Policies

What should you expect from us?

Your doctor will try to share decisions about your care with you, as health care benefits from a partnership between you and your doctor.  Of course, being a partner in your care means you have responsibilities too.

We will:

  • Ensure our patients have 24-hour access to medical advice.
  • Aim for you to have access to a suitably qualified medical professional within 48 hours of your initial contact during surgery hours, or in an urgent case, the same day.
  • Work in partnership with you to achieve the best medical care possible.
  • Involve you and listen to your opinions and views in all aspects of your medical care.
  • The prevention of disease, illness and injury is a primary concern.
  • Our medical staff will advise and inform you of the steps you can take to promote good health and a healthy lifestyle.

We would respectfully ask that you:

  • Let us know if you intend to cancel an appointment/are running late.
  • Treat staff with courtesy and respect. Reception staff may have to ask some personal questions to assist us in providing you with the best service.
  • Inform the practice staff of any alterations in your circumstances, such as change of surname, address or telephone number. Please ensure that we have your correct telephone number even if it’s ex-directory.

As a patient you are responsible for your own health and that of your dependents. Our role is to advise and offer you choices and options where they exist. None of this works unless you too play your part, for instance by taking medication regularly or by attending the practice for check-ups and medication reviews when required.

Confidentiality

Please also refer to our Fair Processing/Privacy Notice.

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.

Complaints

Please feel free to pass on any comments you have about the service we provide.

We welcome complaints as a chance to address deficiencies on our part – and we welcome compliments as a means of telling us what’s right.

Complaints should ideally be put in writing and addressed to either Mrs Melanie Bowers or Mrs Julie Williams-Wilson, although you are of course free to discuss things informally with any of the doctors or with Melanie or Julie, first. Sometimes things go wrong and we will always do our best to address any deficiencies on our part. We would rather have your feedback if you are unhappy so that we can improve things for the future.

Making a complaint will not affect your care or treatment. We adhere to the NHS complaints policy and will always acknowledge and investigate your concerns. A copy of our full complaints policy is available from reception.

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service
What should you do if you want on the spot help when using the health service? The NHS expects all members of staff to listen and respond to you to the best of their ability. But sometimes, you may wish to talk to someone employed especially to help you.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service known as PALS, has been introduced to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends and answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible.

What does PALS do?

PALS will:

  • Provide you with information about the NHS and help you with any other health-related enquiry
  • Help resolve concerns or problems when you are using the NHS
  • Provide information about the NHS complaints procedure and how to get independent help if you decide you may want to make a complaint
  • Provide you with information and help introduce you to agencies and support groups outside the NHS
  • Inform you about how you can get more involved in your own healthcare and the NHS locally
  • Improve the NHS by listening to your concerns, suggestions and experiences and ensuring that people who design and manage services are aware of the issues you raise
  • Provide an early warning system for NHS Trusts and monitoring bodies by identifying problems or gaps inservices and reporting them.

Find out more
If you would like more information about PALS the functions it is intended to provide and the standards it should strive to achieve , please go to wsccg.pals@nhs.net or write to:  Patient and Liaison Service (PALS),  Rushbrook House, Papermill Lane, Bramford, Ipswich, Suffolk  IP8 4DE.   Or Freephone: 0800 389 6819 (Option 1).

From this you can expect an impartial and objective reinvestigation into your complaint by a member of the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG).  Their investigation will also review how your complaint was handled at the Practice.

The Ombudsman can be contacted as follows:

Complaints helpline:  0345 015 4033 (Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5.30pm)

  • Fax:  0300 061 4000
  • http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint (to complain online or down load a paper form)
  • Write to:    The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London   SW1P 4QP

Other Agencies include: 

The NHS Complaints Advocacy for Suffolk (VoiceAbility)

  • email: nhscomplaints@voiceability.org
  • Tel:  0300 330 5454 (Helpline Mon - Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm)
  • Write to:  VoiceAbility, Total Voice Suffolk, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk  IP14 1BE

NHS England:

You may also make your complaint directly to NHS England, who commission our service:

  • By telephone:  03003 11 22 33
  • By email:  England.contactus@nhs.net
  • By post:  NHS England, PO BOX 16738, Redditch  B97 9PT

You may also approach Healthwatch, the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy;

The local Healthwatch can be found at:

http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/

The IHCA is able to be contacted at: http://www.seap.org.uk/services/nhs-complaints-advocacy/

 

Health Intelligence text to be included in GP Practice Privacy Notice on website:

The Practice shares your diabetes related data with the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme operated by Health Intelligence (commissioned by NHS England). This supports your invitation for eye screening (where you are eligible and referred by the Practice) and ongoing care by the screening programme. This data may be shared with any Hospital Eye Services you are under the care of to support further treatment and with other healthcare professionals involved in your care, for example your Diabetologist.

For further information, take a look at Health Intelligence’s Privacy Notice on the diabetic eye screening website: www.eadesp.co.uk

Privacy Notice for Patients - 25.5.18

The law about how organisations hold and use information about people is changing, in the first major update to data protection laws in 30 years. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of EU-wide legislation which will apply to all organisations – including surgeries – from May 25, 2018 and will continue to apply even after the UK leaves the European Union.

One of the most important changes is a new requirement for organisations to clearly communicate how information they hold about you is used, the reason they hold it, and your rights. These are set out in what is called a ‘privacy notice’.

Our Fair Processing/Privacy Notice can be found on our website www.haverhillfamilypractice.co.uk under the heading ‘Policies’ or in paper form in our reception area. It explains what information we hold, why we hold it, what we do with it, and in what circumstances we share it with other people and organisations.

We haven’t changed the information we hold, and you do not need to do anything in response – but in line with the new laws we wanted to make sure you are fully aware of how we use information about you.

If you have any questions about our Fair Processing/Privacy Notice or would like to request a copy, you can email wsccg.hfp-correspondence@nhs.net or get in touch with the surgery.


National data opt-out programme (formerly Care.Data)

The national data opt-out is a new service that allows people to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.

It is not related in any way to sharing care data with healthcare professionals i.e hospitals (SCR/full record sharing).

Any person who previously opted out via Care.Data will have it automatically converted to a national data opt-out from 25th May 2018 and will receive a letter giving them more information.

For further information visit: https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/

October 2019

My Care Record

To find out more about My Care Record and how your personal data is shared please go to:

www.mycarerecord.org.uk 

Thank you.

Covid-19 and your information - Updated on 8th April 2020

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice.

The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak. Using this law, the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data.  Further information is available on gov.uk here and some FAQs on this law are available here.

During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information.  This includes National Data Opt-outs.  However in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply.  It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access requests, Freedom of Information requests and new opt-out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.

In order to look after your health and care needs, we may share your confidential patient information including health and care records with clinical and non-clinical staff in other health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111. We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email.

During this period of emergency, we may offer you a consultation via telephone or video conferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.

We will also be required to share personal/confidential patient information with health and care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak.  Further information about how health and care data is being used and shared by other NHS and social care organisations in a variety of ways to support the Covid-19 response is here  

NHS England and Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to inform the Covid-19 response. This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves.  All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation.  

In such circumstances where you tell us you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

We may amend this privacy notice at any time so please review it frequently. The date at the top of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.