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Practice Policies

Confidentiality & Medical Records

Locked blue folderThe 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 through the practice manager 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.

Consent

Where possible, a clinician must be satisfied that you understand and consent to any proposed treatment, immunisation or investigation. This can be in any of the following ways;

Implied Consent

Implied consent will be assumed for many routine physical contacts.

An explanation will be given to you about what he or she is about to do, and why.

The explanation should be sufficient for you to understand.

Expressed Consent

Expressed consent (written or verbal) will be obtained for any procedure which carries a risk that you may consider as being substantial. A note will be made in your medical record detailing the discussion about the consent and the risks.

Obtaining Consent

Consent will include the provision of all information relevant to your treatment.

Any questions you have will be answered honestly, and you will be given any information necessary to make an informed decision.

The person obtaining consent will be fully qualified and will be knowledgeable about the procedure and the associated risks.

The Practice acknowledges your right to refuse consent, delay the consent, seek further information, limit the consent, or ask for a chaperone.

Consent for children

Everyone aged 16 or more is presumed to be competent to give consent for themselves, unless the opposite is demonstrated. If a child under the age of 16 has “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to understand fully what is proposed” (known as Gillick Competence), then he or she will be competent to give consent for him/herself. Young people aged 16 and 17, and legally ‘competent’ younger children, may therefore sign a Consent Form for themselves, but may like a parent to countersign as well.

For children under 16 (except for those who have Gillick Competence as noted above), someone with parental responsibility should give consent on the child’s behalf by signing accordingly on the Consent Form.

Complaints

Customer service form

We aim to provide the best service possible at all times. There may be occasions when you feel this does not happen and if you wish to make a complaint about a doctor, nurse or any member of staff we have a complaints procedure. 

If you have had a good experience, we would also like to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to contact us as, this helps us understand what is important to patients, carers and visitors to our Surgery.

How to complain

Please visit, phone, email or write to our Practice Manager, Suzanne Ashworth, loxwood.billingshursttxt@nhs.net or any of the doctors, as quickly as possible as this will help to establish what has happened more easily, being specific about details. We believe it is important to deal with complaints thoroughly and each complaint is treated seriously and as efficiently as possible. 

Please note we have to respect our duty of confidentiality to patients and a patient's written consent is necessary if a complaint is not made by that patient in person.

It is our aim to provide outstanding standards of care within the constraints of NHS resources. There may be occasions when you feel this does not happen and if you wish to make a complaint please visit, phone, email or write to our Practice Manager.

We believe it is important to deal with complaints quickly so you will normally be offered an opportunity to discuss your complaint within 48 hours, where appropriate. You may bring a friend or relative with you. Please note we have to respect our duty of confidentiality to patients and a patient’s written consent is necessary if a complaint is made on their behalf.

We hope that if you have a problem you will follow our Practice Complaints Procedure. If you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our

investigation call 0300 311 2233 or write to NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT or email england.contactus@nhs.net. Alternatively contact Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) which is part of Healthwatch West Sussex. They work to help people get the best out of their health and social care services, providing you with advice and information on local services. You can contact them at Citizen Advice Bureaus on 0300 012 0122 or email helpdesk@healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk. There is also an enquiry form available online at www.healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk. Our local office can be found at the Billingshurst Community Centre, Roman Way, Billingshurst RH14 9QW.

Violence 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.



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