Help us to help you - A guide to how the practice operates

  

1. TRUST is at the heart of the doctor-patient relationship. 


2. COMMUNICATION is vital for safe care. A professional interpreter is available to book through the Ujala centre. Please note that they require up to one week’s notice. 


3. APPOINTMENTS, in line with national guidelines, usually last 10 minutes. You will initially be offered a telephone appointment where you will be triaged by a GP and an appointment arranged at the GP’s discretion.


4. PUNCTUALITY is vital, since late arrival can mean loss of appointment time.

 

5. HOME VISITS are generally reserved for those instances when they are clinically appropriate, such as terminally ill or bed-bound people. This is in keeping with national guidelines. Please ring before 10am.


6. MINOR AILMENTS such as coughs and colds can usually be self-treated with over-the -counter medicines, and advice from your pharmacist, NHS 111, and Home Health Guide. 


7. REPEAT MEDICINES require 48 hour notice to process. For new patients, your repeat prescription medicines will not be added as repeats until your medical records have been received. We will issue acute prescriptions for you until then.


8. CONFIDENTIALITY is a vital part of our work, and everything you tell us is dealt with in this way. The Data Protection Act has been updated with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We have used this opportunity carefully to review how we handle and use information about our patients, so that we always keep you at the centre of our care and empower you.    

In some cases, relatives of patients have understood that they have a right at all times, forever to communicate with us on behalf of a patient, and at times this risks potentially breaking the law. For example, a relative may regularly collect prescriptions for a patient, and then one day that relative may have a new drug about a personal and sensitive matter, which they would not wish the relative to know about. The same could apply to a new disease or illness, such as a mental health problem. Thirdly, it may be that a relationship could become strained between a patient and relative, an event we may be unware of, and then we may share information with that relative, causing distress to the patient. Moreover, patients who communicate for themselves feel more involved in their healthcare and suffer less worry or stress as a result, so it is advisable for all patients including those for whom English is not their first language, to try to speak with us as far as possible for themselves, and only then be supported for any additional needs as they arise. Some relatives may try to speak on behalf of patients at all times, thinking this is to help their relative, but in practice may not actually be so. There are risks in using relatives as interpreters – they may be less skilled than professional interpreters, and are not objective. This has the potential to cause harm. We will judge each patient’s needs on a case by case basis, so that we put patients’ needs first and fulfil all our legal obligations. 


9. MISSED APPOINTMENTS are a waste of valuable resources. Missing three appointments will result in a letter informing you that further missed appointments without a legitimate reason will result in your removal from the list.

 

10. MOBILE PHONES should be kept on silent upon entering the building. 


11. FOOD AND DRINK are not allowed in the building at any time


12. SICK NOTES (MED 3) are issued based on a few simple rules. The first seven days are covered by self-certification. If you expect to be ill for more than one week, please arrange a routine appointment for the seventh day, stating that this is the purpose of the visit. The decision on fitness to work rests with the GP. We rarely, if ever, issue back-dated sick notes unless there are clear grounds to do so, usually supported by evidence from elsewhere. Please also understand that we may only sign statements that we are in a position to verify. We will not use emergency appointments for the generation of a sick note unless there is a clear reason, in our opinion, for doing so. 


13. DRUGS OF ADDICTION, such as codeine and diazepam taken on a regular basis require specialist care, so we will not usually register patients who wish to take such medicines unsupervised. 


14. NON NHS WORK will incur a charge. We publish and annually update our fees, which are available for you to inspect at reception. 


15. AGGRESSION is not acceptable under any circumstances towards any member of our staff and will result in immediate removal from the practice, along with it being reported to the police.

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Patient Charter

Surgery Premises: Our surgery is welcoming, easy for patients to find their way around and appropriate to the needs of the user, including those of varying disabilities.


Patients' rights to General Medical Services: Patients have the right to:

  1. be registered with a General Practitioner
  2. change doctor if desired
  3. be offered a health check within the parameters of national guidance
  4. receive appropriate care form the practice or be signposted accordingly
  5. receive appropriate drugs and medicines subject to monitoring
  6. be referred for specialist treatment or a second opinion if they choose and is clinically justified
  7. have the right to view their medical record subject to GDPR regulations
  8. have the right to know that those working for the NHS are legally obligated to keep all your data safe and confidential


With these rights, comes responsibilities. For patients, this means:

  1. courtesy to staff at all times - Zero Tolerance means Zero Tolerance
  2. responding in a positive way to questions asked by staff
  3. to attend appointments on time, or cancel within sufficient time so that the appointment may be used and not wasted
  4. allow us time to process your prescription requests. 48 hours is sometimes not enough to gather all the necessary data, particularly if it is a new request. We will endeavour to have your prescriptions ready as soon as we are able.
  5. respect the ethos that is the NHS, and not take it for granted.


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