Access to Medical Records
If a Doctor writes a medical report for an outside Agency i.e Insurance Company, you are entitled to view the report before it is sent. Please note there is a time limit. Ask Practice Manager for details.
When a Doctor writes a letter about you, you are entitled to a copy; discuss with the Doctor or Practice Manager.
Please note: the Doctor will not divulge any information the Practice holds on you, to any other Agency, Organisation or Family, without your signed consent. You may discuss arrangements with the Practice Manager.
Accessing Your medical summary online
You can now view your basic medical summary online through Systmonline Online Services. Once registered you will have access to your list of recent medications, any adverse reactions and allergies you may have.
Accessible Information Standard
The 5 key requirements of the Standard are:
- Ask patients and carers if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
- Record those needs in a set way
- Highlight a patient’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how those needs should be met
- Share information about a person’s needs with another NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
- Make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.
We aim to communicate well with our patients and want to make sure that you can read and understand the information we are providing
If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you, please let us know. We can assist you by providing information in a larger print or making it easier to read and understand.
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.
In the event of a complaint it will be dealt with as quickly as possible. We will make contact with you as soon as possible and if necessary a detailed written response will be sent.
To help us to do this we request you to complete a complaint form and give it to the Doctor or Manager. You will be asked to discuss the matter with the Doctor if you wish and you may bring a friend with you.
If you are not happy with the outcome of this, you may wish to approach Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), their contact details are:
- Telephone: 01992 566122 or 566123 or 0800 7833396
- Email: [email protected]
- Postal Address: Building 4, Spencer Close, St. Margaret’s Hospital, The Plain, Epping CM16 6TN
The Ross Practice
Making a Complaint
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily with the person concerned, often at the time they arise, and this may be the approach you try first.
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, giving as much detail as you can, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:
- Within 12 months of the incident,
- or within 12 months of you becoming aware of the matter
If you are a registered patient, you can complain about your own care. You are not normally able to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section in this leaflet for what to do in this case.
We can provide you with a separate complaint form to register your complaint, and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing it covers all the necessary aspects.
Send your written complaint in the first instance to:
The Ross Practice, Keats House, Bush Fair, Harlow, Essex CM18 6LY
The Practice Complaints Manager is: Sheila Keller
What We Do Next
We aim to settle complaints as soon as possible.
We will usually acknowledge receipt within three working days and try to get a response to you within 10 working days. If it cannot be done in 10 days, you will be notified and given an idea of response time. You will then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue.
When looking into a complaint, we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you wish to do so.
When the investigations are complete, a final written response will be sent to you.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been initially sent to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.
The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and your right to refer the matter further to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else
We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it. In the event the patient is deceased, then we may agree to respond to a family member or anyone acting on their behalf or who has had an interest in the welfare of the patient.
Please ask at reception for the Complaints Form, which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed. Alternatively, we will send one to you to return to us when we receive your initial written complaint.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness, accident, or mental capacity, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances that prevent this in your covering letter.
Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply. You may also find that if you are complaining on behalf of a child who can make their own complaint, we will expect that child to contact us themselves to lodge their complaint.
We may still need to correspond directly with the patient or may be able to deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority provided.
You may also make your complaint directly to NHS England, who commission our service:
By telephone: 0300 311 22 33
By email: [email protected]
By post: NHS England, PO Box 16738,
Redditch, B97 9PT
However, they usually prefer that you contact the surgery first as that can usually clear up the complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome
You have the right to approach the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.
Their contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Tel: 0345 015 4033
(to complain online or download a paper form)
You may also approach Healthwatch, Independent Health Complaints Advocacy or the HWE ICB Patient Experience Team for help or advice;
The local Healthwatch can be found at: www.healthwatch.co.uk
The IHCA can be contacted at: www.seap.org.uk/services/nhs-complaints-advocacy
Herts and West Essex ICB Patient experience team on: 01992 566122 or [email protected]
The practice complies with the Data Protection Law.
Confidentiality is a cornerstone of health care and is central to the work of everyone working in general practice. All information about patients is confidential: from the most sensitive diagnosis, to the fact of having visited the surgery or being registered at the Practice.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 years of age is as great as the duty owed to any other person..
All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission except in the most exceptional of circumstances, when somebody is at grave risk of serious harm.
Responsibilities of Practice Staff
All health professionals must follow their professional codes of practice and the law. This means that they must make every effort to protect confidentiality. It also means that no identifiable information about a patient is passed to anyone or any agency without the express permission of that patient, except when this is essential for providing care or is necessary to protect somebody’s health, safety or well being.
All health professionals are individually accountable for their own actions. They should also work together as a team to ensure that standards of confidentiality are upheld, and that improper disclosures are avoided.
Additionally, the GP as an employer
Is responsible for ensuring that everybody employed by the Practice understands the need for, and maintains, confidentiality.
Has overall responsibility for ensuring that systems and mechanisms to protect confidentiality are in place.
Has vicarious liability for the actions of those working in the Practice, the health professionals and the non clinical staff.
Standards of confidentiality apply to all health professionals, administrative and ancillary staff, including receptionists, secretaries, practice managers, cleaners and maintenance staff who are bound by contracts of employment to maintain confidentiality, and also to students or others observing practice. They must not reveal, to anybody outside the Practice, personal information they learn in the course of their work, or due to their presence in the surgery, without the patient’s consent. Nor will they discuss with colleagues any aspect of a patient’s attendance at the surgery in a way that might allow identification of the patient, unless to do so is necessary for that patient’s care.
If disclosure is necessary
if a patient or another person is at grave risk of serious harm which disclosure to an appropriate person would prevent, the relevant health professional will counsel the patient about the benefits of disclosure. If the patient refuses to allow disclosure, the health professional can take advice from a professional, regulatory or defence body, in order to decide whether a disclosure without consent is justified to protect the patient or another person.
General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)
Our practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital.
“ 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.
The average pay for GPs working in The Ross Practice in the last financial year was £63,991 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 2 full time GPs and 4 part time GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.
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.”
How the local NHS uses and protects the information held about you
To help your GP provide you with even better care The Ross Practice, along with others in west Essex, is participating in a scheme that allows your GP health record to be linked with records other health professionals have about you.
If you wish to opt out of your pseudonymised data being extracted please write to The Practice Manager, Sheila Keller and your records will be coded to avoid any extraction being made.
Those patients who have previously opted out do not need to write in again, your records have already been coded accordingly
How the NHS Uses and Protects Your Health Records
My Care Record
My Care Record allows health and care professionals working directly with you to access your medical and social care information. This is to improve the care you receive. Patient information and care records are usually made available through traditional methods such as secure post, fax or email. This can be slow and, at times, unreliable, and possibly prolong diagnosis and treatment. My Care Record is accessed via secure but different health and care computer systems from different partner organisations. The information is requested from the original system and relayed to the health or care professional treating you. By making your information available across the health and care system the direct care team including your GP practice, hospital team or community nurse will be able to see the most up to date, accurate information about you. For example, if you were receiving care at one of the hospitals involved, the doctor treating you would be able to see your GP record on their own computer. This will lead to: My Care Record will only be used by professionals involved in your care. Full details on how My Care Record manage your information is available on the My Care Record website as well as more information about where My Care Record is in operation, the organisations taking part and answers to frequently asked questions.
My Care Record allows health and care professionals working directly with you to access your medical and social care information. This is to improve the care you receive.
Patient information and care records are usually made available through traditional methods such as secure post, fax or email. This can be slow and, at times, unreliable, and possibly prolong diagnosis and treatment.
My Care Record is accessed via secure but different health and care computer systems from different partner organisations. The information is requested from the original system and relayed to the health or care professional treating you.
By making your information available across the health and care system the direct care team including your GP practice, hospital team or community nurse will be able to see the most up to date, accurate information about you.
For example, if you were receiving care at one of the hospitals involved, the doctor treating you would be able to see your GP record on their own computer.
This will lead to:
My Care Record will only be used by professionals involved in your care. Full details on how My Care Record manage your information is available on the My Care Record website as well as more information about where My Care Record is in operation, the organisations taking part and answers to frequently asked questions.
NHS Summary Care Records
As part of a mandatory, national programme each GP Practice will have to make a summary care record for each patient (unless the patient has already opted out). Please read the information regarding this.
If you wish to opt out download and complete the opt out form and return to the Practice (see below).
All feedback is taken seriously and used to improve services for patients. The care of patients raising concerns will not be affected in any way and will continue to be our highest priority.
Please let us have your comments both positive and negative by completing a Friends and Family Test.
Your comments will help us to maintain our high standard of service.
Removal From Practice List
Very rarely the Practice finds it necessary to remove a patient from the Practice List.
This is usually on the recommendation of the British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Should this occur, you will receive a letter stating clearly why you are being removed and with instructions on how you may register with another Doctor in the area.
You can also contact West Essex Clinical Commisioning Group on 01992 566140.
Zero Tolerance to Violence Policy
All practices, in line with government guidelines, have a ‘Zero Tolerance to Violence’ policy.
This means that any violent or abusive behaviour or perceived threatening behaviour, whether verbal or otherwise to staff or members of the public on practice premises will not be tolerated.
We can refuse to provide a service, report the incident to the Police and request that the patient and their family be removed from their Practice list.