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.
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.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints procedure meets national criteria.
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 to know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable is to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint.
Within 12months of the incident that caused the problem; orWithin 12 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident
You may ask for an appointment with Wendy Graham, Complaints Manager in order to discuss your concerns. Alternatively omplaints should be addressed to Dr K Armstrong or Wendy Graham, Complaints Manager. She 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 shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved. When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong;
- Make it possible to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
- Make sure that you received an apology, where this is appropriate
- Identify what we will do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again
Complaining on Behalf of Someone 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. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) to provide this.
Complaining about NHS Services
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. But this does not affect your right to approach the North Durham CCG, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the results of our investigation, you should contact the
The Complaints Manager
NHS County Durham and Darlington,
Greencroft Industrial Park
You may also like to contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy who will:
- Advise and support you, whether you are a patient, relative or carer;
- Provide you with information on NHS or other related services;
- Listen to your concerns, complaints, suggestions or queries;
- Help you to sort out problems quickly on your behalf;
- Provide anonymised feedback to the Primary Care Trust to improve services
North East NHS ICA
Newcastle upon Tyne
Telephone – Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) 08088023000