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 patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
Making a Complaint?
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily with the person concerned. Often at the time they arise, this may be the approach you try first. When you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and you wish to make a formal complaint. You should contact the surgery preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days giving as much detail as you. This can help us to establish what happened more easily.
The Complaints Manager will always be willing to discuss the complaint face to face but if you feel that a more formal written complaint is necessary then we have a complaint policy and procedure available at reception. We also have complaint templates if required.
We look to settle the complaint as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days and aim to have looked into the matter within 30 working days. We will 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 issues with those involved if you wish to do so.
We keep 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.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome you have the right to approach the HSO.
Health Service Ombudsman (HSO)
The contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Website: Health Service Ombudsman
If you, not happy ith the Ombudsman’s decision, you can appeal directly to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)
You may also approach PALS for help and advice.
Patient Advice and Liason Service(PALS)
The PALS team is a confidential service and provides advice and support to help you deal with any concerns you may have about the care provided in your area and will guide you through the range of services available from the NHS.
You can contact PALS on 0161 212 6270 or email: [email protected]
The Complaints Manager is Sana Saeed Deputy is Klaudia Donegani
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.
A copy of our practice complaints leaflet is available below with more information regarding how to make a complaint. Should you need this information in a different language/format please let us know.
Confidentiality & Medical Record
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.
Did Not Attend Policy
A ‘DNA’ (Did Not Attend) is an occasion on which a patient does not attend a booked appointment with a member of the practice team without contacting the surgery to cancel prior to the appointment time.
In December 2023 we had 13.1% of our appointments wasted by non attendance. The loss of this clinical time has a detrimental effect on the service that we provide to patients and we wish to keep this to a minimum. We feel that it is reasonable to ask patients to let us know in advance if they do not intend or are not able to keep their appointment. Patients who are experiencing ongoing difficulties in keeping their appointments should discuss this with the surgery.
The surgery reserves the right to remove patients from the practice list if they DNA three appointments within a 12 month period.
When a patient does not attend an appointment without giving advance notice the doctor will code the missed appointment on the patient record. This generates a DNA letter/sms or call that is passed to the patient.
DNA Letter/sms 3
In the event of a third DNA within a twelve-month period, a further letter/sms would be sent to the patient, the case will be reviewed by a member of the medical team and the patient may be removed from the practice list. In this eventuality, PCSE will be informed and the patient will need to register with an alternative practice.
No patient will be removed from the practice list without due consideration of their individual circumstances and reasons for non-attendance. The purpose of this policy is not to penalise patients with valid medical reasons for non-attendance.
If the practice is aware of special circumstances surrounding a patient’s non-attendance, for example, patients who have been admitted to hospital or have dementia, the medical team reserve the right to exclude the patient from management under this policy.
Patients concerned regarding their management under this policy or who are having problems attending should speak to the surgery. Lack of organisation or forgetting is not an acceptable reason for non-attendance.
Our premises are fully accessible to the disabled. If you require any additional assistance, please ask at reception.
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.
Fair Processing Notice
How we use your personal information
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we have implemented this fair processing notice to inform you, our patients, of the types of data we process about you. We also include within this notice the reasons for processing your data, the lawful basis that permits us to process it, how long we keep your data for and your rights regarding your data.This notice applies to current and former patients.
Data Protection Principles
Under GDPR, all personal data obtained and held by us must be processed according to a set of core principles. In accordance with these principles, we will ensure that:
– Processing is fair, lawful and transparent
– Data is collected for specific, explicit, and legitimate purposes
– Data collected is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing
– Data is kept accurate and up to date. Data which is found to be inaccurate will be rectified or erased without delay
– Data is not kept for longer than is necessary for its given purpose
– Data is processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage by using appropriate technical or organisation measures.
– We comply with the relevant GDPR procedures for international transferring of personal data.
This fair processing notice explains why the practice collects information about you and how that information may be used.
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. Hospital, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records which this GP Practice holds about you may include the following information:
– Details about you, such as your address, legal representative, emergency contact details
– Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
– Notes and reports about your health
– Details about your treatment and care
– Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.
– Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
Your records will be retained in accordance with the NHS Code of Practice for Records Management.
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose.
How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
– General Data Protection Regulation 2018
– Human Rights Act 1998
– Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
– Health and Social Care Act 2012
– NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
– Information: To Share or Not to Share Review
Every member of staff who works for the Practice or another NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.
We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any 3rd party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), where the law requires information to be passed on for example Child/Adult Protection and Serious Criminal Activity.
Who are our partner organisations?
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations or receive information from the following organisations:-
NHS Trusts / Foundation Trusts
NHS Commissioning Support Units
Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
Private Sector Providers
Voluntary Sector Providers
Clinical Commissioning Groups
Social Care Services
Fire and Rescue Services
Police & Judicial Services
Other ‘data processors’ which you will be informed of.
You will be informed who your data will be shared with and in some cases asked for explicit consent for this to happen when this is required.
We may also use external companies to process personal information, such as for archiving purposes. These companies are bound by contractual agreements to ensure information is kept confidential and secure.
Access to personal information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and to have it amended should it be inaccurate. In order to request this, you need to do the following:
Your request must be made in writing to the GP – for information from the hospital you should write direct to them.
There may be a charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you.
We are required to respond to you within 30 days.
You will need to give adequate information (for example, full name, address, date of birth, NHS number and details of your request) so that your identity can be verified and your records located.
Objections / Complaints
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the GP surgery, please contact the Practice Manager. If you are still unhappy following a review by the GP practice, you can then complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website (www.ico.org.uk).
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the person treating you if any of your details such as your name or address have changed or if any of your details such as date of birth is incorrect in order for this to be amended. You have a responsibility to inform us of any changes so our records are accurate and up to date for you.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information.
This information is publicly available on the Information Commissioner’s Office online at www.ico.gov.uk
The practice is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Who is the Data Controller?
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is the Practice Manager.
Please Click Here to View our Information on GP Earnings
Greater Manchester Care Record
Keeping your personal data safe is central to the GM Care Record
Each health and care organisation in Greater Manchester collects information about you and keeps records about the care and services they have provided. The GM Care record pulls together the information from these different health and social care records and displays it in one combined record.
How is your personal information kept safe and secure in the GM Care Record?
We ensure the information we hold is kept in secure locations, restrict access to information to authorised personnel only and protect personal and confidential information.
Appropriate technical and security measures in place to protect the GM Care Record include:
- complying with Data Protection Legislation;
- encrypting Personal Data transmitted between partners;
- implementing and maintaining business continuity, disaster recovery and other relevant policies and procedures
- a requirement for organisations to complete the Data Security and Protection (DSP) Toolkit introduced in the National Data Guardian review of data security, consent and objections, and adhere to robust information governance management and accountability arrangements;
- use of ‘user access authentication’ mechanisms to ensure that all instances of access to any Personal Data under the GM Care Record are auditable against an individual accessing the GM Care Record;
- ensuring that all employees and contractors who are involved in the processing of Personal Data are suitably trained in maintaining the privacy and security of the Personal Data and are under contractual or statutory obligations of confidentiality concerning the Personal Data.
The NHS Digital Code of Practice on Confidential Information applies to all NHS and care staff, and they are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared. All staff with access to Personal Data are trained to ensure information is kept confidential.
National Data Opt Out
How the NHS and care services use your information
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided
- research into the development of new treatments
- preventing illness and diseases
- monitoring safety
- planning services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Health and care organisations have until 2021 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care.
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). It is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had.
Why do I need a Summary Care Record?
Storing information in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.
This information could make a difference to how a doctor decides to care for you, for example, which medicines they choose to prescribe for you.
Who can see it?
Only healthcare staff involved in your care can see your Summary Care Record.
How do I know if I have one?
Over half of the population of England now have a Summary Care Record. You can find out whether Summary Care Records have come to your area by looking at our interactive map or by asking your GP.
Click the following link for information regarding the Greater Manchester Care Record:
Do I have to have one?
No, it is not compulsory. If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery. You can use the form at the foot of this page.
For further information visit the NHS Care records website
Zero Tolerance Policy
Damhead Medical Centre aims to provide high quality healthcare and we will treat all patients with respect and dignity.
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in verbal and physical attacks on staff and this is unacceptable.
Damhead Medical Centre and Manchester Health and Care Commissioning support The NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. This policy recognises the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and healthcare staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
Patients also have a right to access services without fear of violence at their practice.
In line with this policy, we have a zero tolerance approach to aggression, abuse, violence or anti-social behaviour.
What do we mean by zero tolerance?
We understand that when patients feel ill, they do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. We ask you to treat healthcare professionals and practice staff courteously and act reasonably.
Whilst it is not possible to list all types of incidents, some examples of unacceptable behaviour are provided below:
- offensive language, verbal abuse and swearing
- racist and hate comments
- loud and intrusive conversation
- unwanted or abusive remarks
- negative, malicious or stereotypical comments
- carrying weapons or using objects as weapons
- damage, defacing or vandalism of NHS property
- threats or risk of injury to NHS staff
- unreasonable behaviour and non-cooperation
Such behaviour or verbal abuse causing distress and or constituting harassment will not be tolerated and could lead to the person being removed from the practice list. In extreme cases the police will be contacted if the patient is posing a threat to staff or others.
Removal from the practice list
A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care. The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship.
When trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient’s interest, just as much as that of the practice, that they should find a new practice. An exception to this is on immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the Police are involved.
Removing other members of the household
In rare cases, if there is a possible need to visit patients at home, it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household.
The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family.
This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.