The Surgery prides itself in maintaining professional standards. For certain examinations during consultations an impartial observer (a “Chaperone”) will be required.
This impartial observer will be a practice Nurse, Health Care Assistant or a member of our reception team who is familiar with the procedure and be available to reassure and raise any concerns on your behalf. If a nurse in unavailable at the time of your consultation then your examination may be re-scheduled for another time.
You are free to decline any examination or chose an alternative examiner or chaperone. You may also request a chaperone for any examination or consultation if one is not offered to you. The GP may not undertake an examination if a chaperone is declined.
The role of a Chaperone:
• Maintains professional boundaries during intimate examinations.
• Acknowledges a patient’s vulnerability.
• Provides emotional comfort and reassurance.
• Assists in the examination.
• Assists with undressing patients, if required.
What do we Record?
Information about you, your medical treatment, and family background may be recorded, either on paper or in computer files, as part of providing you with health services. This information is vital to the proper operation of the NHS, and is needed to give you and others the best possible healthcare.
What you can do?
Please read the rest of this notice in order to better understand how we use medical information about you. For further details please see information leaflet entitled “Your Information” displayed in the Practice or ask receptionist for details.
The NHS is not the only government service to provide you with care, and it will be necessary for us to provide other agencies with appropriate information, but only with your consent (or that of your relatives if you are too ill).
How do we protect your information?
The sensitivity of patient information is well understood within the NHS. All staff and contractors are trained to respect their duty of confidentiality to you. We keep paper and electronic records securely to prevent unauthorised access or misuse. Wherever practicable, we also remove references to personal details such as your name and address, and often restrict it further to reduce the chances of anyone identifying a record as relating to you.
You can have a say in how the NHS uses information about you. If you want to find out more or have any concerns you can phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 and request a booklet giving more details; go online at www.nhs.uk\confidentiality; or you can contact the Patient Liaison Team at the following address: Bromley PCT, Bassetts House, Broadwater Gardens, Orpington, Kent BR6 7UA. Tel. No. 01689 853339
Freedom of Information
The ICO has published a new Model Publication Scheme that all public authorities are required to adopt by 1st January 2009.
How information about you helps us to provide better care.
Confidential information from your medical records can be used by the NHS to improve the services offered so we can provide the best possible care for everyone. This information along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information. This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you.
You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything. If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please see the leaflet “How information about you helps us to provide better care” in the waiting Room.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act creates a right of access to recorded information and obliges a public authority to:
- Have a publication scheme in place
- Allow public access to information held by public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded organisational information such as reports, policies or strategies, that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland, however it does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.
The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner who regulates both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.
The Surgery Publication Scheme
A publication scheme requires an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities.
The scheme lists information under seven broad classes, which are:
- who we are and what we do
- what we spend and how we spend it
- what our priorities are and how we are doing it
- how we make decisions
- our policies and procedures
- lists and registers
- the services we offer
You can request our publication scheme leaflet at the surgery.
Who can request information?
Under the Act, any individual, anywhere in the world, is able to make a request to a practice for information. An applicant is entitled to be informed in writing, by the practice, whether the practice holds information of the description specified in the request and if that is the case, have the information communicated to him.
An individual can request information, regardless of whether he/she is the subject of the information or affected by its use.
How should requests be made?
- be made in writing (this can be electronically e.g. email/fax)
- state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence
- describe the information requested.
What cannot be requested?
Personal data about staff and patients covered under Data Protection Act.
For more information see these websites:
General Data Protection Regulation
GP surgeries in Bromley work hard to provide the public and patients with clear and accurate information relating to how their personal information is used. Privacy Notices are put in place on the Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group website to inform service users of these uses of data by your GP surgery.
Please find further information regarding privacy notices here.
All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GP’s working in Norheads Lane Surgery in the last financial year was £75,754 before tax and national insurance. This for 0 full time GPs, 2 part time GPs and 1 locum GPs who worked in the practice for more than 6 months.
How We Use Your Information
To Provide You with Treatment
Doctors need to make notes about any diagnosis, test results, treatments including drugs prescriptions, and other information that you may provide, that seems relevant to the treatment of your condition. We need to keep this information in order to provide proper care for you (for later treatment, or if you should be seen by another doctor) and to allow others to check the treatment that you have received.
Nurses and other health professionals also need access to these records, and will add their own notes, as part of the overall healthcare provision. Secretaries, receptionists, and other clerical staff need access to some of your records in order to do administrative tasks, such as: booking appointments and communicating with you and other parts of the NHS.
Your doctor may also need to provide information under certain Acts of Parliament (e.g. the Communicable Diseases Act 1978, which is necessary to prevent the outbreak of certain highly contagious diseases) to protect you and others.
The Health Service
In order to manage the NHS, some restricted information concerning treatments, drugs prescribed, numbers of patients seen etc. is needed, and hospitals and general practices must provide this information in returns to various central bodies. This information has personal details such as your name and address removed wherever possible. It is necessary from time to time to check these returns to prevent fraud as part of the NHS’s statutory obligations.
This may result in your being contacted by an NHS Fraud Office to see if you will consent to your records being checked. Only if you provide your consent will the auditors be allowed to access your records.
Some medical files are needed to teach student clinicians. Without such materials, new doctors and nurses would be not be properly prepared to treat you.
We need to be able to plan ahead about treatments, patient numbers, etc., but this uses summary information, not personal information.
Some medical research will require your direct involvement (especially if taking part in clinical trials) in which case the circumstances will be fully explained to you, and your express consent required. If you do not consent, then you will not be included in the trial.
Other researchers only require access to medical statistics, and can greatly improve our understanding of health, and how to treat patients more effectively. Generally, researchers only need information about groups of people, so that no individual information is apparent. In some cases, they need individual records, but wherever we can we will provide these in an anonymous form (so individuals cannot be identified). Sometimes, researchers need access to individual medical files. We will contact you first for your consent (and before this the researchers must present their case before an Ethics Committee to check that their research is appropriate and worthwhile).
Rarely, it may not be practicable (or even possible) to contact individuals for their consent, in which case the researchers must make their case before a Confidentiality Committee to show that there is enough benefit to the public at large to justify this.
How do we Manage Your Information?
We need to be able to move electronic information from system to system, extracting the data and modifying it for the next system. Occasionally, tests will need to be made on the data to check that it has been transferred correctly. This will only be done under carefully controlled conditions and all employees and contractors will be under strict contractual obligations to protect your confidentiality.
Practice staff should use the new GP e-form to report all patient safety incidents and near misses whether they result in harm or not.
These reports are used to spot any emerging patterns of similar incidents or anything of particular concern.
This will help protect patients by raising awareness of the risks through shared learning with general practices and other health providers across the country.
Infection Control Statement
We aim to keep our surgery clean and tidy and offer a safe environment to our patients and staff. We are proud of our modern, purpose built Practice and endeavour to keep it clean and well maintained at all times.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness or infection control, please report these to our Reception staff.
Our GPs and nursing staff follow our Infection Control Policy to ensure the care we deliver and the equipment we use is safe.
We take additional measures to ensure we maintain the highest standards:
- Encourage staff and patients to raise any issues or report any incidents relating to cleanliness and infection control. We can discuss these and identify improvements we can make to avoid any future problems.
- Carry out an annual infection control audit to make sure our infection control procedures are working.
- Provide annual staff updates and training on cleanliness and infection control
- Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are adequate and meet national guidance.
- Maintain the premises and equipment to a high standard within the available financial resources and ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove all infection risk.
- Use washable or disposable materials for items such as couch rolls, modesty curtains, floor coverings, towels etc., and ensure that these are laundered, cleaned or changed frequently to minimise risk of infection.
- Make Alcohol Hand Rub Gel available throughout the building
We have allocated a Named Accountable GP for all of our registered patients. If you do not know who your named GP is, please ask a member of our reception team.
Unfortunately, we are unable to notify patients in writing of any change of GP due to the costs involved.
New Patient Policy
Where it is clinically appropriate and practical to register, we now accept new registration from patients who work in the local area but reside outside of our registration area.
Patients registered this way would not be entitled to home visit from the practice, however they will be able to contact NHS 111 in order to be seen by a practice closer to where they live.
For further information about this type of registration, please contact us on 01959 574488 or feel free to come into the practice.
What is non-NHS work and why is there a fee?
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: prescription charges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.
Sometimes the charge is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, producing medical reports for insurance companies, to whom it may concern letters. The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients but not non-NHS work. It is important to understand that many GPs are not employed by the NHS; they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lightning, etc. – in the same way as any small business.
In recent years, however, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their own NHS patients are:
- accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes
- school fee and holiday insurance certificates
- reports for health clubs to certify that patients are fit to exercise
- private prescriptions for travel purposes
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
- life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies
- reports for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in connection with
- disability living allowance and attendance allowance
- medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering
- copies of records for solicitors
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of their patients. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-NHS work?
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees suggested by them are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates they suggest.
Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. Our GPs do non-NHS work out of NHS time at evenings or weekends so that NHS patient care does not suffer.
I only need the doctor’s signature – what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s ENTIRE medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
If you are a new patient we may not have your medical records so the doctor must wait for these before completing the form.
What will I be charged?
It is recommended that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and what the fee will be. It is up to individual doctors to decide how much they will charge. The surgery has a list of fees based on these suggested fees which is available on request.
What can I do to help?
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge. Read the information that comes with these types of forms carefully before requesting your GP to complete them.
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.
- Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight: urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this may cost more. Usually non-NHS work will take 2 weeks.
As part of our legal duties, this practice is required to:
- Maintain full and accurate records of the care and services we provide you
- Keep records about you confidential and secure
The practice aims to provide you with safe, high quality care that is based on accurate, up to date information.
This information allows us to work others involved in your care and this may involve sharing information with other health and social care organisations.
- Basic details such as address, date of birth and next of kin
- Contact we have had with you
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details and records about your treatment and care
Others may also need to use records about you to:
- Check the quality of care you are receiving
- Protect the health of the general public
- Keep track of NHS spending
- Help investigate any concerns or complaints you ask us to
- Teach students or staff
- Support health and social care research
Sometimes we share your information with third parties to support your care such as:
- Social care
- Community Health
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Mental Health Providers
- NHS Digital
When we are sharing information to support third parties in providing your care, we will work hard to ensure it is the minimum necessary and that it is done so securely and lawfully. We aim to ensure that we only use your personal information in a way that you would reasonably expect.
When we share information that is used for healthcare management or planning, this does not allow for you to be identified.
Sometimes we will be required to share information for other reasons:
- When required to by law
- We have special permission for health or research purposes (e.g. if you have agreed to take part in a research trial)
- There is a strong public interest (e.g. there is a risk of serious harm or crime)
You can choose not to have information that could identify you shared beyond your GP practice. You can also choose to prevent information that does not identify you from being shared for planning and research.
Simply contact your GP either to register an opt-out or end an opt-out you have already registered and they will update your medical record. Your GP practice will also be able to confirm whether or not you have registered an opt-out in the past.
If you have previously told your GP practice that you don’t want NHS Digital to share your personal confidential information for purposes other than your own care and treatment, your opt-out will have been implemented by NHS Digital from 29th April 2016 as instructed in a direction from the Secretary of State. It will remain in place unless you change it.
As the Secretary of State’s direction; this included the policy on how to apply opt-outs was not available before April 2016 it was not possible for NHS Digital to honour opt-outs made before this date. This means that information may have been shared without respecting these opt-outs between January 2014 and April 2016.
You can find more information on NHS Digital’s website:
Read about: http://www.ourhealthiersel.nhs.uk/privacy-notice.htm
Under Data Protection law, you have a right to:
- object to certain uses of your data
- to be provided with a copy information held about you
- that your information will not be used for direct marketing purposes
- have any incorrect information amended or erased
Please contact your surgery for any requests made in connection with these rights.
For a copy of your information:
- Your request must be made in writing to your surgery
- The surgery is required to respond to your request in writing within 40 days (a month from May 2018)
- You will need to give the surgery your full name, address, date of birth and NHS number
- You will be required to provide personal identification such as a driving licence or passport
Use of the Website
Generally, our website will not require you to enter personal information. When it does, for example; online appointment booking, we will apply the same confidentiality principles as those described above.
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should be aware that we do not have any control over the other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting these sites.
We intend to protect the confidentiality, quality and integrity of your personal information and we have implemented appropriate technical and organisational measures to do so. These include staff training, up to date policies and procedures and working to align with national cyber security guidelines.
Statement of Intent
New contractual requirements came into force from 1 April 2014 requiring that GP Practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the following IT developments:
- Summary Care Record (SCR)
- GP to GP Record Transfers
- Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
- Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
The same contractual obligations require that we have a statement of intent regarding these developments in place and published by 30 September 2014.
Please find below details of the practices stance with regards to these points.
Summary Care Record (SCR)
NHS England require practices to enable successful automated uploads of any changes to patient’s summary information, at least on a daily basis, to the summary care record (SCR) or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
Having your Summary Care Record (SCR) available will help anyone treating you without your full medical record. They will have access to information about any medication you may be taking and any drugs that you have a recorded allergy or sensitivity to.
Of course, if you do not want your medical records to be available in this way then you will need to let us know so that we can update your record. You can do this via the opt out form.
The practice confirms that your SCR is automatically updated on at least a daily basis to ensure that your information is as up to date as it can possibly be.
GP to GP Record Transfers
NHS England require practices to utilise the GP2GP facility for the transfer of patient records between practices, when a patient registers or de-registers (not for temporary registration).
It is very important that you are registered with a doctor at all times. If you leave your GP and register with a new GP, your medical records will be removed from your previous doctor and forwarded on to your new GP via NHS England. It can take your paper records up to two weeks to reach your new surgery.
With GP to GP record transfers your electronic record is transferred to your new practice much sooner.
The practice confirms that GP to GP transfers are already active and we send and receive patient records via this system.
Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
NHS England require practices to promote and offer the facility to enable patients online access to appointments, prescriptions, allergies and adverse reactions or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
We currently offer the facility for booking and cancelling appointments and also for ordering your repeat prescriptions and viewing a summary of your medical records online. If you do not already have a username and password for this system – please register your interest with our reception staff.
Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
It is already a requirement of the Health and Social Care Act that practices must meet the reasonable data requirements of commissioners and other health and social care organisations through appropriate and safe data sharing for secondary uses, as specified in the technical specification for care data.
At our practice we have specific arrangements in place to allow patients to “opt out” of care.data which allows for the removal of data from the practice. Please see the page about care data on our website.
The Practice confirm these arrangements are in place and that we undertake annual training and audits to ensure that all our data is handled correctly and safely via the Information Governance Toolkit.
Suggestions, Comments and Complaints
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
In the majority of cases the best way to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible is with the front line staff or the service or organisation that you are complaining about.
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.
Simply contact the Practice Manager preferably in writing via our Contact Us page or by completing a complaints form available in surgery, and she/he will set all the necessary wheels in motion. Alternatively please visit our feedback form if you have any suggestions.
We are continually striving to improve our service. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated and a suggestion box is located in the waiting area.
Summary Care Records
About your Summary Care Record
Your Summary Care Record contains important information about any medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have previously experienced.
Allowing authorised healthcare staff to have access to this information will improve decision making by doctors and other healthcare professionals and has prevented mistakes being made when patients are being cared for in an emergency or when their GP practice is closed.
Your Summary Care Record also includes your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS Number to help identify you correctly.
You may want to add other details about your care to your Summary Care Record. This will only happen if both you and your GP agree to do this. You should discuss your wishes with your GP practice.
Healthcare staff will have access to this information, so that they can provide safer care, whenever or wherever you need it, anywhere in England.
Who can see my Summary Care Record?
Healthcare staff who have access to your Summary Care Record:
• need to be directly involved in caring for you
• need to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode
• will only see the information they need to do their job and
• will have their details recorded every time they look at your record
Healthcare staff will ask for your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), healthcare staff may look at your record without asking you, because they consider that this is in your best interest.
If they have to do this, this decision will be recorded and checked to ensure that the access was appropriate.
What are my choices?
You can choose to have a Summary Care Record or you can choose to opt out.
If you choose to have a Summary Care Record and are registered with a GP practice, you do not need to do anything as a Summary Care Record is created for you.
If you choose to opt out of having a Summary Care Record and do not want a SCR, you need to let your GP practice know by filling in and returning an opt-out form which can be obtained from your GP practice.
If you are unsure if you have already opted out, you should talk to the staff at your GP practice.
You can change your mind at any time by simply informing your GP and they can create a Summary Care Record for you.
Children and the Summary Care Record
If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16, you should make this information available to them and support the child to come to a decision as to whether to have a Summary Care Record or not.
If you believe that your child should opt-out of having a Summary Care Record, we strongly recommend that you discuss this with your child’s GP. This will allow your child’s GP to highlight the consequences of opting-out, prior to you finalising your decision.
Where can I get more information?
For more information about Summary Care Records you can:
• talk to the staff at your GP practice
• phone the Health and Social Care Information Centre on 0300 303 5678
• Read the Summary Care Record patient information
The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
We 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. We ask you to treat your doctors and their staff courteously and act reasonably.
All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning after a second incident or removed from the practice list after a third incident if your behaviour has been unreasonable.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or verbal abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police will be contacted if an incident is taking place and the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.
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 Surgery, 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.
Removing Other Members of the Household
In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family.
This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.