complaints must be treated in the strictest confidence and the practice must ensure that the patient etc. is made aware of any confidential information to be disclosed to a third party (e.g. NHSE).
The practice must keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records must be kept separate from patients’ medical records and no reference which might disclose the fact a complaint has been made should be included on the computerised clinical record system.
Unreasonable or Vexatious Complaints
Where a complainant becomes unreasonable or excessively rude or aggressive in their promotion of the complaint, some or all of the following formal provisions will apply and must be communicated to the patient by the Responsible Person in writing:
- The complaint will be managed by one named individual at senior level who will be the only contact for the patient
- Contact will be limited to one method only (e.g. in writing)
- Place a time limit on each contact
- The number of contacts in a time period will be restricted
- A witness will be present for all contacts
- Repeated complaints about the same issue will be refused unless additional material is being brought forward
- Only acknowledge correspondence regarding a closed matter, not respond to it
- Set behaviour standards
- Return irrelevant documentation
- Detailed records will be kept of each encounter
Complaints involving Locums
It is important that all complaints made to the practice regarding or involving a locum (Doctor, Nurse or any other temporary staff) are dealt with by the practice and not passed off to a Locum Agency or the individual locum to investigate and respond. The responsibility for handling and investigating all complaints rests with the Practice.
Locum staff should however be involved at an early stage and be advised of the complaint in order that they can provide any explanations, preferably in writing. It would not be usually appropriate for any opinions to be expressed by the Practice on Locum staff. Providing their factual account along with any factual account from the practice is the best way to proceed.
The practice will ensure that on engaging any Locum, the Locum Agreement will include an assurance that they will participate in any complaint investigation where they are involved or can provide any material evidence. The practice will ensure that there is no discrepancy in the way it investigates or handles complaints between any Locum staff and either practice Partners, salaried staff, students or trainees or any other employees.
The collection of data about informal complaints – often referred to as “grumbles” – is a good tool for identifying trends for low-level dissatisfaction with services or the way they are offered to patients.
Staff are encouraged to document these issues and pass on to the Complaints Manager.
What do we record?
Information about you, your medical treatment, and family background may be recorded, either on paper or in computer files, as part of providing you with health services. This information is vital to the proper operation of the NHS, and is needed to give you and others the best possible healthcare.
What you can do?
Please read the rest of this notice in order to better understand how we use medical information about you. For further details please see information leaflet entitled “Your Information” displayed in the Practice or ask receptionist for details.
The NHS is not the only government service to provide you with care, and it will be necessary for us to provide other agencies with appropriate information, but only with your consent (or that of your relatives if you are too ill).
How do we protect your information?
The sensitivity of patient information is well understood within the NHS. All staff and contractors are trained to respect their duty of confidentiality to you. We keep paper and electronic records securely to prevent unauthorised access or misuse. Wherever practicable, we also remove references to personal details such as your name and address, and often restrict it further to reduce the chances of anyone identifying a record as relating to you.
You can have a say in how the NHS uses information about you. If you want to find out more or have any concerns you can phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 and request a booklet giving more details; go online at www.nhs.uk\confidentiality; or you can contact the Patient Liaison Team at the following address: Bromley PCT, Bassetts House, Broadwater Gardens, Orpington, Kent BR6 7UA. Tel. No. 01689 853339
Freedom of Information
The ICO has published a new Model Publication Scheme that all public authorities are required to adopt by 1st January 2009.
How information about you helps us to provide better care.
Confidential information from your medical records can be used by the NHS to improve the services offered so we can provide the best possible care for everyone. This information along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information. This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you. You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything. If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please see the leaflet “How information about you helps us to provide better care” in the waiting Room.
If you have any special needs please let our staff know so that we can help and ensure you get the same support in the future.
Our premises have easy access, wide corridors, no steps, and a toilet for the disabled.
If you have any difficulty in using our facility do please ask a member of staff who will be pleased to assist you.
Disabled Parking – Blue Badge Scheme
The Blue Badge scheme is for people with severe mobility problems. It allows Blue Badge holders to park close to where they need to go.
We have a loop induction system please ask reception for more details. For more information on the loop hearing system visit Hearing Link website.
If you or family members are blind or partially sighted we will try our best to provide them for you. If we cannot provide such leaflets we will be very happy to explain and research information that you require. Just ask at reception and staff will either help directly or pass your request on to the Practice Manager.
For more advice and support for blind people please see the following websites:
Guide dogs are welcome at the surgery with a bowl of water available upon request.
Other Disability Websites
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act creates a right of access to recorded information and obliges a public authority to:
• Have a publication scheme in place
• Allow public access to information held by public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded organisational information such as reports, policies or strategies, that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland, however it does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.
The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner who regulates both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.
The Surgery publication scheme
A publication scheme requires an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. The scheme lists information under seven broad classes, which are:
• who we are and what we do
• what we spend and how we spend it
• what our priorities are and how we are doing it
• how we make decisions
• our policies and procedures
• lists and registers
• the services we offer
You can request our publication scheme leaflet at the surgery.
Who can request information?
Under the Act, any individual, anywhere in the world, is able to make a request to a practice for information. An applicant is entitled to be informed in writing, by the practice, whether the practice holds information of the description specified in the request and if that is the case, have the information communicated to him. An individual can request information, regardless of whether he/she is the subject of the information or affected by its use.
How should requests be made?
• be made in writing (this can be electronically e.g. email/fax)
• state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence
• describe the information requested.
What cannot be requested?
Personal data about staff and patients covered under Data Protection Act.
For more information see these websites:
General Data Protection Regulation
GP surgeries in Bromley work hard to provide the public and patients with clear and accurate information relating to how their personal information is used. Privacy Notices are put in place on the Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group website to inform service users of these uses of data by your GP surgery.
Please find further information regarding privacy notices here.
All GP Practices are required to declare mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GP’s working at Summercroft Surgery in the last financial year was £39,707 before tax and national insurance. This was for 2 full time, 3 part time and 6 locum GP’s, who worked for more than 6 months.
How We Use Your Information
To Provide You with Treatment
Doctors need to make notes about any diagnosis, test results, treatments including drugs prescriptions, and other information that you may provide, that seems relevant to the treatment of your condition. We need to keep this information in order to provide proper care for you (for later treatment, or if you should be seen by another doctor) and to allow others to check the treatment that you have received.
Nurses and other health professionals also need access to these records, and will add their own notes, as part of the overall healthcare provision. Secretaries, receptionists, and other clerical staff need access to some of your records in order to do administrative tasks, such as: booking appointments and communicating with you and other parts of the NHS.
Your doctor may also need to provide information under certain Acts of Parliament (e.g. the Communicable Diseases Act 1978, which is necessary to prevent the outbreak of certain highly contagious diseases) to protect you and others.
The Health Service
In order to manage the NHS, some restricted information concerning treatments, drugs prescribed, numbers of patients seen etc. is needed, and hospitals and general practices must provide this information in returns to various central bodies. This information has personal details such as your name and address removed wherever possible. It is necessary from time to time to check these returns to prevent fraud as part of the NHS’s statutory obligations. This may result in your being contacted by an NHS Fraud Office to see if you will consent to your records being checked. Only if you provide your consent will the auditors be allowed to access your records.
Some medical files are needed to teach student clinicians. Without such materials, new doctors and nurses would be not be properly prepared to treat you.
We need to be able to plan ahead about treatments, patient numbers, etc., but this uses summary information, not personal information.
Some medical research will require your direct involvement (especially if taking part in clinical trials) in which case the circumstances will be fully explained to you, and your express consent required. If you do not consent, then you will not be included in the trial.
Other researchers only require access to medical statistics, and can greatly improve our understanding of health, and how to treat patients more effectively. Generally, researchers only need information about groups of people, so that no individual information is apparent. In some cases, they need individual records, but wherever we can we will provide these in an anonymous form (so individuals cannot be identified). Sometimes, researchers need access to individual medical files. We will contact you first for your consent (and before this the researchers must present their case before an Ethics Committee to check that their research is appropriate and worthwhile). Rarely, it may not be practicable (or even possible) to contact individuals for their consent, in which case the researchers must make their case before a Confidentiality Committee to show that there is enough benefit to the public at large to justify this.
How do we manage your information?
We need to be able to move electronic information from system to system, extracting the data and modifying it for the next system. Occasionally, tests will need to be made on the data to check that it has been transferred correctly. This will only be done under carefully controlled conditions and all employees and contractors will be under strict contractual obligations to protect your confidentiality.
Practice staff should use the new GP e-form to report all patient safety incidents and near misses whether they result in harm or not.
These reports are used to spot any emerging patterns of similar incidents or anything of particular concern.
This will help protect patients by raising awareness of the risks through shared learning with general practices and other health providers across the country.
Infection Control Statement
We aim to keep our surgery clean and tidy and offer a safe environment to our patients and staff. We are proud of our modern, purpose built Practice and endeavour to keep it clean and well maintained at all times.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness or infection control, please report these to our Reception staff.
Our GPs and nursing staff follow our Infection Control Policy to ensure the care we deliver and the equipment we use is safe.
We take additional measures to ensure we maintain the highest standards:
- Encourage staff and patients to raise any issues or report any incidents relating to cleanliness and infection control. We can discuss these and identify improvements we can make to avoid any future problems.
- Carry out an annual infection control audit to make sure our infection control procedures are working.
- Provide annual staff updates and training on cleanliness and infection control
- Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are adequate and meet national guidance.
- Maintain the premises and equipment to a high standard within the available financial resources and ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove all infection risk.
- Use washable or disposable materials for items such as couch rolls, modesty curtains, floor coverings, towels etc., and ensure that these are laundered, cleaned or changed frequently to minimise risk of infection.
- Make Alcohol Hand Rub Gel available throughout the building
We have allocated a Named Accountable GP for all of our registered patients. If you do not know who your named GP is, please ask a member of our reception team.
Unfortunately, we are unable to notify patients in writing of any change of GP due to the costs involved.
New Patient Policy
Where it is clinically appropriate and practical to register, we now accept new registration from patients who work in the local area but reside outside of our registration area. Patients registered this way would not be entitled to home visit from the practice, however they will be able to contact NHS 111 in order to be seen by a practice closer to where they live.
For further information about this type of registration, please contact us on 01689 861098 or feel free to come into the practice.
What is non-NHS work and why is there a fee?
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: prescription charges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.
Sometimes the charge is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, producing medical reports for insurance companies, to whom it may concern letters. The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients but not non-NHS work. It is important to understand that many GPs are not employed by the NHS; they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lightning, etc. – in the same way as any small business.
In recent years, however, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their own NHS patients are:
- accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes
- school fee and holiday insurance certificates
- reports for health clubs to certify that patients are fit to exercise
- private prescriptions for travel purposes
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
- life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies
- reports for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in connection with
- disability living allowance and attendance allowance
- medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering
- copies of records for solicitors
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of their patients. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-NHS work?
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees suggested by them are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates they suggest.
Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. Our GPs do non-NHS work out of NHS time at evenings or weekends so that NHS patient care does not suffer.
I only need the doctor’s signature – what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s ENTIRE medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
If you are a new patient we may not have your medical records so the doctor must wait for these before completing the form.
What will I be charged?
It is recommended that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and what the fee will be. It is up to individual doctors to decide how much they will charge. The surgery has a list of fees based on these suggested fees which is available on request.
What can I do to help?
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge. Read the information that comes with these types of forms carefully before requesting your GP to complete them.
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.
- Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight: urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this may cost more. Usually non-NHS work will take 2 weeks.
Request a Letter from Your GP
“I need a letter from my GP”
Our doctors are frequently asked to provide private or ‘To Whom it May Concern’ letters or reports for third parties. The standard fee for this is £30, which is payable in advance. More complicated letters or reports may attract a higher fee.
“Why do I have to pay?”
The preparation of these letters or reports is not covered by the NHS. The doctor must complete them during their own time and as such there is a fee payable. All letters require the doctor to take time to review a patient’s medical records to ensure that the information provided is correct, then the doctor has to dictate the letter, and finally a medical secretary has to type and print it.
“How long will it take?”
Private letters do not take priority over NHS work and hence may take some time to prepare. Please allow at least two weeks.
“But I need it today/tomorrow/next week/sooner than that!”
In genuinely urgent cases, we will do our best to meet your deadline; however, we cannot promise this. If you cannot wait, we will refund your fee if the letter has not yet been written.
“The doctor has to write these exact words…”
We are very sorry, but we usually cannot accept requests for the doctor to write the letter in a specific way. The doctor will write what he or she knows is supported by your medical record, and his or her opinion on what that should be is final. Please use the form linked below to request your letter, but note that our doctors reserve the right to refuse your request or provide alternative wording.
Please note: if you insist on the doctor changing your letter to suit what you think it should say, or if you want to dictate the contents, we will withdraw our offer to write the letter and refund your fee. Please remember that the doctor is not obliged to write a letter for you at all, as this is not an NHS requirement.
“I want the doctor to write me a job reference.”
These kinds of requests are not appropriate and we will not be able to write a letter for you.
Examples of suitable requests:
· Fitness to travel, or cancellation of holidays
· Confirmation of medication or a medical condition
· Letters for school, universities, employers or courts, etc.
· Letters to the Council/housing requirements
Example of requests we cannot fulfil:
· Confirmation of address or other proof of residence or ID (We have no means of verifying this
· Countersigning passport applications (A GP is no longer required on the form)
· Letters stating something that is not supported by your medical record
If you understand and agree to the above terms and still want the GP to write a Private Letter, please put this request in writing and hand into a member of our reception team or via our website under administration E-consult.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Secretaries at Summercroft Surgery
Statement of Intent
New contractual requirements came into force from 1 April 2014 requiring that GP Practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the following IT developments:
- Summary Care Record (SCR)
- GP to GP Record Transfers
- Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
- Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
The same contractual obligations require that we have a statement of intent regarding these developments in place and publicised by 30 September 2014.
Please find below details of the practices stance with regards to these points.
Summary Care Record (SCR)
NHS England require practices to enable successful automated uploads of any changes to patient’s summary information, at least on a daily basis, to the summary care record (SCR) or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
Having your Summary Care Record (SCR) available will help anyone treating you without your full medical record. They will have access to information about any medication you may be taking and any drugs that you have a recorded allergy or sensitivity to.
Of course, if you do not want your medical records to be available in this way then you will need to let us know so that we can update your record. You can do this via the opt out form.
The practice confirms that your SCR is automatically updated on at least a daily basis to ensure that your information is as up to date as it can possibly be.
GP to GP Record Transfers
NHS England require practices to utilise the GP2GP facility for the transfer of patient records between practices, when a patient registers or de-registers (not for temporary registration).
It is very important that you are registered with a doctor at all times. If you leave your GP and register with a new GP, your medical records will be removed from your previous doctor and forwarded on to your new GP via NHS England. It can take your paper records up to two weeks to reach your new surgery.
With GP to GP record transfers your electronic record is transferred to your new practice much sooner.
The practice confirms that GP to GP transfers are already active and we send and receive patient records via this system.
Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
NHS England require practices to promote and offer the facility to enable patients online access to appointments, prescriptions, allergies and adverse reactions or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
We currently offer the facility for booking and cancelling appointments and also for ordering your repeat prescriptions and viewing a summary of your medical records on-line. If you do not already have a user name and password for this system – please register your interest with our reception staff.
Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
It is already a requirement of the Health and Social Care Act that practices must meet the reasonable data requirements of commissioners and other health and social care organisations through appropriate and safe data sharing for secondary uses, as specified in the technical specification for care data.
At our practice we have specific arrangements in place to allow patients to “opt out” of care.data which allows for the removal of data from the practice. Please see the page about care data on our website
The Practice confirm these arrangements are in place and that we undertake annual training and audits to ensure that all our data is handled correctly and safely via the Information Governance Toolkit.
Suggestions, Comments and Complaints
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
In the majority of cases the best way to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible is with the front line staff or the service or organisation that you are complaining about.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
Simply contact the Practice Manager preferably in writing via our Contact Us page or by completing a complaints form available in surgery, and she/he will set all the necessary wheels in motion. Alternatively please visit our feedback page.
We are continually striving to improve our service. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated and a suggestion box is located in the waiting area.
To view our formal complaints procedure please click below:
Summary Care Records
About your Summary Care Record
Your Summary Care Record contains important information about any medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have previously experienced.
Allowing authorised healthcare staff to have access to this information will improve decision making by doctors and other healthcare professionals and has prevented mistakes being made when patients are being cared for in an emergency or when their GP practice is closed.
Your Summary Care Record also includes your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS Number to help identify you correctly.
You may want to add other details about your care to your Summary Care Record. This will only happen if both you and your GP agree to do this. You should discuss your wishes with your GP practice.
Healthcare staff will have access to this information, so that they can provide safer care, whenever or wherever you need it, anywhere in England.
Who can see my Summary Care Record?
Healthcare staff who have access to your Summary Care Record:
• need to be directly involved in caring for you
• need to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode
• will only see the information they need to do their job and
• will have their details recorded every time they look at your record
Healthcare staff will ask for your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), healthcare staff may look at your record without asking you, because they consider that this is in your best interest.
If they have to do this, this decision will be recorded and checked to ensure that the access was appropriate.
What are my choices?
You can choose to have a Summary Care Record or you can choose to opt out.
If you choose to have a Summary Care Record and are registered with a GP practice, you do not need to do anything as a Summary Care Record is created for you.
If you choose to opt out of having a Summary Care Record and do not want a SCR, you need to let your GP practice know by filling in and returning an opt-out form which can be optained from your GP practice.
If you are unsure if you have already opted out, you should talk to the staff at your GP practice.
You can change your mind at any time by simply informing your GP and they can create a Summary Care Record for you.
Children and the Summary Care Record
If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16, you should make this information available to them and support the child to come to a decision as to whether to have a Summary Care Record or not.
If you believe that your child should opt-out of having a Summary Care Record, we strongly recommend that you discuss this with your child’s GP. This will allow your child’s GP to highlight the consequences of opting-out, prior to you finalising your decision.
Where can I get more information?
For more information about Summary Care Records you can:
• talk to the staff at your GP practice
• phone the Health and Social Care Information Centre on 0300 303 5678
• Read the Summary Care Record patient information
The Surgery is an approved training practice for the training of General Practice Registrars (GPRs). Being an approved training practice means that:
- patients can directly contribute to the training of future GPs
- patients who consult with the GPR will have longer consultations
- it keeps all doctors and nurses keep in touch with new medical developments and skills
- It improves all doctors and nurse’s consultation and training skills
- It ensures that clinical standards and standards of medical record keeping are maintained
- It helps with recruitment of high quality doctors to the practice for job vacancies
GPRs are doctors in training who are qualified doctors and have already worked in hospitals as junior doctors for at least 3 years and have now decided that they would like to specialise in General Practice.
In order to qualify as a GP all doctors have to complete Postgraduate Specialist Training which includes at least 18 months training in General Practice.
The practice will be regularly assessed for its suitability for postgraduate training in general practice. This process includes an inspection of medical records for quality, NOT content. If you object to your record being seen for this process then you must let us know in writing so these notes can be withdrawn.
An essential component of training in all medical practice is the use of video and consultations with the both the GPR and the trainer present. We hope that all our patients will be willing to take part in these educational consultations to help us all in improving and maintaining our medical and consultation skills. All video recordings are strictly confidential and are used for teaching only.
We will not video your consultation without your consent. Please inform Reception if you would prefer not to participate.
Your Rights and Responsibilities
We are committed to giving you the best possible service. This will be achieved by working together. Help us to help you. You have a right to, and the practice will try to ensure that:
- You will be treated with courtesy and respect
- You will be treated as a partner in the care and attention that you receive
- All aspects of your visit will be dealt with in privacy and confidence
- You will be seen by a doctor of your choice subject to availability
- In an emergency, out of normal opening hours, if you telephone the practice you will be given the number to receive assistance, which will require no more than one further call
- You can bring someone with you, however you may be asked to be seen on your own during the consultation
- Repeat prescriptions will normally be available for collection within two working days of your request
- Information about our services on offer will be made available to you by way of posters, notice boards and newsletters
- You have the right to see your medical records or have a copy subject to certain laws.
With these rights come responsibilities and for patients we would respectfully request that you:
- Treat practice staff and doctors with the same consideration and courtesy that you would like yourself. Remember that they are trying to help you
- Please ensure that you order your repeat medication in plenty of time allowing 48 working hours.
- Please ensure that you have a basic first aid kit at home and initiate minor illness and self-care for you and your family.
- Please attend any specialist appointments that have been arranged for you or cancel them if your condition has resolved or you no longer wish to attend
- Please follow up any test or investigations done for you with the person who has requested the investigation
- Attend appointments on time and check in with Reception
- Patients who are more than 20 minutes late for their appointment may not be seen.
- If you are unable to make your appointment or no longer need it, please give the practice adequate notice that you wish to cancel. Appointments are heavily in demand and missed appointments waste time and delay more urgent patients receiving the treatment they need
- An appointment is for one person only. Where another family member needs to be seen or discussed, another appointment should be made
- Patients should make every effort to be present at the surgery to ensure the best use of nursing and medical time. Home visits should be medically justifiable and not requested for social convenience
- Please inform us when you move home, change your name or telephone number, so that we can keep our records correct and up to date
- Read the practice leaflets and other information that we give you. They are there to help you use our services. If you do not understand their content please tell us
- Let us have your views. Your ideas and suggestions, whether complimentary or critical, are important in helping us to provide a first class, safe, friendly service in pleasant surroundings.
The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. For more information see these websites:
Summercroft Surgery operates a zero tolerance policy to any abuse or bad behaviour towards its staff, doctors or other patients. This could be physical, verbal or online abuse.
GPs and staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked, abused or treated badly in any way. To successfully provide our services a mutual respect between staff and patients has to be in place. All our staff aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all patients’ individual needs and circumstances. We would respectfully remind patients that very often staff could be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations, all at the same time.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it physical, verbal or online, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.
In order for the practice to maintain good relations with our patients we would like to ask all our patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour we see that are unacceptable:
- Using bad language, shouting or raising of voices at practice staff.
- Any physical violence towards any member of our team or other patients.
- Verbal abuse towards staff or patients in any form including shouting.
- Racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic or other intolerant Language, discrimination or sexual harassment will never be tolerated.
- Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff will not be accepted. Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot be met.
- Being perceived to bully or manipulate a staff member to obtain some-thing.
- Causing damage to, stealing or not returning practice equipment from the practice’s premises, staff or patients.
- Obtaining drugs and/or medical services fraudulently.