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. This scheme is available from reception.
We strongly support the NHS policy on zero tolerance. Anyone attending the surgery who abuses the GPs, staff or other patients be it verbally, physically or in any threatening manner whatsoever, will risk removal from the practice list. In extreme cases we may summon the police to remove offenders from the practice premises.
Our organisation is committed to providing a comfortable, safe environment, where patients and staff can be confident best practice is being followed at all time, and the safety of all parties is of paramount importance.
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure, where they feel one is required. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, such as a member of staff.
Wherever possible, we would ask if you can make this request at the time of booking if you feel a formal chaperone is required, so the appropriate arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed; but of course we will endeavor to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request; however if one is not available it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment if one is not available at that time, although we would expect this to be a rare occurence.
Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations, in accordance with our chaperone policy. We have both male and female doctors available for you to consult, if you have a preference in this regard.
If you would like to see a copy of our Chaperone Policy, or have any questions or comments, please speak to the practice manager.
Practice Complaints Policy
We welcome all feedback, both what has gone well, but we are keen to understand where you feel we can improve. If you have a complaint or are concerned about the care, treatment or manner in which these or any other services have been delivered by Doctors or staff within the Medical Centre, please let us know. The views of our patients can provide a valuable source of learning for the Practice as we strive to improve all areas of our service. Our Complaints Procedure meets the criteria specified by Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. It does not cover services provided under a private arrangement between the Practice and a patient (e.g. Travel Vaccines non-NHS)
How to complain — The Process
Our aim is to resolve any problems quickly on a one to one basis. Normally this handled by our Practice Manager and Pharmacist, Mr. Alan Erwin who is responsible for complaints and patients views, and the recording of all complaints; including those of a clinical nature. His contact details are: Mr. Alan Erwin (Practice Manager and Pharmacist); 15a Donegall Road, Belfast, BT12 5JJ or by email at Practicemanager.firstname.lastname@example.org. You may complain in writing; email, via telephone or face-to-face. Please try to provide details of how to contact you; who or what you are complaining about; where and when the event that caused your complaint happened. Complaints should be made immediately or as soon as possible after the event. However, under new guidance we can consider complaints made within 6 months of the date of discovering the problem. This should normally be within 12 months of the incident happening.
All complaints are dealt with and recorded by our Practice Manager. However, you may complain to staff or Doctor who will listen sympathetically, take details and refer to the Practice Manager for recording and onward reporting to Health & Social Care Board.
The Complaints Procedure is to assist patients if they encounter a problem. We believe this to be the best way to put right whatever has gone wrong and provide an opportunity to improve our Practice.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We adhere strictly to the principles of Data Protection and confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must ensure you have their permission. A note signed by the person concerned, and witnessed by the patient, will be required.
There will be situations where it is not possible to obtain consent, such as: • Where the individual is a child and not of sufficient age or understanding to make a complaint on their own behalf • Where the individual is incapable (mental illness, brain injury or serious communication problems) • Where the subject of the complaint is deceased.
What you can expect.
We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and instigate an investigation as soon as possible. • Upon completion of the investigation we will write to you informing you of the outcome of the investigation and any action taken to correct either to policy or procedures. • You may be invited to attend a meeting at the surgery to discuss the matter in more detail. • If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may take the matter further.
Although complaints are dealt with confidentially, regulations require that the Practice forward copies of all complaints to Health and Social Care Board within 3 working days. Your permission to release details of your complaint to our local Health Board is required.
Complaints made by GPs and/or Medical Centre Staff about Patients.
GPs are also entitled to complain about patients if they feel that the patient is being unreasonable or their conduct is causing difficulties for the practice. If you are the subject of a complaint, we hope, that any concern or misunderstanding can be resolved by discussion with the Practice Manager or GP.
Complaints about Patients can be: • abuse (verbal or physical) of GPs or Staff or other Patients; • abuse of prescribing; • theft or fraud; • failure to keep appointments; • refusal of patients to abide by Practice procedures in obtaining treatment/care; • Damage to Surgery premises including graffiti and inappropriate use of toilet areas; This list is neither exhaustive nor prohibitive and the Practice reserves the right to update this list as necessary. Patients may be removed from the Practice List because of complaint from either staff or Doctors.
If you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us, or if you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation, you can approach the NI Commissioner for Complaints (the Ombudsman), or your Health & Social Care Board; addresses can be found here. You may also contact the Patient and Client Council, an independent non-departmental public body, for assistance.
Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
33 Wellington Place
Telephone: 028 9023 3821
Freephone: 0800 34 34 24
Health and Social Care Board Complaints Office HSC Board Headquarters 12-22 Linenhall Street BELFAST BT2 2BS
Tel: 028 9536 3893
Patient and Client Council Freepost Patient and Client Council Belfast
Freephone: 0800 917 0222
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations and is a piece of legislation that superseded the Data Protection Act 1998 on Friday 25th May 2018. It not only applies to the UK and EU; it covers anywhere in the world in which data about EU citizens is processed.
The GDPR is similar to the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 (which the practice already complies with), but strengthens many of the DPA’s principles. The main changes are:
- Practices must comply with subject access requests.
- Where we need your consent to process data, this consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.
- There are new, special protections for patient data.
- The Information Commissioner’s Office must be notified within 72 hours of a data breach.
- Higher fines for data breaches – up to 20 million euros.
What GDPR will mean for Patients.
The GDPR sets out the key principles about processing personal data, for staff or patients;
- Data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
- It must be collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes.
- It must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.
- Information must be accurate and kept up to date.
- Data must be held securely.
- It can only be retained for as long as is necessary for the reasons it was collected.
There are also stronger rights for patients regarding the information that practices hold about them. These include;
- Being informed about how their data is used.
- Patients to have access to their own data.
- Patients can ask to have incorrect information changed.
- Restrict how their data is used.
- Move their patient data from one health organisation to another.
- The right to object their patient information being processed (in certain circumstances).
At Kensington Group Practice we use your data to:
- Book/cancel appointments
- Appointment reminders
- Direct contact to discuss treatment and appointments
- Referrals to hospitals/specialists with your consent
What is “patient data”?
Patient data is information that relates to a single person, such as his/her diagnosis, name, age, earlier medical history etc.
What is “consent”?
Consent is permission from a patient – an individual’s consent is defined as “any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes by which the data subject signifies his agreement to personal data relating to him/her being processed.”
The changes in GDPR mean that we must get explicit permission from patients when using their data. This is to protect your right to privacy, and we may ask you to provide consent to do certain things, like contact you or record certain information about you for your clinical records.
Individuals also have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.
Please see below for further information, details on undertaking a Subject Access Request, and our updated Privacy notices.
GDPR in brief
Access to Medical Records
Access to Medical Records under Data Protection Act
How we use your telephone numbers and email addresses
Direct Care and Emergencies
Emergency Care Summary
Health Data Collection and Health Observatory