Confidentiality & Medical Records
The 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.
Data Protection Act - Patient Information
All patient information is considered to be confidential and we fully comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Caldicott principles. All employees in the practice have access to this information in relation to their role, have confidentiality clauses in their contracts of employment and have signed a confidentiality agreement. All staff members adhere to the confidentiality NHS Code of Practice 2003.
We need to hold personal information about you on our computer system and in paper records to help us to look after your health needs, and your doctor is responsible for their accuracy and safe-keeping. please help to keep your record up to date by informing us of any changes to your circumstances.
All information about you is held securely and appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent accidental loss.
Doctors and staff in the practice have access to your medical records to enable them to do their jobs. From time to time information may be shared with others involved in your care if it is necessary. Anyone with access to your record is properly trained in confidentiality issues and is governed by both a legal and contractual duty to keep your details private.
Where a patient wishes information not to be shared within the team providing direct care then they must discuss this with their GP or Executive Partner.
Patient information will not be shared outside of the direct care team without consent being sought. An individual has the right to refuse to have their information disclosed although this may have an impact on their care, and wishes will be complied with.
In some circumstances we may be require by law to release your details to statutory or other official bodies, for example if a court order is presented, or in the case of public health issues. In other circumstances you may be required to give written consent before information is released - such as for medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc.
Summary Care Record
The Summary Care Record (SCR) enables healthcare staff providing care for patients in an emergency and from anywhere in England, to be made aware of any current medications or allergies they may suffer from. This information from every patient record is sent electronically to the Spine in order for this to happen. If patients wish their information to be withheld from the SCR they can "opt out".
Further information and the Opt Out Form can be found here.
Local Shared Care Record (or Enhanced Data Sharing Module eDSM)
Many people think that their GP health records is available to all healthcare professionals involved in their care, but this is not always the case. At the moment, each professional a patient sees keeps a separate record. This can mean some important information not being communicated between health services as well as it could be. Having a single electronic record with all health information in one place means that care providers can give patients the most safe and efficient care possible. Health information recorded at Wallingbrook Health Group can be shared digitally with other health and care organisations where patients are being treated. Wallingbrook Health Group asks patients if they wish to share their information on an individual patient basis with regard to the local shared care record.
Further information can be found here.
Please note that it is the Practice's policy to record all telephone calls for the purposes of patient and staff care, security, and dispute resolution. Recordings and their use will be at the Partners' discretion and will also comply with the Practice's Data Protection registration.
To ensure your privacy, we will not disclose information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. Information will not be disclosed to family, friends, or spouses unless we have prior written consent, and we do not leave messages with others.
The Practice's Responsibilities
The Practice will ensure that employees fully understand all their responsibilities with regard to confidential data by ensuring employees undertake Information Governance training and sign a written statement of the responsibilities they are undertaking towards the security of the data. Competency will be assessed as an on-going process and as part of the appraisal process.
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 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.
For further information please download a copy of the Access to Medical Records Leaflet and the Application form for Access to Medical Records.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
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. Click here for a copy of the practice complaints procedure.
For further information please download a copy of the complaints leaflet.
To submit a complaint by post, please download the complaints form and post to:
Wallingbrook Health Centre, Back Lane, Chulmleigh, Devon, EX18 7DL
Third Party Consent
If you are complaining on behalf of a patient or your complaint involves the medical care of a patient then the consent of the patient will be required. Please obtain the patients signed declaration. For further details please refer to the complaints leaflet.
To submit a Complaint by Post, please download the complaints form and the third party complaints form, and post to:
Wallingbrook Health Centre, Back Lane, Chulmleigh, Devon, EX18 7DL.
The Practice takes it very seriously if a member of staff or one of the doctors or nursing team is treated in an abusive or violent way.
The Practice supports the government's 'Zero Tolerance' campaign for Health Service Staff. This states that GPs and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused. To successfully provide these services a mutual respect between all the staff and patients has to be in place.
All our staff aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all patients' individual needs and circumstances. They would respectfully remind patients that very often staff could be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations, all at the same time. The staff 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.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.
In order for the practice to maintain good relations with their patients the practice would like to ask all its patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:
- Using bad language or swearing at practice staff
- Any physical violence towards any member of the Primary Health Care Team or other patients, such as pushing or shoving
- Verbal abuse towards the staff in any form including verbally insulting the staff
- Racial abuse and sexual harassment will not be tolerated within this practice
- Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff will not be accepted. Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
- Causing damage/stealing from the Practice's premises, staff or patients
- Obtaining drugs and/or medical services fraudulently
We ask you to treat your GPs and their staff courteously at all times.
Non Attendance Policy
Approximately 120 appointments are classified as 'Did Not Attend' i.e. the patient did not attend their appointment and did not contact the surgery in advance to cancel/change their appointment. The effects of these are:
- A potential risk to the health of the patient
- An increase in waiting time for appointments for other patients
- Frustration for both staff and patients where the wasted appointment could have been given to another patient who is waiting
- A waste of resource
It is important that any patient non-attendance policy is agreed as a practice and that patients are made aware of the policy and the reason for implementing. Whilst it is important to be consistent, there will be exceptions on an individual case-by-case basis. The policy is conveyed by posters displayed in the waiting room and by advertising the policy on this website. This policy is discussed with the Patient Participation Group.
Patient Non-Attendance Policy
Certificate of Registration with the Information Commissioner's Office
To view Wallingbrook Health Group ICO certificate Click here.