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.
- 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.
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.
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 Practice Operations Manager Mrs Rachel Mack, although you are of course free to discuss things informally with any of the doctors or with Rachel 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?
- 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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: 0300 330 5454 (Helpline Mon - Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm)
- Write to: VoiceAbility, Total Voice Suffolk, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1BE
You may also make your complaint directly to NHS England, who commission our service:
- By telephone: 03003 11 22 33
- By email: England.email@example.com
- 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:
The IHCA is able to be contacted at: http://www.seap.org.uk/services/nhs-complaints-advocacy/
Privacy Notice for Patients - 24.04.2023
This privacy notice explains why the GP Practice collects information about you, and how that information may be used.
As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998. In practice, this means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled in ways that are transparent and that you would reasonably expect. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way that personal confidential data are processed, therefore it is important that patients are made aware of, and understand these changes and that you have an opportunity to object and know how to do so.
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within the NHS (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both, and a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records held by this GP Practice may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as address and next of kin
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about your treatment and care
- Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you
The Practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential. We can disclose personal information if:
- It is required by law
- You consent – either implicitly or for the sake of their own care or explicitly for other purposes
- It is justified in the public interest
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we hold data centrally, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
On some occasions it may be necessary to undertake clinical audits of records to ensure that the best possible care has been provided to you or to prevent the spread of infectious disease, wherever possible this will be done in anonymised form.
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the Practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.
Under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) can request Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP Practices without seeking patient consent. Any patient can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way. When the Practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start. We will also explain clearly what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of each new scheme.
A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other health care providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive then the doctor will explain this to you at the time.
Health Risk Screening/Risk Stratification
Health Risk Screening or Risk stratification is a process GPs use to help them to identify and support patients with long-term conditions and to help prevent un-planned hospital admissions or reduce the risk of certain diseases developing such as type 2 diabetes. This is called risk stratification for case-finding.
Risk stratification tools use historic information about patients, such as age, gender, diagnoses and patterns of hospital attendance and admission collected by NHS England from NHS hospitals and community care services. This is linked to data collected in GP practices and analysed to produce a risk score.
Your GP will routinely conduct the risk stratification process outside of your GP appointment. This process is conducted electronically and without human intervention. The resulting report is then reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of staff within the Practice. This may result in contact being made with you if alterations to the provision of your care are identified.
The ICB has agreed with NHS England s251 support for the NHS Number, as an identifier from both NHS England and GP Practice data, to be used to enable this work to take place. The Data is sent directly into a risk stratification tool called Eclipse from NHS England /GP Practices to enable the data to be linked and processed as described above. GPs can identify individual patients from the risk stratified data when it is necessary to discuss the outcome and consider preventative care. Your GP will use computer-based algorithms or calculations to identify their registered patients who are at most risk. Once the data is within the tool ICB staff only have access to anonymised or aggregated data.
Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (SNEEICB) also uses risk stratified data with pseudonymised (non-identifiable) data to understand the health needs of the local population to plan and commission the right services. This is called risk stratification for commissioning.
Type of Information Used
Different types of commissioning data are legally allowed to be used by different organisations within, or contracted to, the NHS. Information put into the risk stratification tools used by the ICB:
• Age • Gender • GP Practice and Hospital attendances and admissions • Medications prescribed • Medical conditions (in code form) and other things that affect your health.
Legal Basis Statutory requirement for NHS England to collect identifiable information.
A Section 251 support approval (CAG 2-03(a)/2013) from the Secretary of State, through the Confidentiality Advisory Group of the Health Research Authority, enables the use of identifiable information about patients included in the datasets.
Data Processing Activities
The practice processes this data internally. Data is also processed by Prescribing Services Ltd (Eclipse) on behalf of the practice. Data is processed by the North of England Commissioning Support Unit on behalf of the ICB.
Opt-out / object details
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do not wish your data to be included in the risk stratification service you can choose to opt-out through the National Data Opt-Out process.
Where pseudonymised (non-identifiable) data is being used by the ICB, the National Data Opt-Out does not apply. The data is used in a format which does not directly identify you. You have the right to object to your information being used in this way; however, you should be aware that your objection may have a negative impact on the timely and proactive provision of your direct care. Should you choose to opt-out, please inform your GP practice who will apply an opt-out code to your record to ensure that your information is not included in the programme.
Please contact the Practice Manager to discuss how disclosure of your personal data can be limited.
If you have received treatment within the NHS, the CCG may require access to your personal information in order to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group should pay for the treatment or procedure you have received.
Information such as your name, address and date of treatment may be passed on to enable the billing process. These details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential. This information will only be used to validate invoices, and will not be shared for any further Commissioning purposes.
NHS Health Checks
All of our patients aged 40-74 not previously diagnosed with cardiovascular disease are eligible to be invited for an NHS Health Check. We may invite you for an appointment directly or by using a data processor who works entirely under our direction and who will contact you for this purpose only. Nobody outside the healthcare team in the practice will see confidential information about you during the invitation process and contact details only would be securely transferred to a data processor if that method was employed. You may be offered to attend your health check within the practice or at a community venue. If your health check is at a community venue all data collected will be securely transferred back into the practice system and nobody outside the healthcare team in the practice will see confidential information about you during this process.
How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (which is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office), Human Rights Act, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security.
All of our staff, contractors and committee members receive appropriate and on-going training to ensure they are aware of their personal responsibilities and have contractual obligations to uphold confidentiality, enforceable through disciplinary procedures. Only a limited number of authorised staff have access to personal information where it is appropriate to their role and is strictly on a need-to-know basis.
We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.
Who are our partner organisations?
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:
- NHS Trusts
- Specialist Trusts
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Care Services
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Other ‘data processors’ during specific project work, eg Diabetes UK
Access to personal information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view information the Practice holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. This is known as ‘the right of subject access’. If we do hold information about you we will:
- give you a description of it;
- tell you why we are holding it;
- tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’. please contact speak to a member of staff.
Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found in:
The NHS Care Record Guarantee: http://www.nigb.nhs.uk/pubs/nhscrg.pdf
The NHS Constitution: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england
The HSCIC Guide to Confidentiality gives more information on the rules around information sharing : http://content.digital.nhs.uk/media/12822/Guide-to-confidentiality-in-health-and-social-care/pdf/HSCIC-guide-to-confidentiality.pdf
An independent review of information about patients is shared across the health and care system led by Dame Fiona Caldicott was conducted in 2012. The report, Information: To share or not to share? The Information Governance Review, be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-information-governance-review
NHS England – Data Services for Commissioners provides further information about the data flowing within the NHS to support commissioning. https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/data-services/
Please visit the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s website for further information about their work. Information about their responsibility for collecting data from across the health and social care system can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/collectingdata
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the Regulator for the Data Protection Act 1998 and offer independent advice and guidance on the law and personal data, including your rights and how to access your personal information. For further information please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website at https://ico.org.uk/.
If you have any questions about our Fair Processing/Privacy Notice or would like to request a copy, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with the surgery.