Patient's rights and responsibilities
As a patient you have the right to:
- be registered with a named doctor
- change doctor if desired (but please remember that you may have to see any of the doctors if your need is urgent)
- receive emergency care
- receive appropriate drugs and medicines
- be referred for specialist or second opinion if they and GP agrees
- see your medical records or a copy, subject to certain laws
- know that by law, everyone working for the NHS must keep the contents of your medical records private. With these rights come responsibilities for the public
That means being:
- courteous to staff at all times
- as prompt as possible for all appointments
- responsible for cancelling appointments in adequate time.
The practice complies with the General Data Protection Regulations and Access to Medical Records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances :-
1. To provide further medical treatment for you eg. from district nurses and hospital services.
2. To help yoou get other services eg. from the social work department. This required your consent.
3. When we have a duty to others eg. in child protection cases.
4. Anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services eg. 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 records in order to carry out their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
Who has access to patient information
We respect your right to privacy and keep all your health information confidential and secure. It is important that the NHS keeps accurate and up-to-date records about your health and treatment so that those treating you can provide the best possible care. We have a fully computerised medical record system which means information about your healthcare is held on a secure server. You have the right to know what information we hold about you. Please enquire at the surgery about how to arrange to view a copy of your record.
If you are referred to a hospital specialist you are also welcome to request a copy of the referral letter. NHS Connecting for Health is currently developing the National Care Records Service, which will create a Summary Care Record (SCR) for each individual patient (by 2010), to be held centrally. At this pilot stage the record is limited to current medication, known allergies and adverse reactions.
Eventually the aim is to enable healthcare staff jointly involved in your care, such as your GP and your hospital consultant, to easily access and share information through this national record. You have the right to withdraw your consent to information being shared. In future you will be able to access your own record online at www.healthspace.nhs.uk.
Policy on violent or abusive patients
We aim to treat our patients courteously at all times and expect our patients to treat our staff in a similarly respectful way. We take seriously any threatening, abusive or violent behaviour against any of our staff or patients.
The practice considers aggressive behaviour to be any personal, abusive and/or aggressive comments, cursing and/or swearing, physical contact and/or aggressive gestures.
If a patient is violent or abusive towards staff or other patients, or damages property, they will be warned to stop their behaviour. If they persist, we may exercise our right to take action to have them removed, immediately if necessary, from our list of patients and in the case of actual physical abuse, the matter will be reported to the police as an assault.
Freedom of Information
The ICO has published a new Model Publication Scheme that all public authorities are required to adopt by 1st January 2009.
Model Publication Scheme - further information
Whilst we strive to give all our patients the best possible service, we appreciate that from time to time complaints arise and we will listen to rectify any problems we are made aware of.
In the first instance, you will need to put any complaints in writing and address this to the Pratice Manager. There is a complaints policy and leaflet available from Reception which includes a complaints form and information to explain to the process to you. You will receive a written acknowledgment of your complaint within two working days and we would aim to have a full written response to you within ten working days, but would be advised if any delays are anticipated and why.
If we are unable to resolve the problems, you may wish to contact POhWER, the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service by telephone on 0300 020 0093; by post to POhWER, PO Box 14043, Birmingham B6 9BL or by email to firstname.lastname@example.orgPatient. For more information, visit their website at www.pohwer.net
You can also find useful information on the NHS Choices website
Telephone: 0300 311 22
If you have not received a satisfactory response from the practice, your local Clinical Commissioning Group, or NHS England, you can then refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman who investigates complaints about the NHS in England. Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk
Helpline: 0345 015 4033
Care Quality Commission
If you have a genuine concern about a staff member or regulated activity carried on by this practice then you can contact the Care Quality Commission.
Helpline: 03000 616161
Woodlands Medical Practice is committed to providing a safe, 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.
This Chaperone Policy adheres to local and national guidance and policy –i.e.:- ‘NCGST Guidance on the role and effective use of chaperones in Primary and Community Care settings’.
The Chaperone Policy is clearly advertised through patient information leaflets, website (when available) and can be read at the Practice upon request. A Poster is also displayed in the Practice Waiting Area.
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they consider one is required. The chaperone may be a family member or friend, but on occasions a formal chaperone may be preferred.
Patients are advised to ask for a chaperone if required, at the time of booking an appointment, if possible, so that arrangements can be made and the appointment is not delayed in any way. The Healthcare Professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations.
All staff are aware of and have received appropriate information in relation to this Chaperone Policy. All trained chaperones understand their role and responsibilities and are competent to perform that role.
There is no common definition of a chaperone and their role varies considerably depending on the needs of the patient, the healthcare professional and the examination being carried out. Their role can be considered in any of the following areas:
- Emotional comfort and reassurance to patients
- Assist in examination (e.g. during IUCD insertion)
- Assist in undressing
- Act as interpreter
- Protection to the healthcare professional against allegations / attack)
Checklist for consultations involving intimate examinations
- Chaperones are most often required or requested where a male examiner is carrying out an intimate examination or procedure on a female patient, but the designation of the chaperone will depend on the role expected of them, whether participating in the procedure or providing a supportive role.
- Establish there is a genuine need for an intimate examination and discuss this with the patient and whether a formal chaperone (such as a nurse) is needed.
- Explain to the patient why an examination is necessary and give the patient an opportunity to ask questions. The chaperone would normally be the same sex as the patient and the patient will have the opportunity to decline a particular person as a chaperone, if that person is considered not acceptable for any reason.
- Offer a chaperone or invite the patient to have a family member / friend present.
- If the patient does not want a chaperone, record that the offer was made and declined in the patient’s notes.
- Obtain the patient’s consent before the examination and be prepared to discontinue the examination at any stage at the patient’s request.
- Record that permission has been obtained in the patient’s notes.
- Once the chaperone has entered the room, they should be introduced by name and the patient allowed privacy to undress / dress. Use drapes / curtains where possible to maintain dignity. There should be no undue delay prior to examination once the patient has removed any clothing.
- Explain what is being done at each stage of the examination, the outcome when it is complete and what is proposed to be done next. Keep discussion relevant and avoid personal comment.
- If a chaperone has been present, record that fact and the identity of the chaperone in the patient’s notes.
- During the examination, the chaperone may be needed to offer reassurance, remain alert to any indication of distress but should be courteous at all times.
- Record any other relevant issues or concerns in the patient’s notes, immediately following the consultation.
- Chaperones should only attend the part of the consultation that is necessary – other verbal communication should be carried out when the chaperone has left.
- Any request that the examination be discontinued should be respected.
- Healthcare professionals should note that they are at an increased risk of their actions being misconstrued or misrepresented, if they conduct intimate examinations where no other person is present.