Patient rights and responsibilities

Our responsibilities to you

  • We are committed to giving you the best possible service.  This will be achieved by working together.
  • You have a right to absolute confidentiality.
  • You will be treated as a partner in the care and attention you receive.
  • You will be treated as an individual and will be given courtesy and respect at all times, irrespective of your ethnic origin, religious belief, personal attributes or the nature of your health problems.
  • Following discussion, you will receive the most appropriate care, given by suitably qualified people.  No care or treatment will be given without your informed consent.
  • You have the right to see your health records, which will be kept confidential, subject to any limitations in the law.
  • We will give you full information about the services we offer.  Every effort will be made to ensure that you receive the information, which directly affects your health and the care being offered.
  • People involved in your care will give you their names and ensure that you know how to contact them.
  • It is our job to give you treatment and advice.  In the interest of your health it is important for you to understand all the information given to you.  Please ask us questions if you are unsure of anything.
  • Patients may choose whether or not to take part in research or training.
  • We will arrange a home visit as appropriate for those patients who are too ill or infirm to be brought to the surgery.
  • We run an appointments system in this practice.  You will be given a time at which the doctor or nurse hopes to see you.  We will try to ensure that you are seen on time, but some consultations take longer than others and we have no way of knowing about this in advance.  If there is a patient with an emergency or a serious problem we will give them priority.  When there is a prolonged delay, an explanation will be given by the receptionist.
  • All new patients will be offered an appointment for a health check.
  • We will provide you with the information about how to make suggestions or complaints about the care we offer.  We want to improve services and we, therefore, welcome any comments you have.
  • Any complaints will be dealt with promptly in conjunction with our complaints policy.
  • We try to answer the phone promptly and to ensure there are sufficient staff to do this.
  • Urgent prescriptions will be available after 5.00pm on the day the request is received at the surgery and routine prescriptions within 2 working days.
  • If you have undergone tests or xrays ordered by the practice, we will inform you of the results at your next appointment.  If no further appointment needs to be arranged, we will advise you when and how to obtain the results.
  • If we consider that you need a second opinion or treatment not available in the practice, we will try and inform you of the best way of achieving this.
  • All practice staff will wear a badge so that their name is known to you.
  • All consulting rooms are labeled so that you will know the person’s name.
  • A 24 hour emergency service will be available on the usual surgery telephone number, at all times, even when the surgery itself is closed.
  • If you change your doctor we will ensure that your notes are forwarded as soon as possible.
  • Any information related to the charter and local standards will be advertised widely to all patients.
  • The practice will offer advice and information on:
    – steps that can be taken to promote good health and avoid illness
    – self-help, which can be undertaken without reference to a doctor in the case of minor ailments
  • If you are totally dissatisfied with us or the services we provide, you have the right at any time to leave our list and register with another practice.

Your responsibilities to us

  • Help us to help you.
  • Being a partner means that we have responsibilities to each other.
  • We ask that you treat the doctors; all practice staff and their families with the same courtesy and respect.
  • We would ask you to try and follow medical advice offered and to take any medication as advised.
  • Do not ask for information about anyone other than yourself.
  • Only request an urgent appointment if appropriate.
  • Please allow sufficient time for your consultant’s letter or the results of any tests to reach us.
  • Please read our practice information pack.  This will help you to get the best out of the services we offer and will tell you about the arrangements we have made to receive your comments.
  • Please let us know if you change your name, address or telephone number.
  • We need help too.  Please ask for a night visit only when you feel it is truly necessary and home visits by the doctor only when patients are too ill to visit the surgery.  Please do not ask for a home visit unless the patient cannot be brought to the surgery.  In particular, most children can quite safely be brought to the surgery by car.  Please ensure that your request for a home visit reaches the surgery before 10.00am unless a genuine emergency arises later.
  • Outside surgery hours we provide cover for emergencies at all times, but please do not call out of hours unless it is an emergency, which cannot wait until the next day.
  • Please do everything you can to keep appointments – tell us as soon as possible if you cannot keep an appointment so that we can offer it to another patient.
  • Please try and be punctual.  If you arrive later than your appointment time this may cause delays and inconvenience to other patients.  Please ask for more than one appointment if you want more than one patient to be seen.  If we are running late, please be patient because on another occasion it might be you that needs the extra time – please don’t blame the receptionist.
  • Please keep your telephone calls brief and avoid calling during the peak morning (08.30 am – 09.30am) for non-urgent matters.
  • Please do not ring before the stated time.  Enquiries about tests ordered by the hospital should be directed to the hospital and not the practice.
  • Please do not ask for or arrange a specialist appointment without first discussing the matter fully with your own doctor.  If you decide later that you no longer need an appointment made for you, inform both the hospital and us.
  • You are responsible for your own health and that of your children and you should take appropriate action and advice.
  • We have the right to remove patients from our list.  In general we will only exercise this right in the case of patients who repeatedly and persistently ignore their own responsibilities to us and to other patients.  We will remove from our list immediately patients who are violent or seriously abusive towards any of the practice staff.