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Practice Policies

Confidentiality

Confidentiality and how we share your information. 

The practice is registered with the Information Commissioners Office and fully abides by the  principles of the Data Protection Act.  Confidentiality is one of the keystones of medicine and is central to maintaining trust in the doctor-patient relationship; information you give us is treated in the strictest confidence. The practice complies to Access to Medical Records legislation as well as the Caldicott guidelines which are specific NHS guidance on confidentiality. Dr James Rockett is the Practice Caldicott Guardian. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:

  • Third parties (e.g Medical Insurance) patient consent is always obtained first.
  • Within the NHS for secondary care patient information is delivered in a secure manner with consent from GP.
  • Information given to the Health Authority is always in an anonymous format.

 

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.

 

If you feel uncomfortable discussing an issue whilst you are at the front desk then please make the receptionist aware and we would be more than happy to talk to you in a seperate room.

 

All Patients have the right to view their record. You can do this easily by signing up for “Patient Access” if you have a smart phone or computer. Please visit the surgery, bringing with you proof of your identity and speak with one of our Receptionists who will provide you with a passcode to access the Patient Access app.

The following privacy notice provides information on why we share your data, please contact the surgery if you wish to opt out of this data sharing.

Westgate Privacy Notice

Westgate Privacy Notice for Children


Freedom of Information

The ICO has published a new Model Publication Scheme that all public authorities are required to adopt by 1st January 2009.

Model Publication Scheme - further information


Patient Feedback

Your input to the running of the Westgate Practice is invaluable and your comments, good or bad, are therefore most welcome. We use this Practice Complaints Procedure to deal with your concerns and complaints about the service we provide.  We also have a mechanism to deal with compliments, suggestions or minor concerns.  Our aim is to give you the highest possible standard of service and we try to deal swiftly with any problems that may occur.

How to make a complaint

If you are concerned about any aspect of our services, be it in relation to a doctor, nurse or other member of our team, please let us know.

We view this as a way for us to monitor and improve the quality of service that this practice provides. We operate the practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints and our system meets all national criteria.

Talk to a member of our team who will try to sort out your concern on the spot.

If you do not feel able to do this you can complain in writing, in person or by telephone. Please contact us as soon as possible as this will enable us to investigate what happened more fully. If you have any specific information such as dates, times and names this also helps in our investigation.

Who to complain to

Complaints should be directed to either Miss Jennifer Habart or Mrs Karina Wilkins, our Patient Liaison Officers, or to any of the partners of the Practice. Jennifer or Karina will be happy to make an appointment to speak with you to discuss your concerns.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please be aware that we cannot breach the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we shall require their consent to inform you of the outcome of our investigations.

What we shall do

We shall acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days either by telephone or in writing. We shall make every attempt to investigate and respond to that complaint within 10 working days. However, if the issues are complex or staff members are on leave this may take a little longer. We may write or offer you a meeting with the people involved.

The purpose of the NHS Complaints procedure is to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Provide an apology where this is appropriate
  • Identify ways in which similar problems can be prevented

If you feel that we have not responded to your concerns fully please do not hesitate to come back to us to discuss these further.

However, if you feel this is not possible, please contact the NHS Advocacy Service which is provided for this area by Staffordshire Healthwatch: Telephone 0800 161 5600 or email advocacy@ecstaffs.co.uk

You can also make complaints via the NHS England Customer Contact Centre, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT. Phone 0300 311 22 33 or email england.contactus@nhs.net

What we shall not do

At no point will the fact that you have made a complaint be recorded in your medical record. All issues you raise will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your current or future care.

Advice and Support For You

If you would like to speak to someone for advice or help with making a complaint or if you find it difficult to make a complaint yourself 

If you would like help making your complaint (including help with writing your letter), you can contact the Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service, provided by Staffordshire Healthwatch : 0800 0518371 or contact them via their website: http://healthwatchstaffordshire.co.uk

Compliments and Suggestions

It is always appreciated when compliments are received and, as with complaints, we use this as a way of learning for the future. When we receive a compliment we share this with the team and encourage individuals to work to the high standards that your compliment has acknowledged. Please forward any compliments for the attention of our Patient Liaison Officer or one of the partners.

Equally your suggestions can help us change our processes and we often make minor changes to our administration systems following patient input. Please forward any suggestions to our Patient Liaison Officer or Office Manager.

 


 
The Health Service Ombudsman

The Health Service Ombudsman has published a booklet that describes the ‘six principles for remedy’ in relation to complaints handling and involves:

  1. Getting it right
  2. Being customer focused
  3. Being open and accountable
  4. Acting fairly and proportionately
  5. Putting things right
  6. Seeking continuous improvements

 

If you remain unhappy after everything has been done to try to resolve your concern or complaint you have the right to approach the Ombudsman. 
 
Tel: 0345 015 4033 
Write: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP.

GP Training

Our practice participates in advanced training of higher qualified doctors within General Practice. These doctors have experience of hospital posts and on occasions, other practices prior to joining the team. They work with us for up to a year and share all aspects of medical care in liaison with the Partners. As part of their training and to aid their ongoing development it is necessary for some consultations to be video recorded. Your consent will always be requested in advance. Please accept their services as an extension of our own.

Student Doctors

Our practice also participates in the training of student doctors from the University of Birmingham. We support, train and develop students throughout their 5 year qualifying period at University, before further training as a doctor. To support their development, meeting patients, understanding health care and the management of this, plays an essential part to their learning journey. If you are willing to be interviewed, under supervision of a senior doctor, please ring our medical secretaries on 01543 251872 and ask to speak to either Pauline or Paula. Your support is much appreciated in helping us develop doctors of the future. Patients will always be asked to confirm they are happy to see student doctors prior to their appointment.

 


 



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