Underwood Surgery

139 St. George's Road, Cheltenham GL50 3EQ

Policies



We are required to implement and publish a number of policies. The Care Quality Commission and the Primary Care Trust from time to time inspect us. Our main polices are listed below.

Consent

Consent for a non-intimate examination, such as taking blood pressure, is generally implied. This means permission will not be sought.

Consent for an intimate examination requires expressed (verbal) consent. This means permission will be sought.

Consent for a minor operation requires written consent. You will be counselled so that informed consent is obtained.

[Consent Leaflet (.pdf)]

Consent for Children's Treatment (Under the Age of 16)

Where it is considered appropriate by parents, or where an adolescent does not wish the presence of an adult, a child may give the legal consent to their own treatment.

Under these circumstances, the clinician must be satisfied that the child has a full understanding of the advice and treatment being provided.

Chaperones

Our Practice is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone 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.

Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy.

If you wish to have a member of the Practice staff present during your consultation please mention this to our Reception Staff when booking your appointment, or to the doctor at your consultation, and it will be arranged.

Breast Feeding

The Surgery tries to provide breast feeding facilities. We are short of space downstairs but if possible we will provide an empty clinical room. Upstairs however, we have a quiet room with a comfortable sofa. Please ask one of our receptionists if you need a quiet private area to breast feed.

Equality, Diversity and Human Rights

The Practice aims to promote equality and diversity and value the benefits this brings. It is our aim to ensure that all staff feel valued and have a fair and equitable quality of working life.

The Practice is committed to the principles contained in the Human Rights Act. We aim to ensure that our employment policies protect the rights and interests of our staff and ensure that they are treated in a fair, dignified and equitable way when employed at the Practice.

Comments and Complaints

We welcome your views and constructive suggestions which will help us improve our service to you. There is a suggestion / comments box located at the front entrance for this purpose. Please click here for details:

[Complaints & Comments Leaflet (.doc)]

Access to Medical Record - Data Protection Act 1998.

Please request in writing to the Practice Manager using the form below:

[Request to view Medical Record (.doc)]

If the request is to view vaccinations then please request in writing to the Practice Manager using the form below:

[Request to view Medical Record vaccines (.doc)]

Cost of obtaining Copies of Health Records:

  • If held on computer - maximum £10. Free to view if information updated in last 40 days
  • If held in another media - maximum £50
  • If held on a combination of computer and other medias - maximum £50.

For details on how we process requests click here:

[Patient Access to Medical Records (.doc)]

Freedom of Information 1988

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

For details of the practice scheme please click here:

[Publication Scheme (.doc)]

Confidentiality

Your rights are protected as we are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The Act provides a framework which governs the processing of information that identifies living individuals.

The NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice (COP) applies only to patient information.It incorporates the requirements of the DPA and other relevant legislation together with the recommendations of the Caldicott report and medical ethical considerations, in some cases extending statutory requirements and provides detailed specific guidance.

[Confidentiality (.pdf)]

All staff in the Practice are bound contractually to maintain Patient confidentiality and any proven breach of this will be treated extremely seriously.

We respect your right to privacy and keep all your health information confidential and secure. Confidentiality also extends to Patients' family members. Medical information relating to you will not be divulged to a family member or anyone else, without your written consent.

As we are a computerised Practice, all our patient records are kept on computer and can assure patients of complete confidentiality.

It is important that the NHS keeps accurate and up-to-date records about your health and treatment so that those treating you can give you the best possible advice and care. However, for the effective functioning of a multi-disciplinary team it is sometimes necessary that medical information about you is shared between members of the practice team.

We follow the guidance issued by the GMC in 'Confidentiality: Protecting and Providing Information' which explains circumstances in which information may be disclosed.

This information is only available to those involved in your care and you should never be asked for personal medical information by anyone not involved in your care.

You have a right to know what information we hold about you. If you would like to see your records, please speak to Fred Whalley, the practice manager.

1. Sharing your Anonymous Data with other Organizations - Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)

The Practice shares anonymous data about you with the NHS. This information includes information required for GP Contract monitoring and data required for local and national clinical audits eg National Diabetic Audit.

It is important that the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. The NHS would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help provide a full picture. This will allow the NHS to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so professionals can see what has worked best. Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone. How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.

You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, ask the practice in writing to make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health emergency). For more information select one of the following downloads

[Patient information leaflet (.pdf)]

2. Sharing your Drug (Prescriptions) and Allergy Data with other Organizations - Summary Care Record (SCR) and the Joining up your Information Project.

Patient specific information concerning your drugs and allergies is shared with the Out of Hours service and some Emergency Departments via the Summary Care Record. This allows clinicians at the sites to see your prescriptions and allergies but only with your verbal consent. Text from your written GP record cannot be read.

This is due to be expanded locally in Gloucestershire with the JUYI project. The Surgery supports this project and we would recommend patients consent.

For information on the project and if you would like to consider opting out then click here.


3. Sharing the whole of your GP Record with other Organisations - Data Sharing Module (eDSM)

The Underwood Surgery uses a computer system called SystmOne. This system is now the most commonly used GP software system across the NHS. You can now choose to share your electronic record with other care services. If you do this it will mean that when you temporarily register at another Surgery or attend an AE department the doctors will have access to all your records if you give them permission when you attend. This is an extremely useful tool to help with your care particularly if you have complex problems.

You can also choose not to share your electronic record with other care services. The Underwood Surgery will assume this is your choice unless you inform us otherwise. This is the default option for you if you have concerns about other providers viewing your medical history without your permission. However all providers who have access to your record will be bound by strict confidentiality ethics and an audit trail is kept of anybody accessing your information.

[Patient leaflet TPP data sharing (.pdf)]

NHS Constitution

The NHS is founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the communities and people it serves – patients and public – and the staff who work for it.

This Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England.

It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.

All NHS bodies and private and third sector providers supplying NHS services are required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions.

The Constitution will be renewed every 10 years, with the involvement of the public, patients and staff.

Please download this file for more information:

[NHS Constitution (.pdf)]

Practice Charter

We have a Practice Charter which you can download below:

[Practice Charter (.doc)]

Patient Dignity and Respect Policy

We have a policy which includes:

  • The Practice will not under any circumstances, stereotype patients based on pre-formed, perceived opinions.
  • Offering the provision of a private discussion with a receptionist, if required.
  • A hearing loop is installed and operational at all times, and staff members are trained in its use.
  • Guide dogs are permitted in all parts of the building.

Violence Statement

Staff who treat patients have a right to work free from any form of threats, fear, abuse or violence. The GP practices in Gloucestershire have agreed a Zero Tolerance Policy. Depending on the level of the incident a patient who is verbally rude or mildly abusive may be sent a letter as a final warning. Any further incident will result in the patient being removed from the Practice list.

Following removal the patient may face police charges resulting from the incident and will not be seen by any local GP Practice. The patient will have to travel to Gloucester to the Vaughan Centre to receive any further GP services in secure conditions for healthcare staff and will not receive home visits.

Late For Surgery Policy

If a patient is more than 10 minutes late for an appointment then the automatic booking system will not work. The clinician may refuse to see you and you will have to re-book an appointment.

If there is a good reason why you are late or if your problem is urgent then the Surgery may agree to fit you into the GP's surgery, ask you to wait to the end of the surgery or see the 'On Call' GP.

The automatic system will not book you in more than 30 minutes before your appointment.

Collecting Controlled Drugs Policy

If a patient or a representative is collecting a controlled drug then you may be asked for proof of identity.