Accessing your information
Your health record includes your medical history, details about your medication and any allergies you may have.
If you have changed your contact details including address, telephone number or email address, please complete our Change Personal Details form so that we can update your contact details.
We understand how important it is to keep your personal information safe and secure and we take this very seriously. We have taken steps to make sure your personal information is looked after as required by Law. Please be assured that the Practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Everyone working at the Practice requires access to patients’ medical records in order to care for you. All members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as doctors and nurses.
At a time of emergency or crisis it’s important that clinicians can securely access your recent medical history so that they can understand the best way to help you. They may have to give access to other NHS organisations.
This means that if you need to see an out of hours doctor or require treatment at an acute hospital for example, your health records can be quickly and easily accessed by clinicians to help tailor the medical support you need. This is particularly relevant to those patients’ with chronic medical conditions. In addition any treatment provided by them can be shared with us.
Your information will only be shared with other healthcare services if you give your explicit consent.
You will only be asked to share your medical information if the clinician feels it will benefit your care.
If you don’t want a clinician from another healthcare service to be able to view your health record, you can say so at the point at which the clinician asks you.
Your information will only be used by the clinician to help determine the most appropriate medical support for you. Your health records won’t be shared with any other organisation or used for any non-clinical need.
Your medical record is constantly being updated so accessing your information using your SystmOne account, enables you to read the latest information right now including test results. If you do not have online access, you can make a request, either in person, on the phone, or in writing, detailing the information you would like. We will ensure you receive your information within 30 days. There’s no charge unless you request multiple copies of the same information.
The Practice prides itself in maintaining professional standards. For certain examinations during consultations an impartial observer (a “Chaperone”) will be required.
This impartial observer will be a practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant who is familiar with the procedure and be available to reassure and raise any concerns on your behalf. If a nurse in unavailable at the time of your consultation then your examination may be re-scheduled for another time.
You are free to decline any examination or chose an alternative examiner or chaperone. You may also request a chaperone for any examination or consultation if one is not offered to you. The GP may not undertake an examination if a chaperone is declined.
The role of a Chaperone:
- Maintains professional boundaries during intimate examinations.
- Acknowledges a patient’s vulnerability.
- Provides emotional comfort and reassurance.
- Assists in the examination.
- Assists with undressing patients, if required
Children’s privacy notice
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working at Avon Valley Practice, please let us know. This includes Primary Care Network staff working with us. We operate a complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly when they arise and with the person concerned. This may be during a consultation or an arranged meeting.
If your problem cannot be sorted out this way and you wish to make a complaint, please write to us if possible, being as specific as possible to enable us to respond fully without misunderstanding.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will aim to have investigated your complaint within six weeks of the date you raised it with us. We will then offer you an explanation or a meeting with the people involved, if you would like this. When we investigate your complaint, we will aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong.
- Make it possible for you to discuss what happened with those concerned, if you would like this.
- Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate.
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We take medical confidentiality seriously. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must 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.
Complaining to NHS England
We hope that you will use our Practice Complaints Procedure if you are unhappy. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our GP Practice.
However, if you feel you cannot raise the complaint with us directly, please contact NHS England. You can find more information on how to make a complaint at https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/.
Unhappy with the outcome of your complaint?
If you are not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with and NHS England and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO makes final decisions on unresolved complaints about the NHS in England. It is an independent service which is free for everyone to use.
To take your complaint to the Ombudsman, visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website or call 0345 015 4033
Need help making a complaint?
If you want help making a complaint, Healthwatch Wiltshire can help you find independent NHS complaints advocacy services in your area.
Freedom of Information
NHS England requires that the net earnings of doctors engaged in the practice be publicised by 31 March 2023 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 judgment about GP earnings, nor to make any comparisons with other practices.
The average pay for GPs working in Avon Valley Practice in the last financial year was £74,657 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 2 full time GPs and 3 part time GPs who worked in the practice for six months or more.
Infection Prevention and Control
Our annual statement summarises:
• Any infection transmission incidents and any action taken (these will have been. reported in accordance with our Significant Event procedure)
• Details of any infection control audits undertaken and actions undertaken.
• Details of any risk assessments undertaken for prevention and control of infection.
If you see anything of concern whilst visiting the Practice, please let us know, either at reception or using our website to contact us. Please give as much detail as possible to enable us to review and take action timely.
Statement of Intent
New contractual requirements came into force from 1 April 2014 requiring that GP Practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the following IT developments :
- Summary Care Record (SCR)
- GP to GP Record Transfers
- Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
- Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
The same contractual obligations require that we have a statement of intent regarding these developments in place and publicised by 30 September 2014.
Please find below details of the practices stance with regards to these points.
Summary Care Record (SCR)
NHS England require practices to enable successful automated uploads of any changes to patient’s summary information, at least on a daily basis, to the summary care record (SCR) or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
Having your Summary Care Record (SCR) available will help anyone treating you without your full medical record. They will have access to information about any medication you may be taking and any drugs that you have a recorded allergy or sensitivity to.
Of course if you do not want your medical records to be available in this way then you will need to let us know so that we can update your record. You can do this via the opt out form.
The practice confirms that your SCR is automatically updated on at least a daily basis to ensure that your information is as up to date as it can possibly be.
GP to GP Record Transfers
NHS England require practices to utilise the GP2GP facility for the transfer of patient records between practices, when a patient registers or de-registers (not for temporary registration).
It is very important that you are registered with a doctor at all times. If you leave your GP and register with a new GP, your medical records will be removed from your previous doctor and forwarded on to your new GP via NHS England. It can take your paper records up to two weeks to reach your new surgery.
With GP to GP record transfers your electronic record is transferred to your new practice much sooner.
The practice confirms that GP to GP transfers are already active and we send and receive patient records via this system.
Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
NHS England require practices to promote and offer the facility to enable patients online access to appointments, prescriptions, allergies and adverse reactions or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
We currently offer the facility for booking and cancelling appointments and also for ordering your repeat prescriptions and viewing a summary of your medical records on-line. If you do not already have a user name and password for this system – please register your interest with our reception staff.
Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
It is already a requirement of the Health and Social Care Act that practices must meet the reasonable data requirements of commissioners and other health and social care organisations through appropriate and safe data sharing for secondary uses, as specified in the technical specification for care data.
At our practice we have specific arrangements in place to allow patients to “opt out” of care.data which allows for the removal of data from the practice. Please see the page about care data on our website
The Practice confirm these arrangements are in place and that we undertake annual training and audits to ensure that all our data is handled correctly and safely via the Information Governance Toolkit.
Summary Care Records
Summary Care Records (SCR)
Your Summary Care Record is a short summary of your GP medical records. It tells other health and care staff who care for you about the medicines you take and your allergies.
This will enable health and care professionals to have better medical information about you when they are treating you at the point of care. This change will apply for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic only. Unless alternative arrangements have been put in place before the end of the emergency period, this change will be reversed.
All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives health and care professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.
Your Summary Care Record contains basic information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.
Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, have previously agreed to have additional information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This additional information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations.
During the coronavirus pandemic period, your Summary Care Record will automatically have additional information included from your GP record unless you have previously told the NHS that you did not want this information to be shared.
There will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 specific codes in relation to suspected, confirmed, Shielded Patient List and other COVID-19 related information within the additional information.
By including this additional information in your SCR, health and care staff can give you better care if you need health care away from your usual GP practice:
- in an emergency
- when you’re on holiday
- when your surgery is closed
- at out-patient clinics
- when you visit a pharmacy
Additional information is included on your SCR
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are temporarily removing the requirement to have explicit consent to share the SCR additional information. This change of requirement will be reviewed when the pandemic is over.
You can be reassured that if you have previously opted-out of having a Summary Care Record or have expressly declined to share the additional information in your Summary Care Record, your preference will continue to be respected and applied.
Additional information will include extra information from your GP record, including:
- health problems like dementia or diabetes
- details of your carer
- your treatment preferences
- communication needs, for example if you have hearing difficulties or need an interpreter
This will help medical staff care for you properly, and respect your choices, when you need care away from your GP practice. This is because having more information on your SCR means they will have a better understanding of your needs and preferences.
When you are treated away from your usual doctor’s surgery, the health care staff there can’t see your GP medical records. Looking at your SCR can speed up your care and make sure you are given the right medicines and treatment.
The only people who might see your Summary Care Record are registered and regulated healthcare professionals, for example doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and staff working under their direct supervision. Your Summary Care record will only be accessed so a healthcare professional can give you individual care. Staff working for organisations that do not provide direct care are not able to view your Summary Care Record.
Before accessing a Summary Care Record healthcare staff will always ask your permission to view it, unless it is a medical emergency and you are unable to give permission.
Protecting your SCR information
Staff will ask your permission to view your SCR (except in an emergency where you are unconscious, for example) and only staff with the right levels of security clearance can access the system, so your information is secure. You can ask an organisation to show you a record of who has looked at your SCR – this is called a Subject Access Request.
The purpose of SCR is to improve the care that you receive, however, if you don’t want to have an SCR you have the option to opt out. If this is your preference please inform your GP or fill in an SCR opt-out form and return it to your GP practice.
Regardless of your past decisions about your Summary Care Record consent preferences, you can change your mind at any time. You can choose any of the following options:
- To have a Summary Care Record with additional information shared. This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see a enriched Summary Care Record if they need to provide you with direct care.
- To have a Summary Care Record with core information only. This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see information about allergies and medications only in your Summary Care Record if they need to provide you with direct care.
- To opt-out of having a Summary Care Record altogether. This means that you do not want any information shared with other authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals involved in your direct care, including in an emergency.
To make these changes, you should inform your GP practice or complete the SCR patient consent preferences form and return it to your GP practice.