Practice Policies

Beacon Medical Practice has number of practice policies to ensure a safe, efficient practice.

Confidentiality
All our staff are bound by a strict confidentiality policy and receive a very high standard of Information Governance training before commencing work at Beacon Medical Practice. All patients’ records are treated in the strictest confidence and, as such, all staff have been instructed not to give out any patient information, even to close relatives.

When visiting our Practice we please ask that patients do stand back from the reception desk to allow the person in front to speak confidently to the reception staff. Please respect the privacy of the person standing in front of you.

If you do need to speak to a receptionist in private then please ask.

Data Protection Act
Beacon Medical Practice maintains computer and paper-based files that make up your personal and confidential medical record. Your Doctor is responsible for their accuracy and safe-keeping. Please help to keep your record up to date by informing us of any changes to your circumstances.
This information may be shared with other health professionals. Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to access the information held by the Practice. If you would like to access your information, your request must be in writing. You can access your record by appointment, in the presence of either Practice Manager, IT-Manager or Practice Administrator. Medical queries arising from the inspection of your medical records will need to be discussed with a GP.

All information about you is held securely and appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent accidental loss.

In some circumstances we may be required by law to release your details to statutory or other official bodies, for example if a court order is presented, or in the case of public health issues. In other circumstances you may be required to give written consent before information is released – such as for medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc. Also, under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 the Quality Care Commission (CQC) is able to access patient records on the grounds there is a ‘public interest’ in accessing the confidential data.

To ensure your privacy, we will not disclose information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. Information will not be disclosed to family, friends, or spouses unless we have prior written consent, and we do not leave messages with others.

Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises that members of the public have the right to know how public services are organised and run, how much they cost and how decisions are made.

Under this Act, the Practice is required to make certain information about the General Practitioners, the Practice and the services we provide, available to the public in the form of a Publication Scheme. To meet the requirements of the Act, we have adopted the model approved by the Information Commissioner. This document is a complete guide to the information that the practice routinely makes available to the public. It will be reviewed and updated at regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.

Chaperone Policy
Beacon Medical Practice is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, i.e. a trained member of staff.

Wherever possible we would ask you to make this request at the time of booking the appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way. Where this is not possible we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request. However occasionally it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy.

If you feel you would like a chaperone present at your consultation, please inform your Doctor/ Nurse, who will be happy to arrange this for you.

Patient Behaviour
We expect our staff to treat patients with courtesy and respect, and in return, we expect our patients afford the same treatment to staff members. The vast majority of our patients behave in the manner we would expect, but we reserve the right, however, to ask a patient to leave the premises if they are verbally or physically aggressive or abusive to any member of our staff.

Beacon Medical Practice strongly support the NHS policy on zero tolerance. Anyone who verbally or physically abuses, or threatens in any way, any member of staff, Doctor or Nurse, will be removed from the practice list and the incident will be recorded on your medical records. In extreme cases we will involve the police.

Health & Safety
Beacon Medical Practice recognises and accepts its responsibilities as employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) regulations 1992 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, for providing, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe and health work place and working environment and adequate training for all staff in its employment. We will maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe premises, plant, equipment and systems of work in all premises under our control to ensure a safe working environment and the delivery of safe services to our patients.

The overall responsibility for health and safety rests with the Practice, but employees and attached staff at all levels are required to accept responsibility for implementation of the policy as far as it affects their working environment. All persons are required of their duty under the Act to take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves and others by their work activity and to co-operate in meeting statutory requirements.

Quality Control
All incoming and outgoing calls at Beacon Medical Practice are being recorded for quality control and training purposes.

Equal Opportunities
Beacon Medical Practice operates an equal opportunities policy, a copy of which is available for inspection should you wish. All individuals are treated equally, irrespective of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political belief or age. Any patients seen to be discriminating against any member of staff or the public will be asked to leave the Practice.

Emergency Dental Treatment
GPs are not appropriately trained to deal with dental problems. This includes toothache, abscesses and problems experienced after dental treatment. We usually cannot provide antibiotics as it is necessary to have a full assessment before prescribing such medication.

We would therefore suggest patients to register with and attend regularly a dentist who can provide appropriate routine and emergency advice and treatment. Dentists offer a 24 hours per day emergency service. Out of normal surgery hours, this service is only for urgent dental treatment that cannot wait until the next working day to be treated.

For emergency dental treatment outside normal working hours, registered patients should contact their dental surgery. Most surgeries have an answering machine message referring you to out-of-hours information. If there is no message please ring NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

If you are not registered with a dentist, or are away from home, please ring NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or 111 for out-of-hours information.

Consent
Before we begin examination or treatment we need your consent, or your parents’ consent if you are under 16.

This can be given in a number of ways. It may be given by a signature on a document if some sort of invasive procedure is to be carried out for example, a minor surgery procedure. It may be verbal, for example if a GP or Nurse asks if they can look at you hand injury. However, it may also be implied. This means that you do not specifically give your consent, but your actions, for example by rolling up your sleeve for a blood test states that you are happy to have the GP or nurse carry out their work.

It is your right to not give consent, particularly if you are unhappy about any part of the procedure. Please let a GP or Nurse know if you are unhappy and do not consent to being examined or treated, or if you require further clarification first. Your consent must be informed. That means you must understand clearly what the procedure entails and how it will affect you.

Infection Prevention and Control
Beacon Medical Practice has robust policies in place for infection prevention and control. This includes policies on hand washing and correct disposal of waste in line with current guidelines. It is essential to maintain a high standard of hygiene on the premises and your assistance with this would be appreciated.