Access to Health Records
Under the Data Protection Act 2018 people have the right to see any files about them, including their health records. Access can only be denied if there are compelling reasons.
The practice has a procedure for patients to apply to see their health records. If you would like further information or an application form, please complete a Contact the Practice form.
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation.
Please let us know at the time of requesting an appointment or speak to your GP. If you would like to request an appointment, please visit our Consulting Room.
Confidential information from your medical records can be used by the NHS to improve the services offered so we can provide the best possible care for everyone.
This information along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information.
This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you.
You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything.
If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please speak to practice staff or complete an Ask Reception a Question form.
Enhanced Data Sharing Model
For a number of years, work has been ongoing to improve the way that medical records are made available to treating clinicians. Our main computer system is called SystmOne, which has the advantage of enabling information to be shared between certain health professionals, and where necessary their support staff.
Enhanced data sharing model (EDSM) enables us, with your consent, to share your medical records with those in the NHS who are involved in your care. NHS staff can only access shared information if they are involved in your care and records are kept showing who has accessed your medical records.
As the scheme has been designed to enhance patient care, you have been automatically opted in.
For some time we have shared information for children for child protection reasons and also for patients under the care of the district nursing team. This has helped clinicians to make decisions based upon a wider knowledge of the patient and also helps to reduce the number of times that patients or family members are asked the same question. In short it assists clinicians to provide more ‘joined up care’.
If I agree, who can see my records?
EDSM allows clinicians treating you, who have access to SystmOne to view and in some cases update your medical records. Locally this includes the walk-in centre, many departments at local hospitals (including A&E) and community services, such as the district nursing team. It is anticipated that over time more health services will be able to benefit from EDSM.
Clinicians outside of the surgery who wish to access your medical records will ask for your consent to do so and will need to have been issued with a NHS smartcard. This is a chip and pin card – similar to a bank card.
Can I opt out or pick and choose who sees my record?
Yes, you can. Under EDSM there are two levels of consent. The first is to agree to sharing your medical records out. This is your agreement that records maintained by your GP can be seen, subject to your authority at the time, by clinicians working outside of the surgery. The second is agreeing to share your records in. This means that your GP can see the records made by other health professionals who have access to EDSM.
However, as the treating clinician needs to ask your permission to see your records at the beginning of each period of care you are in control of who can see your medical information.
What if there is a matter that I want to stay just between me and my doctor?
You can ask for any consultation to be marked as private, this means that viewing is restricted to the surgery, but allows the rest of the record to be viewed by whoever else is treating you. It is your responsibility to ask for a consultation to be marked as private.
Haven’t I agreed/disagreed to do this before?
EDSM may seem very similar to patients as the summary care record which went live some years ago. The summary care record contains only a very small part of your record that is available to be seen by clinicians who might be treating you in A&E departments, walk in centres or if you register temporarily somewhere else within the UK.
Can I change my mind?
Yes, you can always change your mind and amend who you consent to see your records. For instance you can decline to share your records out from the surgery, but if you build up a relationship with the physiotherapist who is treating you and they asked you if they could look at an x-ray report, you could give your consent at that point for them to view your records.
You will be referred back to us to change your preference, so the physio treating won’t be able to see your records instantly, but should be able to by, the next time of your next appointment.
If I decline what happens in an emergency?
In the event of a medical emergency, for instance if you were taken unconscious to A&E, and the clinician treating you feels it is important to be able to see your medical records he is able to override any consents set.
However, the doctor has to give a written reason for doing so. Where this happens an audit is undertaken by the local Caldicott Guardian (the person with overall responsibility for Data Protection compliance).
Can anyone else see my medical records?
On a daily basis, we get requests from insurance companies to either have copies of medical records or excerpts from patients’ medical records. This requires your signed consent.
Occasionally we are asked for information from the medical records for legal reasons and we will only provide information when legally required to do so.
If you have any questions or wish to opt out, please use our Ask Reception a Question form. If necessary, the receptionist will arrange for someone to give you a call.
You are free to change your mind at any time. Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.
Freedom of Information
Information about the GPs 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.
There are seven classes of information:
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- Services the practice offers
For more information, please review the Information Commissioner’s Office guide on the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Bridge Road Surgery takes privacy seriously and we want to provide you with information about your rights, who we share your information with and how we keep it secure.
Please use the links below to find more information about the practice and data protection:
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 Bridge Road Surgery in the last financial year was £89,066 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 4 full time GPs and 3 part time GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.
All patients registered at The Bridge Road Surgery have a named doctor who has overall responsibility for your care and support.
Patients should use our Contact the Practice form if you wish to know who this is, and that if you have a preference as to which GP that is, the practice will make reasonable efforts to accommodate this request.
As a patient, you have the right to express preference as to which GP you wish to see. However, if you require an appointment and your preferred GP is not available, you will be offered an appointment with another doctor. If you still wish to see your preferred GP, you may have to wait longer.
Certain services such as insurance claim forms, elderly driver medicals, HGV/PSV medicals are not covered by the NHS.
A fee is therefore payable to the practice and the list of charges are displayed in the surgery. We will confirm the fee when booking an appointment or requesting the doctor to complete a form. If required, please complete a Medical Report Request form.
- Avena – www.avenaconfidential.co.uk
Couriers / Delivery
Multi Functional Devices
- BT – www.bt.com
- Health Intelligence – www.health-intelligence.com
- Health Diagnostics – www.healthdiagnostics.co.uk
- Wardles (Bestwaymeds) – www.bestwaymedhub.co.uk
- MJOG – www.mjog.com
- Eclipse Solutions (Safety Reports) – www.eclipsegroup.co.uk
Website Hosting / Mailing
IT Service Provider
- Arden and Gem – www.ardengemcsu.nhs.uk
- Lexacom 3 – www.lexacom.co.uk/our-products/lexacom-3
Digital Redaction / Scanning
Payroll / Finance
Provision of Clinical System
- Systm One (TPP) – www.tpp-uk.com
- Systm One (TPP) – www.tpp-uk.com
Suggestions, Comments and Complaints
We are always interested in hearing feedback from our patients, good or bad. For any suggestions and comments, please use our Feedback triage. If you feel it necessary, you can make a complaint.
All of our feedback is collated and reviewed on a regular basis with our Patient Participation Group.
If you have any complaints or concerns about the service that you have received from the doctors or staff working for the practice, please let us know.
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible, ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
- Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem
- Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided that is within 12 months of the incident
The practice manager will be pleased to deal with any complaint. He will explain the procedure to you and make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly.
You can make your complaint either:
- Via the practice website
- In writing – some complaints may be easier to explain in writing, please give as much information as you can, then send your complaint to the practice for the attention of the practice manager
What we Shall do
Our complaints procedure is designed to make sure that we settle any complaints as quickly as possible.
We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and will advise how long we believe your complaint will take to investigate.
When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
- Make sure you receive an apology, where appropriate
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.
At the end of the investigation your complaint will be discussed with you in detail, either in person or in writing.
Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
Further Help Required?
If you remain dissatisfied with our response, you may contact the ombudsman for a review of your complaint.
This can be done by contacting the following address:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Telephone: 0345 0154033
You may also write directly to NHS England. However, NHS England will not deal with your complaint if you have already been through the practice complaints procedure.
You may contact NHS England in the following ways:
Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 16738
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [email protected]
The Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service (ICAS) can provide free and confidential information and assistance to anyone who wishes to make a complaint about NHS services.
St Clement’s Hospital
Telephone: 0300 330 5454
Email: [email protected]
Summary Care Records
There is a 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. Over time it will build to include information about other health issues considered important to your wellbeing.
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 asking the surgery directly.
Enhanced summary care record
If you wanted to ‘enhance’ your record it would include the following information:
- Significant medical history (past and present)
- Reason for medication
- Anticipatory care information (important in the management of long term conditions)
- Communication preferences
- End of life care information
You can opt in for an enhanced summary care record at any time.
Children under the age of 16
Patients under 16 years will have an enhanced summary care record created for them unless their GP surgery is advised otherwise. If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16 then you should make this information available to them if they are old enough to decide for themselves if they want a summary care record.
Whatever you decide, you can change your mind at any time.
If you are a family member or carer of a person and you have concerns that they may not have the mental capability to make this decision, please use our Contact the Practice form.
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 Summary Care Record Opt Out form.
For further information, please visit the HSCIC Website.
We are a teaching practice and students sometimes sit in with the doctors and nurses. If you prefer not to have a student sitting in, please let the doctor or receptionist know.
General Practitioner Registrars
GP registrars are often attached to the practice and are fully qualified doctors gaining experience in general practice.
As part of on-going training some doctors may on occasion video their consultations. Consent is always obtained from patients prior to their appointment being recorded. You of course have the opportunity to decline.
The NHS operates a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons.
Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety.
In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.