We will always respect your privacy, dignity and your religious and cultural beliefs particularly when intimate examinations are advisable – these will only be carried out with your express agreement and you will be offered a chaperone to attend the examination if you so wish.
You may also request a chaperone when making the appointment or on arrival at the surgery (please let the receptionist know) or at any time during the consultation.
We need to hold personal information about you on our computer systems 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.
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 legal and contractual duty to keep your details private.
All information about you is held securely and appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent accidental loss.
In some circumstances we may be required 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 circumstance you may be required to give written consent before information is released – such as for medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc.
To ensure your privacy, we will not disclose information over the telephone 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.
You have a right to see your records if you wish. Please ask at reception if you would like further details about our patient information leaflet. An appointment may be required. In some circumstances a fee may be payable.
The following IT systems are in use at the practice:
- Referral Management (using NHS numbers in referrals)
- Electronic Appointment Booking (the facility to book routine appointments online and, similarly, to cancel appointments
- Online booking of repeat prescriptions
- Summary Care Record (uploading details of your current medication and allergies to the national “spine” so that these are available for doctors involved in your care elsewhere)
- GP to GP transfers (the electronic transfer of records from practice to practice when you re-register
- Patient Access to records (the facility to view your medical records online).
If you are not already registered for online access and would like to be please complete our online form.
If you would like access to your medical records enabled or would like to opt out of the local or national summary care record, please contact reception.
You can be assured that anything you discuss with any member of the surgery staff, whether doctor, nurse or receptionist, will remain confidential. Even if you are under 16, nothing will be said to anyone, including parents, other family members, care workers or teachers, without your permission. The only reason why we might want to consider passing confidential information without your permission would be to protect either you or someone else from serious harm. In this situation, we would always try to discuss this with you first.
If you have any worries or queries about confidentiality, please feel free to ask a member of staff.
if you would like to discuss matters of a confidential nature, either with our receptionists or a member of the dispensary team, we have a side room available in reception for this purpose.
Access to our Practice building
You can access the Practice through the main door. We have a ramp access or step access to the area outside the front door.
We have a wheelchair available for use.
Outside the Practice there are disabled parking bays and mobility scooter parking bays.
We are Dementia Friendly
Hearing Difficulties – If you are experiencing hearing difficulties when being called in to see the doctor or nurse, please do let us know in order for us to set up an alert on your medical records and personally collect you from the waiting room.
Equality and Diversity Policy
The average pay for GPs working in Westlands Medical Centre in the last financial year was £89,242 before tax and National Insurance. This is for: 2 full time GPs, 4 part time GPs and 1 long term locum GP who worked in the practice for six months or more.
“NHS England require that the net earnings of doctors engaged in the practice is publicised by 31 March 2021 at the latest. However, it should be noted that the prescribed method of calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice and should not be used for any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparisons with other practices.”
This practice is committed to preserving, as far as is practical, the security of data used by our information systems. This means that we will take all reasonable actions to;
Maintain the Confidentiality of all data within the practice by:
- Ensuring that only authorised persons can gain access to our systems
- Not disclosing information to anyone who has no right to see it
Maintain the integrity of all data within the practice by:
- Taking care over input
- Ensuring that all changes are reported and monitored
- Checking that the correct record is on the screen before updating
- Reporting all apparent errors and ensuring that they are resolved
Maintain the availability of all data by:
- Ensuring that all equipment is protected from intruders
- Ensuring that backups are taken at regular, predetermined intervals
- Ensuring that contingency is provided for possible failure or equipment theft and that any such contingency plans are tested and kept up to date
Additionally we will take all reasonable measures to comply with our legal responsibilities under:
Non NHS Services
Private Work Fees
Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges.
Examples include the following:
- Medicals for pre-employment, adoption and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.). None of our doctors are qualified in aviation medicine.
- Insurance claim forms
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad: NHS regulations permit prescriptions to be issued for a problem from which the patient is currently suffering. Unfortunately the NHS will not fund ‘just in case’ medications in case you become unwell abroad. Examples include those for urine infections or diarrhoea. These can be issued privately though, with a small fee for the prescription, as well as a dispensing charge from the pharmacy plus the cost of the medication.
- Private sick notes: sick notes for the first seven days of illness are not permitted to be issued under current regulations – a self-certification form or email should suffice. Further information can be found here.
- Vaccination certificates
The fees charged are available from our reception staff, who will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.
Rights & Responsibilities
Westlands aims to provide a high standard of care and service to all our patients.
We hope you will use our services thoughtfully, respect our premises and take overall responsibility for your own health and that of your children.
- Confidentiality and courtesy from all Westlands staff
- Access to your medical records (This may incur a fee. Requests in writing to the Practice)
- Telephone calls answered promptly by a receptionist
- An appointment the same day if you are acutely ill
- Repeat prescriptions available within THREE working days
- A detailed leaflet explaining our services
- Prompt investigation of any complaint
- To treat our staff with courtesy
- To be considerate to other patients in the building
- Turn off mobile phones while in the health centre
- To respect our home visiting
- Be punctual for appointments and to cancel appointments if you cannot attend
- To respect our premises. In our building please do not smoke, attend in muddy boots or dirty overalls, or bring bicycles inside
- To learn how to treat your own minor illnesses and to keep some basic household medicines in a safe place
Shared Care Records Information
Your local health and care services are working more closely together to provide a joined-up service to meet your needs.
Working together improves the quality of care because the clinicians and other professionals involved in your treatment have the best information on which to base their decisions.
It removes the need for you to repeat your story to different clinicians, thereby saving you time and frustration. It also makes the services themselves more efficient.
In order to achieve this goal, it is important that clinicians and other health and care professionals involved in a person’s care are able to view the relevant records as and when appropriate.
Anonymised treatment data is also used to help monitor and improve the quality of the services you receive.
There are very strict rules to control how and when records are used and they lay out what your rights are as part of this process.
Our legal reason for collecting your information
We have a public duty to care for patients. Under data protection legislation, organisations process information which is necessary to provide the health and social care treatment to patients, as well as the management of health or social care systems and services.
If we need to use your personal information for any reason beyond those stated above, we will discuss this with you. You have the right to ask us to not use your information, however there might be times when we still have to share your information to ensure your care is appropriate and effective; if this is the case, we will discuss this with you.
What records do we hold?
- Basic details such as address, date of birth, next of kin/emergency contact details, ethnicity, disability or language preferences.
- Inpatient and outpatient visit details, visits to the Emergency Department and contact with other organisations.
- Details and records about the treatment and care you have received. Letters related to your healthcare will be sent to your GP and a copy will be placed in your manual and electronic record.
- Results of x-rays and tests.
What are your records used for?
To produce a record of all health and care decisions made about you and the care provided to you. This may be used by clinical, support workers or administrative staff, as appropriate.
Where appropriate, information about your care will be securely shared with other organisations to enable continuation/support of your care e.g. other NHS hospitals, hospices, community services, your GP and Social Services.
Your records are also used to improve the quality of care provided, through a process of clinical audits.
In instances of concerns or complaints being raised by you or your family, your records will be shared with the relevant legal and/or complaints team for the purposes of investigation.
A coded (anonymised) version of your treatment details can also be used to monitor performance within a particular health service provider organisation. This is to ensure that health services are being managed in line with targets and contractual obligations.
Sharing your information with NHS/External Organisations
We will share your information with other organisations, to assist with giving you the best care possible. Where we share your information with these organisations, they are subject to strict information sharing protocols. Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure. Only information that is required and appropriate to support your care and treatment will be provided.
Where we share your information with other organisations that do not form part of your care, permission from yourself will be sought before sending the information unless we have a legal obligation to provide the information, or we have to because the interest of the public is thought to be of greater importance.
There are occasions where we have a legal duty to pass patient information to external organisations which operate to oversee and address issues relating to the management of the NHS as a whole.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018 health and care services have a legal basis for processing patient information where it is necessary to provide effective services without consent, for example to specialists consulting with each other about your care needs.
You have the right to object to the processing of your information for purposes other than direct care e.g. performance management of services, external clinical audits.
The NHS has implemented a National Opt-Out Programme, whereby patients have the right to opt-out of their information being used for reasons other than the patient’s individual care and treatment such as, planning and research purposes to help improve the care, treatment and quality of NHS services.
We have a legal obligation to store your health and care information. The length of time we will store your information is set out by the Department of Health & Social Care.
NHS and social care staff operate under very strict data protection rules and are trained to handle your information correctly to protect your privacy. Information is held for specified periods of time.
Health and care records are held on paper and electronically and we have a legal duty to keep these confidential, accurate and secure at all times in line with data protection legislation.
No individual information is shared outside the local health and care system. Your information is never collected for direct marketing purposes, and is not sold on to any other third parties.
Under data protection legislation, individuals have the right to obtain a copy of their own information. They will need to contact the relevant organisation and provide certain personal details and supporting evidence to do this.
To find out more visit https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/
Subject Access Requests
There may be times when you need to see part or all of your medical records.
Click on the link below for a copy of the our policy for handling such requests
Completing the form will make it easier for us to process your request; you will need to bring in photographic identification with your application.
Suggestions & Complaints
Want to make a suggestion to the practice?
Your comments and suggestions are important to us, please tell us if you have any comments about the practice and suggestions as to how we can improve our service to you.
If you have a query regarding a medical matter please telephone reception to make an appointment to see the appropriate person.
Want to make a complaint?
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.
To pursue a complaint please contact the Operations Manager will deal with your concerns appropriately.
Summary Care Record
Your patient record is held securely and confidentially on the electronic system at your GP practice. If you require treatment in another NHS healthcare setting such as an Emergency Department or Minor Injury Unit, those treating you would be better able to give you appropriate care if some of the information from the GP practice were available to them.
This information can now be shared electronically via: The Summary Care Record, used nationally across England.
The information will be used only by authorised health care professionals directly involved in your care. Your permission will be asked before the information is accessed, unless the clinician is unable to ask you and there is a clinical reason for access.
If you would like to opt out, please ask reception for our opt out form or complete the form wtih NHS Digital at: digital.nhs.uk/services/summary-care-records-scr/scr-patient-consent-preference-form
A parent or guardian can request to opt out children under 16 but ultimately it is the GP’s decision whether to create the records or not, because of their duty of care to the child. If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16 and feel that they are able to understand, then you should make this information available to them.
Who Has Access?
Across all health care settings, including urgent care, community care and outpatient departments in England.
- Your current medications
- Any allergies you have
- Any bad reactions you have had to medicines
- Additional information (upon request to your GP
Additonal Summary Care Record
For the duration of the COVID 19 pandemic extended access has been deemed necessary on a national basis. Full details can be found here https://digital.nhs.uk/services/summary–care–recordsscr/scr–coronavirus–covid–19–supplementary–privacy–notice
For more information visit:
Violent and Abusive Patients
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.