Practice Policies

Rights and Responsibilities

Violent or abusive behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated. Should this occur the patient may be removed from the surgery list.

Patients have a responsibility towards their own health management and those with a long-term condition (hypertension, diabetes, asthma etc) should:

  • Attend for regular (usually annual or 6 monthly) reviews with a nurse or GP and
  • Order any repeat medication in good time to avoid running out.

Patients should endeavour to cancel any appointments that they no longer need. Repeated wasting of appointments may result in the patient being removed from the practice list.

Our staff have responsibility towards the care and dignity of each of our patients and endeavour at all times to respect race, age, gender and disability.


Privacy / Fair Processing

Please visit our Privacy/Fair Processing information page. 


Confidentiality

All staff are bound by strict rules of confidentiality. We cannot give out any information to third parties (including spouses and parents of children aged 16 years or over) without the consent of the patient. This includes disclosing if a patient is on the premises.

We are a computerised practice and registered under the Data Protection Act and with the Information Commissioner’s Office.


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.

How much does it cost?

The information is free unless otherwise indicated. Where information is provided at cost, you will be informed of any costs.

What are the timescales for responding to a request for information?

Your main obligation under the Act is to respond to requests promptly, with a time limit acting as the longest time you can take. Under the Act, most public authorities may take up to 20 working days to respond, counting the first working day after the request is received as the first day. For schools, the standard time limit is 20 school days, or 60 working days if this is shorter.

Working day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays and bank holidays; this may or may not be the same as the days you are open for business or staff are in work.

The time allowed for complying with a request starts when your organisation receives it, not when it reaches the freedom of information officer or other relevant member of staff.

Certain circumstances (explained in this guidance and in When can we refuse a request?) may allow you extra time. However, in all cases you must give the requester a written response within the standard time limit for compliance.

Your Rights to Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

We are only able to provide information that we hold, and you will be informed if this is the case.

The surgery is registered with the Data Protection Agency as appropriate and whilst maintaining high standards to protect patient confidentiality, patients have a right to look at their own medical records. For any further information please contact the Practice Manager or follow this link www.ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you and you can contact any practice where your records are held to do this.

If you have any comments about the Operation of the Publication Scheme, or how we have dealt with your request for information from the scheme, please write to: Church Street Partnership, 30a Church Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 2LE

If you wish to make a Freedom of Information Request, this must be in writing, with your full name and a correspondence address.

ICO Registration number: Z7368916


 

Information Sharing

NHS Digital uses health and care information for research and to help plan services. Previously, if you had wished to opt out of your information from being used for purposes other than you direct care, you notified your GP surgery and a code was added to your record which acted as a block.

From May 2018 your GP surgery can no longer record your preference to this form of data sharing. Please read the leaflet below for further information

Your Data Matters

 

If you wish to opt out you can do so by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/manage-your-choice/, or by telephoning 0300 303 5678 (Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm)


Zero Tolerance Policy

The Practice takes it very seriously if a member of staff or one of the doctors or nursing team is treated in an abusive or violent way.

The Practice supports the government’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ campaign for Health Service Staff. This states that GPs and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused. To successfully provide these services a mutual respect between all the staff and patients has to be in place. All our staff aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all patients’ individual needs and circumstances. They would respectfully remind patients that very often staff could be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations, all at the same time.  The staff 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.

However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.

In order for the practice to maintain good relations with their patients the practice would like to ask all its patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:

  • Using bad language or swearing at practice staff
  • Any physical violence towards any member of the Primary Health Care Team or other patients, such as pushing or shoving
  • Verbal abuse or aggression towards the staff in any form including verbally insulting the staff, or shouting at staff
  • Racial abuse and sexual harassment will not be tolerated within this practice
  • Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff will not be accepted. Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
  • Causing damage/stealing from the Practice’s premises, staff or patients
  • Obtaining drugs and/or medical services fraudulently
We ask you to treat your GPs and their staff courteously at all times.

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 practice, 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.