Policies are reviewed regularly and staff additionally undertake mandatory training annually for those areas marked (*)
To view the Whitley House Surgery GDPR policy click here
To view our patient leaflet on access to medical records, medical reports, freedom of information and sharing data with third parties click here
Confidentiality & Medical Records (*)
The 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.
Equality and Diversity (*)
The Surgery aims to ensure that:
Individual diversity of both employees and service users is recognised, respected and valued;
A working environment exists that is free from unlawful
Discrimination, victimisation or harassment on the grounds of sex, race, marital status/civil partnership, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, ethnic origin, disability, age, religion or religious beliefs;
Decisions relating to recruitment, career development, promotion and training will be based on individual merit, the requirements of the job and fair, open and non-discriminatory systems;
The Surgery and its employees adhere to the Equality Act, 2010 and appropriate codes of practice applying to employment and the provision of health services;
A work place is created where all employees are confident of equitable and fair access to opportunities, development and training, and terms and conditions of employment;
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To pursue a complaint please contact Jan Brown, Customer Service and Reception Manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception or by clicking here.
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.
Due to increasing demands on the NHS and Primary Care if you arrive late for your appointment we may not be able to see you.
If you arrive after your allocated appointment time and wish still to be seen the receptionist will ask you the nature of the problem so as to be able to inform the GP to assess and decide whether this problem can be scheduled in to the next available routine clinic. If you and the GP both feel that the problem requires assessment on the day you will be offered to wait and to be slotted in at the end of the surgery by whichever doctor is able to see you first. This is out of fairness to those patients booked in and arrived on time.The appointment will be a slot in appointment to assess and manage any problem that requires dealing with on that day. More routine problems may be re-scheduled to the next available appointment.
No Prescription required
If you have certain routine conditions you can often be treated with medication available to buy over the counter from your local pharmacy. You do not need to make an appointment to speak to the pharmacist, just pop in anytime and they will be happy to help you.
Non NHS Work
Due to increasing and unprecedented demands on NHS Primary Care we have felt it necessary to review some of the non NHS work we are involved in. The Governments contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients, including the provision of ongoing medical treatment. In recent years, however, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. There is no obligation for the NHS GP's to do any non NHS work. Whilst in the past we have tried to accommodate this, we have to ensure NHS Primary Care remains sustainable.
We shall continue to provide insurance medicals (life and mortgage cover) when time allows, however these will not be processed urgently.
We shall no longer be involved in providing certificates for Lasting Power of Attorney. These can be done by many other professionals including solicitors. Solicitors may need to contact us to gain medical information to make an assessment of capacity. In those instances if the solicitor writes to us with the patients consent we will provide information as necessary. This is a private service and as such a fee will be chargeable. Sometimes capacity assessments can be complex and if a solicitor does not feel able to make that assessment they will usually arrange a further assessment with a private specialist with expertise in this area.
With regard to other non-NHS forms such as passports, gym and health club forms. holiday cancellation forms, reports, fitness to fly, travel and occupational related forms. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist, at times when we are experiencing a high demand for NHS services we may have to refuse this extra private work.
Please allow 28 days for us to respond to any requests.
Hospital Discharges and Medical Certificates.
If you need to be certified as unfit for work as a result of the treatment provided by your hospital specialist (or therapist) he or she should issue a sick note when you are discharged from hospital or seen in their clinic. Please as them for one if you need it.
The surgery offers a chaperoning service. Please make your GP, nurse or receptionist aware if you would like a chaperone present at your consultation.
The surgery is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. Our Safeguarding Lead is Dr Hooper but you can raise your concerns with any member of the clinical team. Please click here for information about local organisations who can help with safeguarding concerns. Please note, if there is an immediate risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult, please call the police by dialling 999.
Need a Dentist
The NHS in Mid Essex has an urgent NHS dental service. Contact 111 or NHS Choices.
Whitley House Policy is that:
All patients with a recognised dental problem should not be given a GP clinic ot telephone appointment but should contact their own dentist or the urgent NHS dentist.
If there is soemthing the dentist cannot prescribe the dentist must contact the GP directly. If there is uncertainty as to whether the patients problem is dental then they can see the GP to be asessed. However if the problem turns out to be dental, then as per the GMC recommendations, they will be directed to the dentist and not treated by the GP.
Dentists are obliged to issue NHS prescriptions to NHS patients where required. They also have a duty of care to issue private prescriptions to private patients.
We have a policy of not counter signing passport applications. Please refer to www.gov.uk for guidance. Please note that Doctors are not authorised to sign any passport applications unless they are able to state that that they know you well e.g. as a good friend and that they recognise you easily from your photo.