We always try to provide the best service possible, but there may be times when we don’t quite get this right, or you feel this hasn’t happened. If you have a complaint about the service you have received from any of our staff working for this practice, you are entitled to ask for an explanation.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time in which they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way, and you wish to make a complaint, please let us know as soon as possible as this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
You can complain by:
Letter: You can write us a letter with your feedback or concerns. We can help you write down your complaint if you need help to do so. Your complaint should be addressed to the Business Manager who will ensure it is investigated thoroughly.
Verbally: Please ask to speak to the Practice Manager (or the Deputy Practice Manager in their absence) who will be happy to speak to you face to face or over the telephone
We aim to investigate all complaints and report back to you within four weeks; however in some cases more time may be required. In this case, we will always let you know if our investigation is going to take longer. This process does not affect your right to make a formal complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman if you wish. Nor does it affect your right to seek compensation in law.
What we shall do
We will acknowledge your complaint and investigate it. We aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong
- make it possible for you to meet and discuss your complaint with those concerned, if you would like this. You may bring a friend or relative with you to help with this discussion
- make sure you receive an apology and explanation where this is appropriate
- identify what we can to make sure the problem does not happen again
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We ensure strict adherence to the rule of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we will need to have their written permission for you to do so. Neither can we provide confidential information without the appropriate authority to do so.
If you are unhappy with how the practice has dealt with your complaint, you can complain to the Integrated Care Board (commissioners of Primary Care Services):
The Integrated Care Board Experience Team
Humber and North Yorkshire ICB
Emails can be directed to: email@example.com
Telephone: 01904 555999
If you feel that you are not satisfied with the response you have received, you also have the right to take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent of government and the NHS and the service is confidential and free.
If you have any questions about whether the Ombudsman will be able to help you, or about how to make a complaint, you can contact their helpline on 0345 015 4033, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 0300 015 4000. Further information about the Ombudsman is available at www.ombudsman.org.uk. The Ombudsman can be contacted at:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
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.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practitioners 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.
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.
To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.
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.
Your Shared Record
For some time, to help with your care, some NHS health and social care organisations have been able to view your medical information (your ‘GP shared record’) if you have consented to share it. Patients can:
- Consent to share their record
- Dissent to share their record
Please note: We may have already set an option for your record to be shared or not shared. This might have been because of your stated preferences when you registered at the practice or when we referred you to another service such as the Integrated Care Team at Harrogate Hospital. If it is shared, it will only be shared with trusted local and national services, for example Harrogate Hospital Services and all A&E services. However, you can change these settings using our online services or by contacting the practice.
If you choose to share your record you can now select how widely you want to share from the following option settings (3 is the default):
- No organisations require verification – use this if you are happy for all organisations who provide you with care to view the shared record, without having to complete the extra verification process (detailed below). These organisations should still ask consent when they want to access your record and inform you prior to accessing it
- All organisations require verification – use this if you wish to have an extra verification process to allow organisations who provide you with care to access your shared record (detailed below).
- Practice default – this will use the controls currently set by East Parade. We have created a list of trusted organisations locally and nationally who will not require verification. Click Here for a Full List. All other organisations will require verification.
- Custom – you can choose:
- Which health and social care organisations may access your shared record without an extra verification process by creating your own list of organisations. Consent should still be asked prior to your shared record being accessed at those organisations. Organisations not on this list will need you to complete an extra verification step in order to view your shared record.
- Which organisations cannot access your shared record under any circumstances. If you would like to add or remove any organisations please speak to your GP.
When verification is required:
- you will receive a unique code sent to you by SMS or email that you pass to the doctor or nurse to enable them to see your record; or
- you approve the organisation’s request through SystmOnline
For this reason we need to always have your up to date mobile number and email address. These and your preferences can easily be updated using SystmOnline or the SystmOne App. For more details and to register for our online services please contact the Reception Team.
Your Data Matters to the NHS
Information about your health and care helps us to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
How your data is used
Information about your individual care such as treatment and diagnoses is collected about you whenever you use health and care services. It is also used to help us and other organisations for research and planning such as research into new treatments, deciding where to put GP clinics and planning for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital. It is only used in this way when there is a clear legal basis to use the information to help improve health and care for you, your family and future generations.
Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.
You have a choice
You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your information is used. If you do not want your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you can choose to opt out securely online or through a telephone service. You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Will choosing this opt-out affect your care and treatment?
No, choosing to opt out will not affect how information is used to support your care and treatment. You will still be invited for screening services, such as screenings for bowel cancer.
What do you need to do?
If you are happy for your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you do not need to do anything.
To find out more about the benefits of data sharing, how data is protected, or to make/change your opt-out choice visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters
GP Net Earnings
All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
However, it should be noted that the prescribed method for 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 to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice.
The average pay for GPs working in East Parade Surgery in the last financial year (April 2021 to March 2022) was £66,194 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 3 GP Partners, 2 Salaried GPs and 1 long-term locum GP who worked in the practice for more than six months.
Non NHS Services
The NHS does not cover some of the services we offer. This means that we, like other practices, need to charge for them. Some example of the sort of services we charge for are:
- medicals for example for driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
- insurance claim forms
- passport signing
- prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- private sick notes
- vaccination certificates
- some travel vaccinations
How we use your personal information
Our Privacy Notice has been written to inform our patients about how we collect their personal information and what we do with it. It answers the following questions you might have.
- what data do you collect about me?
- what do you do with my personal data?
- what is your lawful basis to process my personal data?
- who has access to my personal data within the practice?
- who do you share my personal data with?
- how do you protect my personal data?
- how long do you keep my personal data for?
- do you transfer my data outside of the UK?
- what are my Data Protection rights?
Please be aware that this notice may be subject to change.
Summary Care Record
A Summary Care Records (SCR) is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records.
Your Summary Care Record contains important information about any medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have previously experienced.
Allowing authorised healthcare staff to have access to this information will improve decision making by doctors and other healthcare professionals and has prevented mistakes being made when patients are being cared for in an emergency or when their GP practice is closed.
What Are My Choices?
If you choose to have a Summary Care Record, you do not need to do anything as a Summary Care Record is automatically created for you.
If you choose to not have a Summary Care Record you will need to download the opt out form and bring it into the surgery. If you choose to opt out of having a record, your Summary Care Record will no longer be able to be accessed by healthcare professionals.
Zero Tolerance Policy – Patient Behaviour
As an employer, the practice has a duty of care for the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff. The practice also has a legal responsibility to provide a safe and secure working environment for staff. Staff mental health is as important as their physical health.
All patients and staff are expected to behave in an acceptable, respectful manner.
The practice follows the NHS guidance concerning Zero Tolerance.
Any incident in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work is unacceptable and not tolerated.
This includes the serious or persistent use of verbal abuse, aggressive tone and/or language and swearing/foul language.
Staff should not be left upset and distressed following an interaction with a patient.
All instances of actual physical abuse or threatening behaviour on any doctor or member of staff, by a patient or their relatives will be reported to the police as an assault.
We expect all patients to be responsible and avoid attending the surgery under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Any alteration of prescriptions is illegal and will not be tolerated.
The General Medical Council states In Good Medical Practice that: “In rare circumstances, the trust between you (the Practice) and a patient may break down, and you may find it necessary to end the professional relationship. For example, this may occur if a patient has been violent to you or a colleague, has stolen from the premises, or has persistently acted inconsiderately or unreasonably.”
This includes unnecessarily persistent or unrealistic service demands that cause disruption. Examples of this include, but are not limited to :
- Demanding to only speak to a specific team member
- Refusing appointments with an appropriate clinician for the presenting care need i.e. insisting on a GP appointment when seeing a pharmacist or nurse prescriber is most appropriate or refusing to see an available GP for your presenting care need when your preferred GP is unavailable
- Refusing to access the service in the appropriate manner i.e. sending emails/texts instead of using the NHS Digital approved digital consultation service
- Demanding a same day appointment for a routine clinical need – this deprives access to urgent care services for those who genuinely need it
- Contacting individuals directly via social media or personal email instead of through the practice contact channels
The practice has a finite number of available appointments and you may be directed to a clinician who is not a GP, or your preferred GP, but who is appropriately qualified to manage the presenting care need. We provide a named GP service but we cannot always accommodate requests to speak to the same GP due to high patient demand for appointments.
If you are seriously unhappy with the quality of service you have the right to register with another practice without notifying us. Similarly, on the very rare occasions when a patient breaches this policy, we have the right to remove the patient from our Practice list.
Examples of Unacceptable Standards of Behaviour
In exceptional circumstances, a breakdown may occur between a doctor and their patient. If the breakdown is of a serious nature e.g. serious physical or verbal abuse to any member of the practice team, the doctors may feel that the doctor/patient relationship has been compromised. Steps may be taken to have the patient removed immediately from the practice list. Where possible, conciliation would always be the preferred route. Reasons for removal will be given in writing.
Where we deem an incident is not serious enough to warrant immediate removal, we will issue a first and final warning.
You will be removed from our patient list immediately when we have needed police assistance or have made a report to the police.
The following are example of when you may be issued with a first and final warning or removed from our patient list dependent on the severity of the incident.
- Excessive noise eg recurrent loud or intrusive conversation or shouting.
- Threatening or abusive language involving swearing or offensive remarks.
- Racial or sexual remarks.
- Aggressive, forceful tone and/or language that upsets staff.
- Malicious allegations relating to members of staff, other patients or visitors.
- Offensive gestures or behaviours.
- Abusing alcohol or drugs on practice premises.
- Drug dealing on practice premises.
- Wilful damage to practice property.
- Threats or threatening behaviour.
- Persistent and/or unrealistic demands on the service
- Repeated derogatory comments about the practice or individuals either verbally, in writing/digitally or on social media platforms
This list is not exhaustive and there may be other occasions where we have cause to issue a warning or remove you from our patient list. If you are unhappy with the practice we have a complaints procedure to assist you or you have the choice to register with another practice – there really is no need for unpleasant behaviour with these options available to support you.
We trust this policy is clear and supports a mutually respectful environment for patients and staff.