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Practice Policies

Practice Aims & Objectives

1. Non-urgent appointment with a doctor is normally within two working days.

2. Access to a doctor in the practice for an urgent appointment by the next available surgery. The practice nurse is normally available to assist the patient during surgery hours.

3. Access to the practice nurses for an appointment. Urgent appointments same day, normally two working days.

4. Contacting a doctor in an emergency by telephoning in surgery hours: please ring (01753) 544288 and hold the phone when ringing and the telephonist will speak to you at the earliest possible moment. The switchboard works on a queue system. Do not think that your call will not be answered. It may take a while for your turn to come. Please keep extra money at hand if you are ringing from a payphone.

5. Contacting a doctor in an emergency out of hours: please see out of hours section.

6. Telephone access to speak to a practice nurse or doctor routinely: normally the practice nurse can speak between 8.00 – 8.30am and 2.00 – 2.30pm. the practice nurse can arrange for a doctor to speak to a patient at the same time if urgency is indicated. If it is required to speak to a particular doctor he or she will return the call as soon as there is opportunity. Please leave contact details.

7. Arrangements to obtain repeat prescriptions: as explained earlier. Note that repeat prescriptions are those which a doctor has authorised beforehand and are recorded on the practice computer. Please do not ask office staff to repeat prescriptions other than these. Please keep a note of review date on your repeat prescription counterfoil which means you need to see a doctor to organise further repeats. A review is important from time to time.

8. The name of the person to receive, record and follow up comments and complaints in liaison with partners is the practice manager, Mrs Sue Thorpe. Complaints will be dealt with within two weeks unless delayed by the absence of persons concerned.

9. Information on test results: normally the doctor requesting the test will advise the patient how to obtain the results. However, an abnormal test result requiring urgent attention will be notified to the patient as soon as contact is made.

10. Your rights to GP services: You have a right to:

  • Be registered with a GP. If you have any difficulty the Berkshire Health Commission BHC will be able to assist you.
  • You can change doctor.
  • You can receive emergency care at any time.
  • When your GP thinks it necessary, you can be referred to a consultant acceptable to you within contractual arrangements. You can be referred for a second opinion if it is agreed that this is necessary.
  • You can have access to your health records subject to any limitation in the law. A special appointment is required for this.
  • You can choose whether or not to take part in medical research or medical students' training. You can have a health check from a GP if you are between 16 and 74 years of age and you have not seen your GP in the past three years.
  • You will be offered a health check on joining a doctor's list for the first time.
  • You can receive a copy of your GP's practice booklet which sets out the services he or she provides. You can find information about the services available through BHC local directories.

11. Help us to help you:

  • We will treat you with courtesy and respect at all times.
  • We ask you to treat the doctors, their families and all practice staff with the same courtesy and respect.
  • You will receive the most appropriate care given by suitably qualified people with your informed consent.
  • We ask you to follow the medical advice offered and contact the practice if your medication appears to be causing any problems.
  • Please read our practice booklet which will help you to get the best out of our services.
  • We always look for any improvements which can be made. If you have any suggestions or complaints please contact our practice manager and we will consider them.
  • We will arrange a home visit as appropriate for those patients who are too ill or infirm to be brought to the surgery.
  • Outside of normal working hours the visiting doctor may not be one from our practice.
  • We ask you to help us by asking for home visits only when you or a member of your family is too ill to come to the surgery. IF YOU DO NEED A HOME VISIT PLEASE LET US KNOW BY 10.00am unless a genuine emergency arises later.

Outside Surgery Hours

Please do not call unless an emergency arises which cannot wait until the next surgery. The doctor will decide if a visit is appropriate when you have explained your symptoms to them. They may ask you to attend a surgery. Our appointment system is there to help you. The appointment time means when the doctor or nurse hopes to be able to see you. We will try to see that you are seen on time but some consultations take longer than others and this cannot be avoided. Also, if there is a patient with an emergency or a serious problem he will get the priority: sometimes the doctor is called out urgently and immediately. Normally more time is required for special clinics. Please do everything you can to keep appointments and to be on time. Let the appointments staffs know in advance if you are unable to keep the appointment. The appointment then can be given to someone else who needs it.
If more than one member of your family needs to be seen please ask for more than one appointment. This helps to avoid delays. If we are running late, please be patient. Please do not ask for or arrange a specialist appointment without first discussing the matter fully with your own doctor. The practice offers patients advice and information to promote good health and to avoid illness. We will also advise on self help which can be taken for minor ailments without reference to a doctor. In exceptional circumstances we sometimes have to remove patients form our list. If a patient is being removed from our list they will be notified by Berkshire Health Commission. The practice will notify patients in wirting regarding the reason for removal. If patients are violent or seriously abusive towards any of the practice staff, we will immediately remove them form our list. If you are dissatisfied with us or the services we provide you have the right to leave our list and practice.

Confidentiality & Medical Records

Locked blue folderThe 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.

Complaints

Customer service formWe are happy to discuss any complaint that you may have, and would be happy to consider any constructive suggestions for improvement of our services. Our aim is to give the highest possible standard of service and we try to deal swiftly with any problems that may occur.

If you would like to make a complaint regarding the surgery or the services we offer, please contact the Practice Manager by telephone or, if you prefer, in writing. Every effort will be made to answer your concerns as soon as possible. Patient Information leaflets and complaints forms are available at reception and electronic copies can be found below.

Please click on the below documents for more information.

LHC Complaint form - Third Party Consent

LHC Complaint form

Violence Policy

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.



 
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