Our staff are committed to providing quality healthcare for the benefit of all of our patients. View our policies to see how this is achieved.
The Surgery prides itself in maintaining professional standards. For certain examinations during consultations an impartial observer (a “Chaperone”) will be required.
This impartial observer will be a Practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant who is familiar with the procedure and be available to reassure and raise any concerns on your behalf. If a nurse is unavailable at the time of your consultation then your examination may be re-scheduled for another time.
You are free to decline any examination or choose an alternative examiner or chaperone. You may also request a chaperone for any examination or consultation if one is not offered to you. The GP may not undertake an examination if a chaperone is declined.
The role of a Chaperone:
- Maintains professional boundaries during intimate examinations.
- Acknowledges a patient’s vulnerability.
- Provides emotional comfort and reassurance.
- Assists in the examination.
- Assists with undressing patients, if required.
The practice complies with the Data Protection Act. 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. 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.
All members of the primary health care team (from reception to doctors) in the course of their duties will have access to your medical records. They all adhere to the highest standards of maintaining confidentiality.
As our reception area is a little public, if you wish to discuss something of a confidential nature please mention it to one of the receptionists who will make arrangements for you to have the necessary privacy.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person. Young people aged under 16 years can choose to see health professionals, without informing their parents or carers. If a GP considers that the young person is competent to make decisions about their health, then the GP can give advice, prescribe and treat the young person without seeking further consent.
However, in terms of good practice, health professionals will encourage young people to discuss issues with a parent or carer. As with older people, sometimes the law requires us to report information to appropriate authorities in order to protect young people or members of the public.
If you have any special needs please let our staff know so that we can help and ensure that you get the same support in the future.
The Surgery has been specially designed to make it easier for disabled patients to visit. There are no steps at the entrance of the building giving patients easy access. Due to fire regulations, we do have heavy fire doors, however if you have trouble opening these please ask Reception for assistance as they are always happy to help.
There are several dedicated disabled car parking spaces available immediately outside the front entrance of The Surgery.
We have a wheelchair for patient’s use, at their own risk, should you require one whilst visiting our premises.
We have two disabled toilets – one on each floor.
Disabled Parking – Blue Badge Scheme
The Blue Badge scheme is for people with severe mobility problems. It allows Blue Badge holders to park close to where they need to go.
We have a loop induction system at the reception desk to assist the hearing impaired. For more information on the loop hearing system visit Hearing Link website.
- British Deaf Association
- The Deaf Health Charity – SignHealth
- Action Hearing Loss
- Royal Association for Deaf People
- National Deaf Children’s Society
If you or family members are blind or partially sighted we can give you a CD or large print of our practice leaflet upon request. Please ask Reception for further information.
For more advice and support for blind people please see the following websites:
- Royal National Institute of Blind People (RIND)
- Action for Blind People
- British Blind Sport
Guide dogs are welcome at the surgery but we ask that you be aware of other patients and staff who may have an allergy or fear of dogs.
Other Disability Websites:
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act creates a right of access to recorded information and obliges a public authority to:
- Have a publication scheme in place
- Allow public access to information held by public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded organisational information such as reports, policies or strategies, that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland, however it does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.
The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner who regulates both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.
The Surgery publication scheme
A publication scheme requires an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities.
The scheme lists information under seven broad classes, which are:
- who we are and what we do
- what we spend and how we spend it
- what our priorities are and how we are doing it
- how we make decisions
- our policies and procedures
- lists and registers
- the services we offer
You can request our publication scheme leaflet at the surgery.
Who can request information?
Under the Act, any individual, anywhere in the world, is able to make a request to a practice for information. An applicant is entitled to be informed in writing, by the practice, whether the practice holds information of the description specified in the request and if that is the case, have the information communicated to him. An individual can request information, regardless of whether he/she is the subject of the information or affected by its use.
How should requests be made?
- be made in writing (this can be electronically e.g. email/fax)
- state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence
- describe the information requested.
What cannot be requested?
Personal data about staff and patients covered under Data Protection Act.
For more information see these websites:
General Data Protection Regulation
What is GDPR?
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is a piece of legislation that superseded the Data Protection Act 1998 on Friday 25th May 2018 and covers anywhere in the world in which data about EU Citizens is processed.
GDPR is similar to the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998, which the practice already complies with, but strengthens many of the DPA’s principles.
The main changes are:
- Practices must comply with subject access requests.
- Where we need your consent to process data, this consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.
- There are new, special protections for patient data.
- The Information Commissioner’s Office must be notified within 72 hours of a data breach.
- Higher fines for data breaches – up to 20 million euros.
What does this mean for you?
The GDPR sets out the key principles about processing personal data for staff and patients;
- Data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
- It must be collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes.
- It must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.
- Information must be accurate and kept up to date.
- Data must be held securely.
- It can only be retained for as long as is necessary for the reasons it was collected.
There are also stronger rights for patients regarding the information that practices hold about them.
- Being informed about how their data is used.
- Patients to have access to their own data.
- Patients can ask to have incorrect information changed.
- Restrict how their data is used.
- Move their patient data from one health organisation to another.
- The right to object their patient information being processed (in certain circumstances).
We will use your data to:
- Book/cancel appointments
- Appointment reminders
- Direct contact to discuss treatment and appointments
- Referrals to hospitals/specialists with your consent
What is ‘Patient Data’?
Patient data is information that relates to a single person, such as his/her diagnosis, name, age, earlier medical history etc.
What is ‘Consent’?
Consent is permission from a patient and is defined as “any freely given specific and informed indication of their wishes by which the data subject signifies their agreement to personal data relating to them being processed.”
The changes in GDPR mean that we must get explicit permission from patients when using their data in order to protect your right to privacy. We may ask you to provide consent to do certain things, like contact you or record certain information about you for your clinical records.
Individuals also have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.
More details can be found by visiting the ICO website.
All GP Practices are required to declare mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GPs working in the practice of Walm Lane Surgery in the last financial year was £54,792 before tax and National Insurance.
This is for 2 full time GPs and 2 part time GPs and 2 Locum GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.
Infection Control Statement
We aim to keep our surgery clean and tidy and offer a safe environment to our patients and staff. We are proud of our modern, purpose built Practice and endeavour to keep it clean and well maintained at all times.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness or infection control, please report these to our Reception staff.
Our GPs and nursing staff follow our Infection Control Policy to ensure the care we deliver and the equipment we use is safe.
We take additional measures to ensure we maintain the highest standards:
- Encourage staff and patients to raise any issues or report any incidents relating to cleanliness and infection control. We can discuss these and identify improvements we can make to avoid any future problems.
- Carry out an annual infection control audit to make sure our infection control procedures are working.
- Provide annual staff updates and training on cleanliness and infection control
- Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are adequate and meet national guidance.
- Maintain the premises and equipment to a high standard within the available financial resources and ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove all infection risk.
- Use washable or disposable materials for items such as couch rolls, modesty curtains, floor coverings, towels etc., and ensure that these are laundered, cleaned or changed frequently to minimise risk of infection.
- Make Alcohol Hand Rub Gel available throughout the building
We have allocated a Named Accountable GP for all of our registered patients. If you do not know who your named GP is, please ask a member of our reception team. Unfortunately, we are unable to notify patients in writing of any change of GP due to the costs involved.
New Patient Policy
Where it is clinically appropriate and practical to register, we now accept new registrations from patients who work in the local area but reside outside of our registration area. Patients registered this way would not be entitled to home visit from the practice, however they will be able to contact NHS 111 in order to be seen by a practice closer to where they live.
For further information about this type of registration, please contact us on 020 8452 0366 or feel free to come into the practice.
What is non-NHS work and why is there a fee?
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: prescription charges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.
Sometimes the charge is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, providing copies of health records or producing medical reports for insurance companies, solicitors or employers.
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients but not non-NHS work. It is important to understand that many GPs are not employed by the NHS; they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc. – in the same way as any small business.
In recent years, however, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their own NHS patients are:
- accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes
- school fee and holiday insurance certificates
- reports for health clubs to certify that patients are fit to exercise
- private prescriptions for travel purposes
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
- life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies
- reports for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in connection with
- disability living allowance and attendance allowance
- medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering
- copies of records for solicitors
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of their patients. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-NHS work?
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees suggested by them are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates they suggest.
Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. Our GPs do non-NHS work out of NHS time at evenings or weekends so that NHS patient care does suffer.
I only need the doctor’s signature – what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s ENTIRE medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
If you are a new patient we may not have your medical records so the doctor must wait for these before completing the form.
What will I be charged?
It is recommended that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and what the fee will be. It is up to individual doctors to decide how much they will charge. The surgery has a list of fees based on these suggested fees which is available on request.
What can I do to help?
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge. Read the information that comes with these types of forms carefully before requesting your GP to complete them.
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.
- Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight: urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this may cost more. Usually non-NHS work will take 2 weeks.
Statement of Intent
New contractual requirements came into force from 1 April 2014 requiring that GP Practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the following IT developments:
- Summary Care Record (SCR)
- GP to GP Record Transfers
- Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
- Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
The same contractual obligations require that we have a statement of intent regarding these developments in place and published by 30 September 2014.
Please find below details of the practices stance with regards to these points.
Summary Care Record (SCR)
NHS England require practices to enable successful automated uploads of any changes to patient’s summary information, at least on a daily basis, to the summary care record (SCR) or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
Having your Summary Care Record (SCR) available will help anyone treating you without your full medical record. They will have access to information about any medication you may be taking and any drugs that you have a recorded allergy or sensitivity to.
Of course, if you do not want your medical records to be available in this way then you will need to let us know so that we can update your record. You can do this via the opt out form. The practice confirms that your SCR is automatically updated on at least a daily basis to ensure that your information is as up to date as it can possibly be.
GP to GP Record Transfers
NHS England require practices to utilise the GP2GP facility for the transfer of patient records between practices, when a patient registers or de-registers (not for temporary registration).
It is very important that you are registered with a doctor at all times. If you leave your GP and register with a new GP, your medical records will be removed from your previous doctor and forwarded on to your new GP via NHS England. It can take your paper records up to two weeks to reach your new surgery.
With GP to GP record transfers your electronic record is transferred to your new practice much sooner.
The practice confirms that GP to GP transfers are already active and we send and receive patient records via this system.
Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
NHS England require practices to promote and offer the facility to enable patients online access to appointments, prescriptions, allergies and adverse reactions or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.
We currently offer the facility for booking and cancelling appointments and also for ordering your repeat prescriptions and viewing a summary of your medical records online. If you do not already have a username and password for this system – please register your interest with our reception staff.
Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
It is already a requirement of the Health and Social Care Act that practices must meet the reasonable data requirements of commissioners and other health and social care organisations through appropriate and safe data sharing for secondary uses, as specified in the technical specification for care data.
At our practice we have specific arrangements in place to allow patients to “opt out” of care.data which allows for the removal of data from the practice. Please see the page about care data on our website.
The Practice confirm these arrangements are in place and that we undertake annual training and audits to ensure that all our data is handled correctly and safely via the Information Governance Toolkit.
Suggestions, Comments and Complaints
We welcome all comments on the services provided by the Practice.
We are continually looking to turn out patients’ feedback into real improvements in the services we provide. We use it to focus on the things that matter most to our patients, carers and their families.
We would like to hear from you if you have a suggestion on how we can do things better to improve our patients’ experiences. We’d also like to hear from you if you are pleased with the service you’ve received.
We’ll let the staff involved know and share the good practice across our teams.
You may write to us or contact us by phone or fax.
Our details can be found on our Contact Us page.
The Surgery is an approved training practice for the training of General Practice Registrars (GPRs).
Being an approved training practice means that:
- patients can directly contribute to the training of future GPs
- patients who consult with the GPR will have longer consultations
- it keeps all doctors and nurses keep in touch with new medical developments and skills
- It improves all doctors and nurses consultation and training skills
- It ensures that clinical standards and standards of medical record keeping are maintained
- It helps with recruitment of high quality doctors to the practice for job vacancies
GPRs are doctors in training who are qualified doctors and have already worked in hospitals as junior doctors for at least 3 years and have now decided that they would like to specialise in General Practice.
In order to qualify as a GP all doctors have to complete Postgraduate Specialist Training which includes at least 18 months training in General Practice.
The practice will be regularly assessed for its suitability for postgraduate training in general practice. This process includes an inspection of medical records for quality, NOT content.
If you object to your record being seen for this process then you must let us know in writing so these notes can be withdrawn.
An essential component of training in all medical practice is the use of video and consultations with the both the GPR and the trainer present. We hope that all our patients will be willing to take part in these educational consultations to help us all in improving and maintaining our medical and consultation skills.
All video recordings are strictly confidential and are used for teaching only. We will not video your consultation without your consent. Please inform Reception if you would prefer not to participate.
In addition to providing General Medical Services, the practice teaches medical students from Imperial College.
The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
We understand that ill patients 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 your doctors and their staff courteously and act reasonably.
All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning after a second incident or removed from the practice list after a third incident if your behaviour has been unreasonable.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or verbal abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police will be contacted if an incident is taking place and the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.
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 Surgery, 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, however, because of the 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.