Confidentiality & Medical Records
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.
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 by downloading and completing the access request form Access to Medical Records 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.
Medical Record Adjustments
If you feel any information in your medical records is incorrect i.e. diagnosis, dates etc then you may apply to have this corrected via our Medical Record Adjustment Form. Please note we do investigate to ensure the information is suitable for adjustment or deletion. As such this may take up to 14 days to complete. You will be advised of the outcome via telephone.
Consent and Chaperones
Before we begin examination or treatment we need your consent (or your parents if you are under 16) to do so. This can be given in a number of ways. It may be by a signature on a document (for example if some sort of "invasive" procedure is to be carried out - minor surgery etc); it may be verbal (for example if the GP asks if (s)he can look at your leg injury etc); however it may also be implied. This means that you do not specifically give your consent, but your actions (for example rolling up your sleeve for a blood test or laying on the couch with your clothing unfastened for examination) infer that you are happy to have the GP carry out his/her work. It is your right not to give consent, particularly if you are unhappy about any part of the procedure. Please let a GP know if you are unhappy and do not consent to being examined or treated, or if you require further clarification first.
You may also ask for a chaperone (second person) to be present during your examination - however this may require you to return on a separate occasion. If you know, at the time you book your appointment, that you would like a chaperone to be present then please advise our receptionist.
Named GP for All Patients
In line with government guidelines, all patients with Whitehall Medical Practice have a named GP at the practice. As has always been our practice, patients can continue to see whichever doctor they wish regardless of who their named GP is on their records.
Equality & Diversity
The practice is committed to providing fair and equal treatment for all staff, patients, customers, suppliers and visitors. All members of staff are expected to treat everyone with whom they come into contact with dignity and respect.
We 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 Reception Manager for appointment and telephone complaints. For any other issues please contact the Practice Manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception or by clicking here.
Zero Tolerance 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.
Duty of Candour
When things go wrong
At Whitehall Medical Practice we endeavour to provide a first class service at all times. However, at times we acknowledge things may go wrong and our service may fall below our expected levels.
In order to comply with the Regulation 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulations 2014) we pledge to:-
- Have a culture of openness and honesty at all levels
- Inform patients in a timely manner when safety incidents have occurred which may affect them
- Provide a written and truthful account of the incident, explaining any investigations and enquiries made
- Provide a written apology
- Provide support if you are affected directly by an incident