Your rights and responsibilities

You have a right to see your health records subject to limitations in law.

You have a right to see full information on the services we offer.

You are ultimately responsible for your own health and that of your children.

You should take advice from your practice to prevent ill health wherever possible. For example, you should avoid smoking and if you drink you should do so sensibly and in moderation.

Waiting lists to see specialists may be long. It is your responsibility to inform both the hospital and practice if you cannot keep or no longer need an appointment with a specialist.

You have a right to request routine vaccinations and immunisations for yourself and your children.

You have a right to know the names of the doctors and other professional staff involved in your care.

A doctor can see many more patients within surgery times than during home visits. It is therefore your responsibility to come to the surgery for appointments unless you are prevented by serious illness or infirmity. When it is necessary to request a home visit please try and do so before 10.00am unless a genuine emergency arises later.

It is your responsibility to request an emergency visit, or an urgent appointment only when you think it is truly necessary.

You have a right to confidentiality.

Ongoing training of doctors is always necessary in general practice and this may sometimes take place during your consultation. Your co-operation in allowing this to be carried out helps to achieve better standards of practice. You have a right to ask anyone present, other than your doctor, to leave during an examination. However, your co-operation would be appreciated in allowing this training to take place.

You have a right to expect the reception desk to be staffed in surgery or clinic hours by at least one receptionist and for the receptionist to always treat patients with respect and courtesy.

The practice operates a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards violent, abusive or threatening behaviour and any person behaving in this way can expect to be removed from the practice list.

The reception staff are usually very busy. If you need to phone the surgery, please keep your phone call brief and avoid calling during peak morning times for non-urgent matters.

If you have had a hospital consultation, then enquiries regarding that consultation or resultant tests should be made directly to the hospital.

You have a right to a consultation with the doctor or practice nurse within a timeframe appropriate for your medical condition. Patients will be offered a consultation for urgent cases within 24 hours.

A doctor’s time is limited, and he/she has many patients to see. It is your responsibility to be punctual and to remember that a consultation is for one person only.

Where an appointment has been made, you are responsible for keeping it or giving adequate notice to the practice that your wish to cancel, in order that the time may be made available to someone else.

If you have made an appointment to see the doctor, every effort will be made to keep to the appointment time. There will be occasions when you may have an additional wait, for example, when the doctor is called to deal with an emergency. You have the right to know why there has been a delay and to be given an estimate of the additional waiting time. During the course of surgery there are some patients who need longer consultation because of the nature of their illness. Please remember this is when waiting to be seen and try to be understanding about unavoidable delays.

You have a right to receive the most appropriate care available which will be given by suitably qualified staff at the surgery. This includes being referred to a specialist where necessary.

You have a right to expect speedy referral to another doctor or health professional when deemed appropriate by your doctor. Urgent referral letters will be ready for dispatch within 24 hours. Non-urgent referral letters may take up to two weeks.

You have a right to receive an NHS prescription for regular medication you are taking when this medication is available on the NHS. Repeat prescriptions will be ready for collection in 48 hours. It is your responsibility to have prescriptions dispensed and to ensure that the instructions given by the doctor are followed and the whole course of medicine is taken. Please remember medicines are for the named patient. It’s an offence to obtain prescriptions on another person’s name to avoid paying prescription charges and any person doing so is liable to prosecution.

You have the right to make suggestions or complain about the care and the services we offer without jeopardising your care. The Practice Manager should be the first point of contact for suggestions and complaints.

You have the right to leave the practice list and register with another practice within the practice area. This process will be quick and easy.

Please note that if you move outside the practice area you may have to change your doctor.

Good General Practice has been based on good doctor and patient relationships requiring trust and mutual respect. It is important that this state of affairs should continue. We believe this is basic to good patient care.