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.
Chaperones – What to expect
The 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.
What is a Formal Chaperone: In clinical medicine, a formal chaperone is a person who serves as a witness for both a patient and a medical practitioner as a safeguard for both parties during a medical examination or procedure and is a witness to continuing consent of the procedure. Family members or friend may be present but they cannot act as a formal chaperone.
Why do we need Chaperones: There are two considerations involved in having a chaperone to assist during intimate examinations; namely for the comfort of the patient and the protection of the doctor/nurse from allegations of impropriety.
What is an intimate examination? Obvious examples of an intimate examination include examinations of the breasts, genitalia and the rectum but it also extends to any examination where it is necessary to touch or be close to the patient for example conducting eye examinations in dimmed lighting.
The rights of the Patient: All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. Patients have the right to decline the offer of a chaperone. However the clinician may feel that it would be wise to have a chaperone present for their mutual protection for example, an intimate examination on a young adult of the opposite gender.
If the patient still declines the doctor will need to decide whether or not they are happy to proceed in the absence of a chaperone. This will be a decision based on both clinical need and the requirement for protection
Consultations involving intimate examinations: If an intimate examination is required, the clinician will:
- Establish there is a need for an intimate examination and discuss this with the patient.
- Give the patient the opportunity to ask questions.
- Obtain and record the patient’s consent.
- Offer a chaperone to all patients for intimate examinations (or examinations which may be construed as such). If the patient does not want a chaperone it will be recorded in the notes.
The Patient can expect the chaperone to be:
- Available if requested.
- Pleasant/approachable/professional in manner, able to put them at ease.
- Competent and safe.
Where will the chaperone stand? The positioning of the chaperone will depend on several factors for example the nature of the examination and whether or not the chaperone has to help the clinician with the procedure. The clinician will explain to you what the chaperone will be doing and where they shall be in the room.
Should you have a concern about a chaperone.
Patients should raise any concerns/make any complaint via the practice’s usual comments/complaints procedure.
When a chaperone is not available: There may be occasions when a chaperone is unavailable (for example on a home visit or when no trained chaperone of the appropriate sex is in the building). In such circumstances the doctor will assess the circumstances and decide if it is appropriate to go ahead without one.
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. Please ask for a leaflet and form at reception.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
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.
To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.
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.
Named accountable GP
From 1st April 2014 the practice was required under the terms of the GP contract to ensure all patients aged 75 and over were allocated a named accountable GP. From 1st April 2015 this was extended to all registered patients.
Patients aged 75 and over will continue to be allocated the doctor who knows them best when they reach 75. Each patient aged 75 will receive a letter advising them of their named GP and inviting them to attend for an annual health check with a member of the nursing team.
For all patients aged under 75 your Named Accountable GP will be the named doctor you are registered with.
If you wish to be told the name of your Accountable GP, please ask the receptionists when you are next in the surgery.
Having a named GP does not prevent you seeing any other doctor in the practice and you should continue to book appointments as you normally would.
Your named GP will not be available at all times and you may therefore discuss your needs with any of the doctors working at the Practice.
If you do wish to express a preference please let the receptionist know and we will try to accommodate your request. If you do not hear back from the practice we can confirm that this change will be made.