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Practice Policies

ON THE DAY BOOKING SYSTEM OF APPOINTMENTS

 

Phone lines open at 8.45am (Monday to Friday) and you are requested to book an appointment to see the Doctor on the day of your choice. You should phone early.

 

Appointments are 10 minutes per person. An appointment is for one person only. Patients must arrive within 10 minutes of their appointment time. Receptionist will inform patients when they arrived after their appointment time. Patients who arrive after their appointment time may be asked to wait until the doctor can fit them in or may be asked to reschedule their appointment. This decision will be made by the doctor. Patients who arrive early should not expect to be seen before their appointment time.

 

By offering an ‘on the day appointment’ service we aim to:

 

  1. Give you a higher expectation of seeing a doctor routinely

  2. Give you a greater chance of getting an appointment with the doctor of your choice at short notice.

  3. Cut down the rate of patients who fail to keep appointments.

 

By phoning as early as possible for an appointment on the day of your choice, the greater the chance of being seen on that day, at a time that suits you and with the doctor of your choice. Please note that we do NOT have open surgeries and all patients wanting seen must make an appointment.

 

If you are too late phoning and all the appointments are booked for that day, you have the knowledge if you call back early the following day all newly released appointments will be available. Limited morning appointments (9am, 10am, 11am) for the doctor can be booked up to two weeks ahead.

 

We are aware that you may have to call back the following day and this may not always be convenient but if you are flexible about your appointment you have the knowledge that we have approximately 25 routine appointments opened up daily for new appointments to be seen.

 

If you do have difficulty in getting an appointment please ask for the Practice Manager.

 

   Waiting for the Doctor

 

 

There are occasions when the doctor runs late and patients are kept waiting. This is unfortunate and we would ask you to bear in mind the following:

 

  • Please do not blame the receptionist. Appointments are normally 10 minutes per patient and the receptionist has no control over the time a patient spends in the consulting room with the doctor.
  • Appointments with the doctor are 10 minutes. If your time runs over this those after you will be kept waiting.
  • In an ideal world we would like to offer everybody more time but unfortunately in order to cater for the demand and to meet government targets for offering appointments, it is not possible to do so at present.
  • It follows that dealing with more than one issue per consultation may be difficult without running over time. You may feel you are helping by “saving everything up” for one visit but actually dealing with several issues in one consultation usually results in the doctor running late.
  • If you have a number of issues, it is usually best to discuss the most important thing first and to consider keeping other issues for a further consultation.
  • If you arrive more than 10 minutes late you will have completely missed your appointment. If the doctor agrees to see you, everyone booked after you will be kept waiting. Consequently the doctor may instead ask you to wait until the end of the surgery or if you are more than 20 minutes late, to reschedule your appointment.
  • With the best will in the world, it is not possible to predict how a surgery will run. Please remember that the doctor may be dealing with a patient who is seriously ill, has complex problems, is emotionally distressed or is requiring urgent attention or transfer to hospital.

 

We hope this gives you some insight into why surgeries sometimes run late and gives you some ideas about how you can help us to run to time and hopefully reduce waiting times for everyone. Your help would be very much appreciated.

 

Thank you

 

 

Hospital Appointments & Hospital Results

 

If you have any questions about hospital appointments or are looking for the results of a test done at hospital, then please phone the appropriate secretary directly.

Hospital information / appointments are not always shared on to our computer system and we only get results from hospital tests that we have directly requested.

 

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.

 

PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

 

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the Doctor or any member of staff attached to this Practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure for dealing with such matters, which meets the national criteria.

 

HOW TO COMPLAIN

We would like you to bring your complaint to our attention within 7 days of the matter, which gave, rise to your complaint and no later than 28 days of the event. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily. (You must make a complaint within six months of the event you want to complain about). You can make your complaint in person, by phone, in writing or by email, although you may be asked to provide proof of ID for reasons of patient confidentiality.

 

WHAT WE SHALL DO?

We have a two stage complaints procedure and we will always try to deal with your complaint quickly. If it is clear that we will need a detailed investigation, we will tell you and keep you updated on our progress

 

Stage One: Early Local Resolution.

We will always try to resolve your complaint quickly, within 5 working days if we can. Where appropriate this could mean an on the spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong and immediate action to resolve the problem. If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to consider Stage two.

 

Stage Two: Investigation

We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at stage one. In investigating your complaint we will aim to find out what happened, what went wrong and where appropriate enable you to discuss your complaint, to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for and give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days. If our investigation will take more than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

We shall acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to investigate your complaint within 20 working days of the date that your complaint was first raised with us.

 

COMPLAINING ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE

If you wish to lodge a complaint on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable, because of illness, of providing this.

 

YOUR RIGHT

If you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way in which we have dealt with your complaint when we have sent you our full response, you can ask the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO).  Details as below:

    • Free phone 0800 377 7330
    • Online form - www.spso.org.uk/contact-us
    • Website www.spso.org.uk
    • In person – 4 Melville St, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS
    • By post – Freepost SPSO (this is all you need to write on the envelope, and you don’t need to use a stamp)
    • Mobile Site: http//m.spso.org.ukThe SPSO cannot normally look at:
  •  

    • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure, so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO
    • events that happened, or that you became aware of more than a year ago
    • a matter that has been or is being considered in court If you require advice or help in this procedure your local Citizen Advice Centre will be able to provide PASS, Patient Advice and Support Service or visit website www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk
  •   

 

Thank you for taking the time to read over this

 

Updated April 2017

Zero Tolerance

This 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 and  to provide a safe, calm and healthy environment for our patients,staff and visitors.

The staff understands 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.

Anyone verbally abusing either a member of staff or the public, or using inappropriate language, will be asked to leave the premises. 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 summary, we will not hesitate to remove patients from our list who

  • are violent or abusive to any Practice member.
  • use or condone threatening or violent behaviour.
  • cause damage/steal from the Practice's premises/staff/patients.
  • obtain drugs and/or medical services fraudulently.

We ask you to treat your GPs and their staff courteously at all times.

Anyone who is violent or causes damage will be removed from the list immediately.

Patients will also be removed from the list in the following circumstances:

  • Violence and aggression towards staff or members of the public
  • Damage to practice property or equipment
  • Change of residence to outside of the practice area
  • Persistent misuse of the system
  • Patients who the doctors are unable to manage clinically e.g. breach of contract with doctor regarding use of prescribed medicine, break down in patient communication

Patients who are disruptive and display aggressive and/or intimidating behaviour and refuse to leave the premises, staff are instructed to dial 999 for Police assistance, charges may then be brought against these individuals.



 
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