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.
COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS & COMPLAINTS
If you have a complaint or any concerns about the service you have received from your GP or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
If your complaint is about a non-NHS service we will deal with it within our practice complaints procedure but other aspects of the NHS complaints procedures, e.g. Independent Review Panel, will not apply.
How to complain
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 the 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 of your complaint:
- within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem or as soon you discover that there was a problem.
Complaints should be addressed to Mrs M Dark or Mr S Donlan (Management Partner). Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Mrs Dark or Mr Donlan in order to discuss your concerns. They 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.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within 15 working days from when you raised it with us. We will then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved. When we look into your complaint we will aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong
- make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned (if agreeable)
- make sure that you receive an apology (if appropriate)
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
Once we have responded to your complaint in writing and offered an explanation, we will allow 8 weeks for you to respond. If we do not hear from you within 8 weeks we will close the complaint.
Complaining on behalf of somebody else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. We require the written consent of the patient before we can respond to a complaint. If the patient is incapable of giving consent, e.g. a child or they are deceased; we will require the written consent of the legal guardian or next of kin.
Complaining to somebody other than ourselves
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe that this will give us the best opportunity to put right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our service. If you feel that you cannot raise the matter with us you may wish to contact:
27 Yarm Road
Stockton on Tees
Tel: 0808 1729559 (Info & Advice)
Website details: www.healthwatchmiddlesbrough.co.uk
The NHS complaints procedure
Most medical care and treatment goes well, but things occasionally go wrong, and you may want to complain.
Who should I complain to?
If you're not happy with an NHS service you can make a complaint. You should complain to your service provider such as GP, dentist, hospital or pharmacist first.
You may take your complaint either to NHS England or your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
In general, NHS England commissions most primary care services like GP and dental services. They can be contacted at:
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
In writing: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
CCGs oversee the commissioning of secondary care such as hospital care and some community services. For NHS South Tees CCG contact:
Tel: 01642 511868
In writing: NHS South Tees CCG,
North Ormesby Health Village,
11 Trinity Mews,
If you remain unhappy with the response to your complaint you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman who is independent of the NHS and government.
Tel: 0345 015 4033
In writing: The Parliamentary and health Service Ombudsman,
When should I complain?
As soon as possible. Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the date of the event that you're complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.
The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it's still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, such as in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.
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.