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.
Named Accountable GP
With effect from 1st April 2015, all patients need to have a named accountable GP. The surgery will assign a GP to you. You will still be able to see your choice of GP but the named GP will take overall responsibility for the provision of your care.
Woodchurch Surgery 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. All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, i.e. a trained member of staff. Wherever possible we would ask you to make this request at the time of booking appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way. Where this is not possible we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request. However, occasionally it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.
Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy.
It is Woodchurch Surgery’s policy that all patients who move to a new address which is outside of our practice’s catchment area must re-register with another GP surgery in their new catchment area.
Before patients are removed from Woodchurch Surgery’s patient list the practice will inform all patients in writing that they no longer live within the catchment area. This letter will also provide details on how to register with a new GP.
Patients will be given 30 days to enable them enough time to re-register with a new GP.
Patients will also be provided with enough prescriptions (or medications if the new address can still be dispensed to) to cover them until they are registered with a new GP practice in order not to compromise care.
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.
*This covers the serious or persistent use of verbal abuse - which the HSE says can add to stress or anxiety thereby damaging an employee's health.
(Policy revised: June 2021)