Abbey Medical Centre Privacy Statement
Abbey Medical Centre aims to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients. To do this we keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
This Privacy Notice does not provide exhaustive details of all aspects of the collection and use of personal information by Abbey Medical Centre. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. If you wish to request further information, please contact the Practice Manager by:
Telephone: 0141 889 4088
Letter: Abbey Medical Centre, Lonend, Paisley PA1 1SU
Under GDPR the;
- Data controller role is fulfilled by the Abbey Medical Centre
- Data Processor role is fulfilled by the Practice Manager
- Data Protection Officer role is fulfilled by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
How we use your information
In order to provide for your care, we need to collect and keep information about you and your health records. Your information is used to:
- Provide a basis for all health decisions made by care professionals with and for you
- Make sure your care is safe and effective
- Work effectively with others providing your care
- We may also use, or share, your information for the following purposes:
- Looking after the health of the general public
- Making sure that our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Auditing – Using patient health information to review and improve the quality of healthcare. Patient identifiable information is only used within the Practice (Patients have the right to request that their health information is not included in audits).
- Preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity (where steps will be taken to ensure you cannot be identified)
- Investigating concerns, complaints or legal claims
- Helping staff to review the care they provide to make sure it is of the highest standards
- Training and educating staff
Disclosure of information to other health & social professionals
We work with a number of other NHS and partner agencies to provide healthcare services to you. Below is a list of organisations that we may share your information with:
Our Partner Organisations
- NHS hospitals
- Relevant GP Practices
- Dentists, Opticians and Pharmacies
- Private Sector Providers (private hospitals, care homes, hospices, contractors providing services to the NHS)
- Voluntary sector Providers who are directly involved in your care
- Ambulance Services
- Specialist Services
- Health and Social Care Clusters
- Out of Hours Medical Services
- NHS Scotland
We may also share your information, with your consent, and subject to strict sharing protocols, about how it will be used with;
- Health & Social Care
- Police and Fire Services
Risk prediction data tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition, preventing an unplanned or (re) admission and identifying a need for preventive information. Information about you is collected from a number of sources in NHS Scotland including this GP Practice. a risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identifiable information by ISD Scotland and is only provided back to your GP’s Data Controller in an identifiable form. Risk prediction enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of illness. If necessary, your GP may be able to offer you additional services.
Scottish Primary Care Information Resource (SPIRE)
NHS Scotland uses information from GP patient records to help plan and improve health and care services in Scotland. You have a choice about the information from your GP records being used in this way. You can opt out from this at any time by contacting the Practice.
For further information of SPIRE contact NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88
Emergency Care Summary (ECS)
Emergency care information such as your name, date of birth, the name of your GP, any medicines which your GP has prescribed, any medicines you are allergic to or react badly to, is shared with Out of Hours as this might be important if you need urgent medical care when the GP surgery is closed.
NHS staff (Doctors, Nurses, Accident and Emergency, Ambulance control and crews) can look at your ECS is they need to treat you when the surgery is closed. They will ask for your consent before they look at your records.
In an emergency and if you are unconscious, staff may look at your ECS without your agreement to let them give you the best possible care.
Whenever NHS staff look at your ECS, a record will be kept so we can always check who has looked at your information.
Key Information Summary (KIS)
Key Information Summary (KIS) has been designed to support patients who have complex care needs or long-term conditions.
KIS allows important information to be shared with health care professionals in unscheduled care in NHS24, A&E, Scottish Ambulance Service, Out of Hours, hospital and pharmacy environments.
Information contained in the KIS summary includes, future care plans, medications, allergies, diagnosis, your wishes, carer and next of kin details.
You have the right to say that you do not want Care staff to see ECS/KIS. Please contact the Practice on 0141 889 4088 to let us know.
Online Registration for Booking Appointments and Ordering Repeat Prescriptions
This service allows you to book a routine GP appointment 24 hours a day, cancel appointments no longer needed, check your repeat medication, order repeat prescriptions and make changes to your contact details where appropriate.
You will need to register to use this service and can de-register at any time. Either see our website or call the surgery on 0141 889 4088.
The Practice may conduct Medicines Management reviews of medications prescribed to its patients. This service performs a review of prescribed medications to ensure patients receive the most appropriate, up to date and cost-effective treatments. This service is carried out by clinicians and Pharmacists provided by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The Practice operates a Clinical Computer System on which NHS Staff record information securely. This information can then be shared with other clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your relevant medical history.
To provide around the clock, safe care, unless you have asked us not to, we will make information available to trusted organisations. Wherever possible their staff will ask your consent before information is viewed.
We consider patient consent as being the key factor in dealing with your health information
Shared Care Records
To support your care and improve the sharing of relevant information to our partner organisations when they are involved in looking after you, we will share information to other NHS systems e.g. medication details for our of hours care. The general principle is that information is passed to these systems unless you request this does not happen, but that system users should ask for your consent before viewing your record.
How we keep your information confidential and secure
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the Common Law of Confidentiality, the General data Protection Regulation and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. Everyone working in, or for the NHS must use personal information in a secure and confidential way.
we will only ever use or pass on your information if there is a genuine need to do so. We will not disclose information about you to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when the law requires.
To protect your confidentiality, we will not normally disclose any medical information about you over the telephone, or by fax, unless we are sure that we are talking to you. This means that we will not disclose information to family. friends and colleagues about any medical matters at all, unless we know that we have your consent to do so.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure
All persons in the Practice sign a confidentiality agreement that explicitly makes clear their duties in relation to personal health information and the consequences of breaching that duty.
Please be aware that your information will be accessed by non-clinical Practice staff in order to perform tasks enabling the functioning of the Practice. These are, but are not limited to;
- Typing referral letters to Hospital Consultants or allied Health Professionals
- Opening letters from hospitals & consultants
- Scanning clinical letters, radiology reports and any other documents not available in electronic format
- Photocopying or printing documents for referral to consultants
- handling, printing, photocopying and postage of medico-legal and life assurance reports, and other associated documents.
Right of access to your health information
The general Data protection regulation allows you to find out what information about you is held on computer and in manual records. This is known as “right of subject access” and applies to personal information held about you. If you want to see or receive information that the Practice holds about you:
- You will need to make a written request to the Practice Manager
- There may be a charge for excessive requests for information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within one month
- You will need to give us adequate information (e.g. full name, address, date of birth, NHS number etc., two forms of identification
Who else may ask to access your information
- The Court can insist that we disclose medical records to them
- Solicitors often ask for medical reports. We will require your signed consent for us to disclose information. We will not normally release details about other people that are contained in your records (e.g. wife, children, parents, etc) unless we have their consent.
- Social Services – The Benefits Agency and others may require medical records on you from time to time. We will need your signed consent to provide information to them.
- Life Assurance Companies / Employers / Occupational Health Doctors frequently ask for medical reports on individuals. These are always accompanied by your signed consent form.
We will only disclose the relevant medical information as per your consent. You have the right, should you request it, to see reports prepared for Insurance Companies, employers or Occupational health doctors before they are sent.
Sharing your information without consent
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example
- Where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people
- Where there a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented
- Where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not sensitive information such as HIV and AIDS)
- Where a formal Court Order has been issued
- Where there’s a legal requirement, eg if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence
The Practice is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using our website, you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Information you supply using any electronic form(s) on the Practice website will only be used for the purpose(s) stated on the form.
Changes to this Privacy Notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review.
Concerns about sharing your information
If you have any concerns about how we use or share your information, or do not wish us to share your information, please contact the Practice Manager on 0141 561 1283.
It is helpful to know if you have a Carer (someone who takes on an unpaid caring role) or if you are a Carer for someone else. We have an established Carer’s policy and a Carer’s information pack available from Reception.
The practice is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment where patients and staff are confident that best practice is being followed.
Patients are entitled to ask for a chaperone for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel they prefer to have a chaperone.
The practice will endeavour to provide a formally trained chaperone upon request, but patients would help us by requesting a chaperone when booking an appointment where a chaperone is required. This may mean rescheduling appointments in order to meet this need.
A doctor, nurse or other health care professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations.
Sometimes you may feel that the service we have provided to you has not reached the standard that you have come to expect, and you would like to have the opportunity to express your views to the practice. We feel that very often the problems that arise between the practice and a patient are due to misunderstandings or are issues that can be resolved within the practice and for this reason this practice has a practice-based complaints procedure to give you an opportunity to tell us your concerns and have those concerns investigated.
Below we present some “Q & A” guidelines in this respect which we hope you may find helpful.
What if I have a suggestion for an improvement in the service that the practice provides?
We will carefully consider any suggestions put to us by our patients and, where practical, undertake to implement the changes suggested.
How do I let the practice know of my ideas for improvement?
Please use our online suggestion form or write your suggestion down and either send this to the practice manager or give it to a member of the reception team to pass on to the practice manager. Please try to make comments constructive as we do wish to provide an excellent service.
How do I make a complaint?
We take all patient complaints very seriously and each complaint is investigated very thoroughly and as quickly as possible. In most cases you should ask to speak to the practice manager, giving details of your complaint. If your complaint involves the practice manager, you may write directly to any of the partners.
What will happen to my complaint?
The practice manager will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, in writing, within two days of the complaint being made. You will also be advised as to how long the subsequent investigation will take. This is usually 14 days but may be longer depending on the circumstances of the complaint.
How will my complaint be investigated?
If your complaint is about a practice procedure (appointments etc) or if it is about the behaviour of a member of the reception/administration team etc, the practice manager will investigate the situation and discuss the complaint with the parties involved.
If your complaint is about a clinical matter or about the behaviour of one of the clinical team, the practice manager will bring this to the attention of one of the partners who is not involved with the complaint (usually the senior partner.) The practice manager and that partner will then investigate the complaint together.
At the end of the investigation, you will be advised, in writing, of the outcome and of any remedy that is to be implemented (you will, however, not be advised of any disciplinary action to be taken against staff as this is deemed to be confidential).
What can I do if I do not feel that the complaint has been handled correctly or I am unhappy with the outcome?
If you are not satisfied with the results and outcome of our investigation, you should contact the practice manager within 14 days of receiving the letter advising of the result of the complaint. You will then be invited to meet with the practice manager and a partner to discuss your ongoing concerns.
What do I do if I am still not satisfied?
You may at any time contact:
J B Russell House,
Garnavel Royal Hospital
Telephone: 0141 314 4193
Zero tolerance and unacceptable behaviour policy
We believe that patients have a right to be heard, understood and respected. We work hard to be open and accessible to everyone and to provide a good service to all of our patients. We also believe that our staff deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals using our Practice makes it very difficult for us to deal with their issue or complaint. In a small number of cases, the actions of individuals become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our staff or our process. When this happens, we have to take action to protect our staff. We also consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others. This Policy explains how we will approach these situations.
What actions does the Practice consider to be unacceptable?
We do understand that people may act out of character in times of trouble or distress. They may be physically or mentally ill, or in pain, and may be worried about their health or the health of their relatives. We do, however, consider actions that result in unreasonable demands on our Practice, or unreasonable behaviour towards Practice staff, to be unacceptable. It is these actions that we aim to manage under this Policy.
Any criminal activity such as, but not limited to; theft, vandalism, forgery, assault, or threats of assault will be reported to the police, and will result in immediate removal from the Practice List.
Aggressive or abusive behaviour
We understand that patients may be angry about issues they have raised with the Practice. If that anger escalates into aggression towards Practice staff, we consider that unacceptable. Any violence or abuse towards staff will not be accepted. Violence is not restricted to acts of aggression that may result in physical harm – it also includes behaviour or language (whether verbal or written) that may cause staff to feel offended, afraid, threatened or abused. We will judge each situation individually and appreciate individuals who come to us may be upset.
Language which is designed to insult or degrade, is derogatory, racist, sexist, transphobic, or homophobic, or which makes serious allegations that individuals have committed criminal, corrupt, perverse or unprofessional conduct of any kind, without any evidence, is unacceptable.
We may decide that comments aimed not at us, but at third parties, are unacceptable because of the effect that listening or reading them may have on our staff.
Alcohol and substance misuse
When you attend the surgery for an appointment we expect you to be sober. If you appear to be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, you will not be seen for your appointment, and will be asked to re-arrange. Repeatedly attending the surgery whilst under the influence will result in a formal warning, and we may consider removing you from the practice list.
We value constructive feedback and see both positive and negative feedback as an opportunity to continuously assess our performance. If there is a particular issue which you feel we need to investigate, we would encourage you to get in touch with us directly which will allow us to fully understand the issue and respond to your concerns. If you prefer to leave online comments, we respectfully request that you do not name individuals, either staff or patients, or to make unsubstantiated allegations. We consider offensive or abusive comments made online to be unreasonable behaviour. We will ask that these comments be taken down, and if so, we may be able to investigate any concerns more usefully by direct contact. Threats of violence or otherwise offensive comments will be reported to the website operator, or to the police if necessary. An internal review meeting will be held and we will write to the patient.
A demand becomes unacceptable when it starts to (or when complying with the demand would) impact substantially on the work of the Practice. Examples of actions grouped under this heading include:
- Repeatedly missing appointments. We understand that patients may miss appointments by accident, or due to circumstances out with their control. We encourage patients to cancel appointments where possible if they are unable to attend.
- Repeated misuse of our appointment system – for example insisting that a routine or ongoing issue is a medical emergency and must be passed to the “on-call” GP
- Repeatedly requesting early supplies of medication
- Repeatedly requesting further supplies of stolen medication, without the required Police Incident Number
- Repeatedly ordering prescriptions out with the set timeframe
- Insisting on seeing or speaking to a particular member of staff when that is not possible
- Repeatedly changing the substance of an issue or complaint or raising unrelated concerns
- Repeatedly insisting on a course of medical treatment for which there is no clinical evidence
- An example of such impact would be that the demand takes up an excessive amount of staff time and, in so doing, disadvantages other patients
Unreasonable levels of contact
Sometimes the volume and duration of contact made to our Practice by an individual causes problems. This can occur over a short period, for example, a number of calls in one day or one hour. It may occur over the life-span of an issue when a patient repeatedly makes long telephone calls to us, or inundates us with letters or copies of information that have been sent already, or that are irrelevant to the issue. We consider that the level of contact has become unacceptable when the amount of time spent talking to a patient on the telephone, or responding to, reviewing and filing emails or written correspondence impacts on our ability to deal with that issue, or with other patients’ needs.
Unreasonable use of the complaints process
Individuals with complaints about the Practice have the right to pursue their concerns through a range of means. They also have the right to complain more than once about the Practice, if subsequent incidents occur. This contact becomes unreasonable when the effect of the repeated complaints is to harass, or to prevent us from pursuing a legitimate aim or implementing a legitimate decision. We consider access to a complaints system to be important and it will only be in exceptional circumstances that we would consider such repeated use is unacceptable – but we reserve the right to do so in such cases.
We will always answer complaints; but if we feel that we can take the process no further, usually because the consequence of further action or investigation impedes our operational ability to provide effective care for our patients, we will inform the complainant to take their complaint to the SPSO Ombudsman.
Examples of how we manage aggressive or abusive behaviour
- The threat or use of physical violence, verbal abuse or harassment towards the Practice staff is likely to result in a report to the police and immediate removal from the Practice List.
- Shouting, swearing, or intimidating behaviour will be reported immediately to the senior reception member on duty, or to the senior doctor on duty. Depending on the severity of the incident, the police may be informed, and immediate removal may be considered. Alternatively, the matter will be discussed within the practice and we will contact the patient to explain the outcome of this discussion. This may lead to a formal warning about the unacceptable behaviour which will normally be active for a period of one year. Repeated incidents of unreasonable behaviour despite adequate warning and explanation are likely to lead to formal removal from the Practice List.
- Practice staff will end telephone calls if they consider the caller aggressive, abusive or offensive. Practice staff have the right to make this decision, to tell the caller that their behaviour is unacceptable and end the call if the behaviour persists
- We will not respond to correspondence (in any format) that contains statements that are abusive to staff or contains allegations that lack substantive evidence. Where we can, we will return the correspondence. We will explain why and say that we consider the language used to be offensive, unnecessary and unhelpful and ask the sender to stop using such language. We will state that we will not respond to their correspondence if the action or behaviour continues and may consider issuing a warning to the Patient
Other actions we may take
Where a patient repeatedly phones, visits the Practice, raises repeated issues, or sends large numbers of documents where their relevance isn’t clear, we may decide to:
- limit contact to telephone calls from the patient about the issues raised at set times on set days
- restrict contact to a nominated member of the Practice staff who will deal with future calls or correspondence from the patient about their issues
- see the patient by appointment only
- restrict contact from the patient to writing only regarding the issues raised.
- return any documents to the patient or, in extreme cases, advise the patient that further irrelevant documents will be destroyed.
Where we consider continued correspondence on a wide range of issues to be excessive, we may tell the patient that only a certain number of issues will be considered in a given period and we ask them to limit or focus their requests accordingly. In exceptional cases, we reserve the right to refuse to consider an issue, or future issues or complaints from an individual. We will take into account the impact on the individual and also whether there would be a broader public interest in considering the issue or complaint further. We will always tell the patient what action we are taking and why.
The process we follow to make decisions about unreasonable behaviour
- Any member of the Practice staff who directly experiences aggressive or abusive behaviour from a patient has the authority to deal immediately with that behaviour in a manner they consider appropriate to the situation and in line with this policy
- With the exception of such immediate decisions taken at the time of an incident, decisions to issue a warning or remove patients from our Practice List are only taken after careful consideration of the situation by the senior management and doctors.
- Wherever possible, we will give a patient the opportunity to change their behaviour or actions before a decision is taken
How we let people know we have made this decision
When a Practice employee makes an immediate decision in response to offensive, aggressive or abusive behaviour, the patient is advised at the time of the incident. When a decision has been made by senior management, a patient will always be given the reason in writing as to why a decision has been made to issue a warning (including the duration and terms of the warning) or remove them from the Practice List. This ensures that the patient has a record of the decision.
How we record and review a decision to issue a warning
We record all incidents of unacceptable actions by patients. Where it is decided to issue a warning to a patient, an entry noting this is made in the relevant file and, if appropriate, within the medical records. Unacceptable action decisions will be discuss regularly at our complaints meeting. A decision to issue a warning to a patient, as described above, may be reconsidered either on request or on review.
The process for appealing a decision
It is important that a decision can be reconsidered. A patient can appeal a decision about the issuance of a warning or removal from the Practice List. To appeal a decision, an application should be made in writing, or by email, to the Practice Manager.
An appeal could include, for example, a patient saying that: their actions were wrongly identified as unacceptable; the warning was disproportionate; or that it will adversely impact on the individual because of personal circumstances.
The Practice Manager or a GP Partner who was not involved in the original decision will consider the appeal. They have discretion to quash or vary the warning as they think best. They will make their decision based on the evidence available to them. They must advise the patient, in writing, that either the warning or removal still applies or a different course of action has been agreed. We may review the warning periodically or on further request after a period of time has passed. Each case is different.
This policy is subject to review