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Practice Policies

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 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.

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.

CHAPERONE POLICY

This policy is designed to protect both patients and staff from abuse or allegations of abuse and to assist patients to make an informed choice about their examinations, consultations and involvement in research studies.

Clinicians (male and female) should consider whether an intimate or personal examination of the patient (either male or female) is justified, or whether the nature of the consultation poses a risk of misunderstanding.

  • The clinician should give the patient a clear explanation of what the examination will involve.
  •  Always adopt a professional and considerate manner – be careful with humour as a way of relaxing a nervous situation as it can easily be misinterpreted.
  •  Always ensure that the patient is provided with adequate privacy.Complaints and claims have not been limited to male doctors with female patients – there are many examples of alleged homosexual assault by female and male doctors.

WHO CAN ACT AS A CHAPERONE?

A variety of people can act as a chaperone in the practice.  Nurses are obviously ideal but it is unlikely that they will be available, and Health Care Assistants, Phlebotomists and experienced Receptionists can all act as chaperones, provided they have had the required training, and a DBS check.

CONFIDENTIALITY

  • There may be rare occasions when a chaperone is needed for a home visit.  The following procedure should still be followed.
  • This should remove the potential for misunderstanding.   However, there will still be times when either the clinician, or the patient, feels uncomfortable, and it would be appropriate to consider using a chaperone.   Patients who request a chaperone should never be examined without a chaperone being present.
  • The chaperone should only be present for any required examination itself, and most discussion with the patient should take place while the chaperone is not present.
  • Patients should be reassured that all practice staff understand their responsibility not to divulge confidential information.

 

PROCEDURE 

  • The clinician will contact Reception to request a chaperone.
  • The clinician will record in the notes that the chaperone is present, and identify the chaperone.
  • The chaperone will enter the room discreetly and remain in room until the clinician has finished the examination.
  • The chaperone will normally attend inside the curtain at the head of the examination couch.
  • To prevent embarrassment, the chaperone should not enter into conversation with the patient or GP unless requested to do so, or make any mention of the consultation afterwards.
  • The chaperone will make a record in the patient’s notes after examination.   The record will state that there were no problems, or give details of any concerns or incidents that occurred.
  • The patient can refuse a chaperone, and if so this must be recorded in the patient’s medical record.



 
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