Late Patient Policy
Patients are expected to arrive in good time for their appointments.
If patients arrive more than 10 minutes late, they have missed their appointment and will need to rebook. This is to prevent delays to the GP sessions and to ensure fairness for patients who have arrived on time.
We appreciate the effort our patients make to attend on time and therefore do our best to run as close to booked appointment times as possible. Adhering to a Late Patient Policy assists us in doing so. However, due to the nature of a GP surgery, sometimes the doctor or nurse may be running behind. When the clinician is running late our reception staff will advise the patients upon arrival and apologise to them for the delay.
When a patient is less than 10 minutes late:
The receptionist will book the patient in, but advise them they are late for their appointment and remind them that they must attend on time in the future.
If applicable, the receptionist may advise them that the doctor is now seeing the next patient and that they may have an extended waiting time, as the doctor will see patients who arrived on time first.
When a patient is 10 or more minutes late:
Patients who arrive 10 or more minutes late have therefore missed their appointment. The receptionist will advise them to rebook a new routine appointment.
If the patient indicates that there is a medically urgent reason they need to see a doctor that day, the receptionist can ask the reason and book them an emergency appointment with the on-call doctor. The usual criteria for emergency appointments will apply and the patient will need to take a seat and wait to be seen.
If the doctor has an urgent clinical need to see a particular patient, they will advise reception in advance that the patient may be “arrived” even if they arrive more than 10 minutes late. The patient will need to wait for a gap or the end of the surgery to be seen.
If a patient calls ahead to say they will be late, this does not alter the policy. If they are going to be late, the receptionist will advise them on the phone that they should rebook, rather than waste a journey.
Receptionists are not permitted to interrupt doctors during surgery to request them to see late patients, so to avoid disappointment, please do not ask them to do so.
Confidentiality of Patients’ records
It is a legal requirement that confidentiality of patients’ records is maintained at the highest level by all members of staff. The information we hold in your medical records and on the computer will be used for your continuing care. Any member of staff given information will hold it in a secure and confidential manner even if you are under 16 years. We are here to listen and not to tell even if you are under sixteen, except in special circumstances where we would wish to protect you or someone else from serious harm.
If you wish to have a copy of a referral which has been made for you, please ask at reception.
Patients can normally see their own computer records in the consulting room as the doctor or nurse enters the data. Patients can request access to their written and computer records. However, the records cannot be removed from the premises. Requests should be discussed with the practice manager. If copies of records or computer printouts are required a charge will be made to cover costs incurred.
Violence or Abusive Behaviour
As a Practice we are very aware that visiting your GP can, at times, be stressful and concerning for patients. Delays in obtaining appointments and delays in surgery times, due to unforeseen emergency appointments, can also add to these concerns.
We always strive to meet patient expectation and deliver the highest standards of healthcare. For the vast majority of our patients we achieve this, despite the finite resources and steadily increasing demand for services that exists today within the NHS.
Our staff come to work to care for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with respect.
In line with the rest of the NHS and to ensure this is fully observed we have instigated a Dignity at Work and Zero Tolerance policy, whereby aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Anyone patient who verbally abuses a member of practice staff will be sent a letter from the Practice confirming that this behaviour will not be tolerated. Any future violation of this policy may result in removal from the Practice patient list. The Police will be called in all cases of violence.
The Practice feels sure you will understand that proper behaviour is absolutely necessary for our staff and patients and that non observance will not be accepted.
How information about you helps us to provide better care
Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care. It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by local health services. We will only use the minimum amount of information we need to help us improve patient care and the services we provide. You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign and you can change your mind at any time. If you have concerns or are not happy for your information to be shared, speak to your GP, Nurse or Practice Manager. Please ask at reception for a leaflet.
Patient Participation Group
We have a Patient Participation Group (PPG) and we are always looking for new members. We meet informally every three months. We seek to gather patients from as broad a spectrum as possible to get a truly representative sample. We need young people, workers, retirees, people with long term conditions and people from multi cultural ethnic groups. The aim of our PPG is twofold. Firstly, to attempt to identify needs or improvements that could be implemented within the practice to meet local social/cultural requirements (see last report) and secondly, to identify how we can improve our service to you and the way in which you perceive our surgery and staff.
How we use your medical records
* 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 we will also share medical records for medical research, for example to find out more about why people get ill
* 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 be given a copy of your medical record
* You have the right to object 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 have any mistake 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.
Zero Tolerance Policy
The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
We understand that ill patients do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. We ask you to treat your doctors and their staff courteously and act reasonably.
All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning after a second incident or removed from the practice list after a third incident if your behaviour has been unreasonable.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or verbal abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police will be contacted if an incident is taking place and the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.
Removal from the Practice List
A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care. The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship. When trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient’s interest, just as much as that of The Surgery, that they should find a new practice. An exception to this is on immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the Police are involved.
Removing other members of the household
In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family. This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.
You are very welcome to be accompanied by a trusted friend or relative at your consultation if you wish, and this is all the more important if English is not your first language, or if you feel you might not be able to express what you need clearly to the Doctor, Nurse or Clinician
In additon, for intimate examinations, you will be offered the choice of having another professional clinician present at the examination. This is called chaperoning.
If we can’t allocate a chaperone when you wish one to be there, then we can reschedule your examination to another time.