The Loddon Vale Practice
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PATIENTS' CHARTER

Please read this section carefully. It refers to our joint responsibilities under the patient charter.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOU

We are committed to giving you the best possible service. This will be achieved by working together.

You will be treated as a partner in the care and attention you receive.

You will be treated as an individual and will be given courtesy and respect at all times, irrespective of your ethnic origin, religious belief, personal attributes or the nature of your health problems.

Following discussion you will receive the most appropriate care, given by suitably qualified people. No care or treatment will be given without your informed consent.

You have the right to see your health records, which will be kept confidential, subject to any limitations in the law.

We will give you full information about the services we offer. Every effort will be made to ensure that you receive that information which directly affects your health and the care being offered.

People involved in your care will give you their names and ensure that you know how to contact them. Please let us know if you change your name and address.

It is our job to give you treatment and advice. In the interest of your health it is important for you to understand all the information given to you. Please ask us questions if you are unsure of anything.

We will arrange a home visit as appropriate for those patients who are too ill or infirm to be brought to the surgery.

We run an appointment system in this practice. You will be given a time at which the doctor or nurse hopes to be able to see you.

We will try to ensure that you are seen on time, but some consultations take longer than others and we have no way of knowing about this in advance. If there is a patient with an emergency or a serious problem we will give them priority. When there is a prolonged delay, an explanation will be given by the receptionist.

We will provide you with information about how to make suggestions or complaints about the care we offer. We want to improve services; we will therefore welcome any comments you have.

We will try to answer the phone promptly and to ensure that there are sufficient staff available to do this.

If you have undergone tests or x-rays ordered by the practice, we will inform you of the results at your next appointment. If no further appointment needs to be arranged, we will advise you when and how to obtain the results.

If we consider that you need a second opinion or treatment not available in the practice we will try to inform you of the best way of achieving this.

THE PRACTICE WILL OFFER PATIENTS ADVICE AND INFORMATION ON

  • Steps they can take to promote good health and avoid illness.
  • Self-help that can be undertaken without reference to a doctor in the case of minor ailments.

If you are totally dissatisfied with us or the services we provide you have the right at any time to leave our list and to register with another practice.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO US

Help us to help you.

Being a partner means that we have responsibilities to each other.

We ask that you treat the doctors, all practice staff and their families with due courtesy and respect. In return we would ask you to follow the medical advice offered, and to take any medication as advised.

Please do not ask for a home visit unless the patient cannot be brought to the surgery. In particular, most children can quite safely be brought to the surgery by car. Please ensure that your request for a home visit reaches the surgery before 10.30am, unless a genuine emergency arises later.

Outside surgery hours we provide cover for emergencies at all times, but please do not call out of hours, unless about an emergency which cannot wait until the next surgery. Please remember that your doctors need rest and relaxation, just like everyone else.

Please do everything you can to keep appointments, tell us as soon as possible if you cannot, and be ready to tell us details of your past illnesses, medication, hospital admissions and any other relevant details.

Please try to be punctual; if you arrive later than your appointment time this may cause delays and inconvenience to other patients. Please ask for more than one appointment if you want more than one patient to be seen. If we are running late, please be patient, because on another occasion it might be you that needs extra time. Please do not blame the receptionist.

Please keep your phone call brief and avoid calling during the peak morning time for non-urgent matters.

Please do not ring before the stated time. Enquiries about tests ordered by the hospital should be directed to the hospital, not the practice.

Please do not ask for or arrange a specialist appointment without first discussing the matter fully with your own doctor.

If you later decide that you no longer need an appointment made for you, please inform both the hospital and us.

You are responsible for your own health and that of your children and should take appropriate action and advice.

We also have the right to have patients removed from our list. In general we will only exercise this right in the case of patients who repeatedly and persistently ignore their own responsibilities to us and to other patients.

We will remove from our list immediately patients who are violent or seriously abusive towards any of the practice staff.

SUGGESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS

WE ARE KEEN TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS ABOUT OUR SERVICES

From time to time we distribute questionnaires to learn your views about the services offered by the practice and our local hospitals. Please help by returning your completed questionnaires to reception promptly. Additionally, a suggestion box is located in the waiting room of the surgery and you are encouraged to comment on any matter relating to the practice and the services we offer.

HOW TO COMPLAIN

If you have a complaint or concern about the services that you have received from the doctors or staff working for this practice, you are entitled to ask for an explanation. We operate an informal, in-house complaints procedure to deal with your complaints. This procedure does not and cannot attempt to address any questions of alleged negligence or compensation. However, it does not affect your right to make a formal complaint to NHS England if you so wish, their contact details are as follows:

NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch
B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 312 233
Email:  england.contactus@nhs.net

Nor does it affect your right to seek compensation in law. In some cases, the in-house procedure is not an appropriate form of investigation, in which case you will be referred to the appropriate authority.

We take all complaints seriously and, following each incident, we always consider the implications raised and discuss them at practice meetings for training purposes and the application of lessons learned. All details of your complaint and actions taken to investigate and resolve it will be logged by the practice. We audit our complaints system regularly and consider changes in procedures in order to improve our service. Each year we forward an annual report to NHS England notifying them of the number and types of complaints we have received.

Your complaint should be in writing and addressed to our practice manager, who will ensure that it is investigated thoroughly and as speedily as possible. We must ensure strict adherence to the rule of confidentiality and cannot provide confidential information without appropriate authority if you are not the patient in question.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

  • When your written complaint is received in the practice it is date-stamped and logged.
  • Only complaints made by the patient personally or by a relative with the patient's consent or by the legal guardian of a minor will be investigated. If the patient does not make the complaint personally we will need to check for consent.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and send you a copy of our practice complaints leaflet.
  • The practice complaints manager will then assess the complaint and begin a full internal investigation.
  • We will request a GP to investigate and comment on any clinical aspects of your complaint.
  • Options:
    • If necessary, we will seek medical defence organisation advice.
    • If an investigation needs longer than 10 days we will inform you and give you reasons for the delay.
    • You may be offered a meeting with the practice manager and/or a GP as appropriate and you may bring a relative or friend with you
  • A written reply will be sent to you within 10 working days of receipt of your complaint unless we have informed you there will be a delay.
  • If we are unable to resolve your complaint, you have the right to pursue the matter with:
    The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. www.ombudsman.org.uk
    Help Line: 0345 015 4033, email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk Fax: 0300 061 4000.

Freedom Of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2002 requires us to implement a “Publication Scheme”. You may obtain a printed copy of our scheme on request from the practice at a nominal charge or you may obtain a copy free by clicking here.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

As part of our commitment to patient care, we have to record personal information. This is to ensure you get proper care and treatment. We keep these details because we may need to see you again.

We are properly registered under the provisions of the Data Protection Act and the designated data controller is the practice manager incumbent at any given time.

We may use some of this information to help us:

  • protect the health of the public generally
  • see that the NHS runs efficiently
  • plan for the future
  • train our staff, pay our bills and account for our actions

This information might also be used in conjunction with:

  • auditing our actions
  • preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity
  • investigating complaints
  • helping staff review the care they provide and make sure it is of the highest standard
  • training and educating staff and doctors (but you can choose whether or not to be involved personally)
  • undertaking research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee (if anything to do with the research involves you personally you would be contacted to give your consent)

Everyone working in the practice has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.

If at any time you would like to know more about how we use your information please contact the practice manager.


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