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Practice Policies

Confidentiality & Medical Records

Locked blue folderThe practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:

  • To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
  • To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
  • When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.

If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.

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.

Freedom of Information

Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.

Access to Records

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Complaints

Customer service form

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the Doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.  Please see our ‘Practice Complaints’ Leaflet in reception for full details.

How to complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible - ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks - because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:

within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem;

or

within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem; provided this is within 12 months of the incident.

Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager or any of the Doctors. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager, in order to discuss your concerns. She will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are specific as possible about your complaint

What we will do

We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved. When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:

  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with the Practice Manager
  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A letter signed by the person concerned will be needed, unlessthey are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.

Further Help & Advice

Greater Manchester NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA)

5th Floor Arthur House, Chorlton Street, Manchester, M1 3FH

Tel:  0808 802 3000

Wigan Citizens Advice Bureau

Wigan Life Centre, The Wiend, Wigan, WN1 1NJ

Tel: 0844 826 9713

Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS)

Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, WN1 2NN

Tel: 01942 822376      Email: patient.relations@wwl.nhs.uk 

Complaining to the Health Care Commission

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure.

We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. However, if you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation you should contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on 0345 0154033.

Contacting the Care Quality Commission

If you have a genuine concern about a staff member or regulated activity carried on by this Practice then you can contact the Care Quality Commission on 03000 616161, or alternatively visit the following website: https://www.cqc.org.uk.

Violence Policy

The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

We have a Safeguarding Children & Adult practice policy and all our staff undergo Safeguarding training on a yearly basis.  The Safeguarding Lead at the practice is Dr Helen Unwin.

Removing Patients from the List

The most common reason for removing patients from our list is that the patient has moved outside the practice boundary.  Other justifiable reasons for removing patients include violence, theft or other unreasonable behaviour.  These are very rare and exceptional circumstances and only ever used as a last resort.  We will always try to work with our patients to resolve any problems and issue a warning if there is a possibility that they may be removed.  We will always give a reason for removing a patient.  We will never remove a patient from our list because of:

  • Costly treatment.
  • Making a complaint or raising a concern.
  • Suffering from a particular clinical condition or disability.
  • Their race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance.


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