Accessible Information Standard
Making health and social care information accessible
As a surgery we are committed to providing the best care for our patients and this includes making information accessible under the Accessible Information Standard.
All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard by law. This is explained in Section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012
The Accessible Information Standard aims to make sure that disabled people have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they might need.
The standard tells organisations how to make information accessible to the following people:
- Service users
- Their carers and parents.
This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as:
- Large Print
- Easy Read
- Via Email
- British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter,
- Deafblind manual interpreter or an Advocate.
To help us help you, please download and complete our accessible information form.
These forms are also available at each reception. Please complete and hand in to any of our receptionists.
This will enable us to record your needs for all future contacts with our surgery.
For more information please follow the link below:
Audit & Research
The practice is actively involved in regular audits and research. The practice has been accredited as a Research and Development Centre of the Primary Care Research Network.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this GP surgery, please let us know. This includes Primary Care Network staff working as part of our GP surgery. We operate a complaints procedure as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly when they arise and with the person concerned. For example, by requesting a face-to-face meeting to discuss your concerns.
If your problem cannot be sorted out this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible. By making your complaint quickly, it is easier for us to establish what happened. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
- Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints should be addressed to the GP surgery team verbally or in writing to the Practice Manager. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the GP surgery to discuss your concerns. They will explain the complaints procedure to you and make sure your concerns are dealt with promptly. Please be as specific as possible about your complaint.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will aim to have investigated your complaint within ten working days of the date you raised it with us. We will then offer you an explanation or a meeting with the people involved, if you would like this. When we investigate your complaint, we will aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong.
- Make it possible for you to discuss what happened with those concerned, if you would like this.
- Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate.
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We take medical confidentiality seriously. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
Complaining to NHS England
We hope that you will use our Practice Complaints Procedure if you are unhappy. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our GP surgery.
However, if you feel you cannot raise the complaint with us directly, please contact NHS England. You can find more information on how to make a complaint at https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/.
Unhappy with the outcome of your complaint?
If you are not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with by the GP surgery and NHS England and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO makes final decisions on unresolved complaints about the NHS in England. It is an independent service which is free for everyone to use.
To take your complaint to the Ombudsman, visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website or call 0345 015 4033
Need help making a complaint?
If you want help making a complaint, Healthwatch Hounslow can help you find independent NHS complaints advocacy services in your area.
Alternatively, POhWER is a charity that helps people to be involved in decisions being made about their care. Call POhWER’s support centre on 0300 456 2370 for advice.
We ask you for personal information so that you can receive appropriate care and treatment. This information is recorded on computer and we are registered under the Data Protection Act. The practice will ensure that patient confidentiality is maintained at all times by all members of the practice team. However, for the effective functioning of a multi-disciplinary team it is sometimes necessary that medical information about you is shared between members of the practice team.
Prescriptions and some of the consultation records are run solely on computer. This enables us to analyse various aspects of health care and to produce an annual practice report. In line with the Local Commissioning Group’s initiative your medical information could be shared with other providers whose services you use. HOWEVER, this sharing will only occur with your specific consent sought by the Clinician seeing you at the time. Please note that ALL of your medical records are then available to the Clinician to view. It is within your rights to refuse to consent.
The practice has a designated parking area for disabled patients. This is adjacent to the front entrance. There is also level access available for wheelchairs and a wheelchair accessible WC.
Freedom of Information – Publication Scheme
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the practice to produce a Publication Scheme. A Publication Scheme is a guide to the ‘classes’ of information the practice intends to routinely make available. This scheme is available from reception.
How we use your medical records
Important information for patients
- This practice handles medical records in-line with laws on data protection and confidentiality.
- We share medical records with those who are involved in providing you with care and treatment.
- In some circumstances you may be contacted by the Practice about research opportunities which may be of benefit to you.
- We share information when the law requires us to do so, for example, to prevent infectious diseases from spreading or to check the care being provided to you is safe.
- You have the right to object to your medical records being shared with those who provide you with care.
- You have the right to object to your information being used for medical research and to plan health services.
- You have the right to be given a copy of your medical record.
- You have the right to have any mistakes corrected and to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please see the practice privacy notice on the website or speak to a member of staff for more information about your rights.
- For more information ask at reception for a leaflet
We can provide interpreting services in any language covered by Translation and Interpreting Services. This is available for both visits to reception and for consultations with any of the clinical staff. The service also provides a face-to-face interpreting service, using BSL, for the deaf and hard of hearing.
For more information on this service please click the links below
Non-attendance for GP and nurse appointments has increasingly become a serious problem at the Medical Centre. This situation is not only a huge waste of resources for Doctors and Practice Nurses but also means that many patients have been declined appointments when, in fact, they could have been seen by the medical staff. It also means that waiting times for routine appointments may be longer than we would want, which causes understandable frustration for patients.
The Patient’s Representative Group, as well as the doctors have been most concerned about this problem and have provided posters in the surgery to highlight the issue and request patient’s cooperation. The Medical Centre has also instigated a text-based system that reminds a patient of their appointment at the point of booking and again on the day before the appointment. Sadly these measures have not prevented the problem from growing. It is against this background that the Medical Centre and the Patient’s Representative Group have agreed the following Protocol to deal with the problem.
Monthly Review of Non-attendance
The Practice will review on a monthly basis all cases of non-attendance where the patient both failed to turn up at the surgery and failed to notify the Medical Centre in advance. The patients in this category will receive an initial standard letter warning them that this behavior is not acceptable and that it may lead them to being removed from the Practice List if repeated.
If a patient having been cautioned by a first letter becomes a non-attendee again within 12 months of the initial non-attendance then they will receive a FINAL WARNING letter that will inform them that if they fail to attend an appointment again without prior notice, their registration status at the practice will automatically be reviewed and their removal from the practice list will be considered a serious option.
Review of Registration
If a patient fails to attend an appointment, without prior notice 3 times within a space of 12 months, and has received a FINAL WARNING letter to that effect from the practice, the surgery will review this patients registration status in accordance with this policy then the surgery will review this patients registration. The patient will be invited to the practice to provide any mitigation that can be taken into account as part of the review. There are two possible outcomes:
- The review will result in the automatic removal of the patient from the Patient List if the practice feels the repeated DNA’s are unjustified and despite written warnings the patient has provided no satisfactory explanation for, or has shown no willingness or inclination to improve their attendance at pre-booked appointments. In that case the patient will be formally written to with the outcome of their registration review within 7 days of the removal being decided and rationale that led to the decision. Like any communication pertained to the patient, this letter will be saved in the patients clinical notes. From the removal date onwards the patient will no longer be able to receive primary medical services from The Medical Centre and will have to register with another local practice.
- If the surgery consider that the health, condition or life circumstances of the patient have contributed to their non-attendance, and/ or the mitigating circumstances mean that the patient should not be removed at that time, the patient will remain on the list. The patient will again be formally written to with the outcome of the registration review within 7 days of the review meeting. They will be informed that on this occasion the practice has decided to maintain their registration, but as repeated DNAs are a serious problem for the practice, there attendance will continue to be closely monitored. Again this letter will be saved in the patients clinical notes. If the pattern of non-attendance persists, a further review of their registration will be carried out and removal from the list will be in accordance with this policy.
Standards Of Care
The practice is devoted to achieving and maintaining a quality health service to meet your requirements.
You will be treated as an individual and will be given courtesy and respect at all times. You have the right to be treated confidentially.
Respect for religious and cultural beliefs will be honoured.
Normally we will answer the telephone promptly and courteously.
You have a right to information about your own health (illness and treatment, possible side effects, prevention of recurring illness etc). We will offer medical advice and information for promotion of good health. You have the right to see your own medical records subject to the limitations of the law. A charge may be made.
Home visits will be made when requested and if a doctor feels that you are not well enough to attend the surgery. The final decision rests with the doctor.
We will give you test results when you telephone the surgery for them, or you may be asked to make an appointment with the doctor or nurse to discuss them.
On registering as a new patient you will be offered a health check with the nurse.
If your doctor believes that you need a second opinion then they will arrange this.
You will be given a time to see the doctor in accordance with the system used in this practice. If there is a substantial delay for any reason, you will be given an explanation.
Repeat prescriptions will normally be ready for collection within three working days.
Routine referral letters for hospital appointments will normally be dispatched within three working days of the referral being agreed with the doctor. When an appointment or acknowledgement of routine referral for a hospital appointment is not received within four weeks please ring the Referral Facilitation Service (RFS) on tel: 0800 756 7751. Urgent referrals for hospital appointments may be faxed, telephoned or provided as a handwritten note for the patient to take to the hospital if the patient is to be seen as an emergency.
If you are 75 years or older, you will normally be offered an annual health check.
We ask that you treat our doctor and all practice staff with courtesy and respect.
The first hour of the morning can be extremely busy. Please keep telephone calls brief. If possible, leave routine calls until later in the day. Please ring between 1pm and 4pm for your results.
You are responsible for your own health and that of your children. Please take the advice given to you at the practice.
Let us know immediately if you change your name or address and remember to give your home or work telephone number, mobile phone number and postcode.
You are expected to attend appointments as arranged. If you are unable to attend, please contact the surgery at least 24 hours before the appointment so that your appointment can be offered to another patient.
Please contact the surgery between 8.00 and 10.00am for a home visit during the day.
Please ask for a night visit only if it is truly necessary.
If tests are ordered for you, please ask your doctor or a member of staff about receiving the results.
Please read the rest of the information on this website to get the best out of the services available.
Please check our patient information booklet for the procedure for getting repeat prescriptions.
Where an appointment or acknowledgement of a routine referral for a hospital appointment is not received within four weeks, contact reception.
If you have private medical insurance please inform the doctor at the time the referral is made. There is a different procedure for private referrals.
Doctors will normally use a chaperone when carrying out certain examinations of patients of the opposite sex.
How we use your Health Records
How we use your information
This privacy notice explains why the GP Practice collects information about you, and how that information may be used.
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records which this GP Practice may hold about you 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
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used for clinical Audit to monitor the quality of the service provided.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.
Risk stratification tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition, preventing an unplanned or (re)admission and identifying a need for preventive intervention. Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information using software managed by the North West London Commissioning Support Unit as the data processor and is only provided back to your GP or member of your care team as data controller in an identifiable form. Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on the preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary your GP may be able to offer you additional services.
Please note that you have the right to opt out.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the surgery please contact the Practice Manager to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be limited.
If you have received treatment within the NHS, North West London Commissioning Support Unit 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.
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.
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential. Anyone who receives information from an NHS organisation has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
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’
Access to personal information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view what information the surgery 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 the practice manager in writing.
If you would like further information about how we use your information, or if you do not want us to use your information in this way, please contact the Practice Manager.
If a doctor has discussed a possible referral for another opinion, they will also discuss the hospital of your choice for the referral. All NHS referrals now go through the Referral Facilitation Service (RFS) which processes the referrals. If you have not heard from the RFS within three or four weeks, please contact the freephone number on 0800 756 7751 and they will help you further with your referral.
If you are disabled, elderly or invalid and are unable to arrange your own transport, you need to mention this clearly to your doctor at the time of the conversation regarding your referral.
The practice will no longer be able to make arrangements for transport. These arrangements are made by the rfs. If you have a follow-up at a hospital then you should ensure that your transport arrangements are made directly with the hospital prior to leaving the hospital.
A zero tolerance policy towards violent, threatening and abusive behaviour is now in place throughout the National Health Service. The staff in this practice have the right to do their work in an environment free from violent, threatening and abusive behaviour and everything will be done to protect that right. At no time will any violent, threatening and abusive behaviour be tolerated in this practice. If you do not respect the rights of our staff we may choose to inform the police and make arrangements for you to be removed from our medical list.
Suggestions Or Complaints
We are very happy to receive constructive comments and suggestions for improving our service to patients. If you have any concerns about any aspect of our service let us know. Please write or speak to the surgery and we will be happy to help. In most cases concerns can be resolved quite easily, however if you feel we have not dealt with the issues raised and you wish to make a formal complaint, you will need to write in to the Practice Manager who will implement the Practices Complaint Procedure. Patients may also seek the advice of the NHS England telephone 0300 311 2233 or email [email protected] or by post NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
More Information on our Feedback, Compliments and Complaints page.
A Zero Tolerance Policy towards violent, threatening and abusive behaviour is now in place throughout the National Health Service.
The staff in this practice have the right to do their work in an environment free from such behaviour and everything will be done to protect that right.
At no time will any violent, threatening and abusive behaviour be tolerated in this practice. If you do not respect the rights of our staff we may choose to inform the police and make arrangements for you to be removed from our medical list.