Mayflower Medical Centre419 Main RoadDovercourt, HarwichEssex, CO12 4EXTel: 01255 879400
To ensure that you receive the best possible care and treatment we keep medical information about you on paper and on the computer system. We are fully registered under the Data Protection Act.
We will maintain confidentiality within the Practice Team. There are times when we have to pass on information about you to other people such as hospitals, social services or the Health Authority. This is always done confidentially or by removing your identifying details when they are not essential.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. Disclosure of patient identifiable information to any other outside agencies will only be done after receiving written permission from the patient.
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). The Summary Care Record is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medications and allergies.
Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’ – SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases.
As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out.
For further information visit the Connecting for Health Website
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery.
Did Not Attend (“DNA”) Policy
This policy outlines how DNAs are handled within Mayflower Medical Centre and sets out the responsibilities of staff and patients.
If a patient fails to attend an appointment without contacting the surgery at least 24 hours in advance, the below process will be followed:
In the first instance of non-attendance, a letter will be sent explaining that they did not attend their appointment and the impact DNAs has upon the surgery and its other patients. The letter will state that no action will be taken at this time but that they will be required to contact us at least 24 hours in advance if they cannot attend an appointment. Finally, the letter will warn the patient that any further non-attendance may result in them being removed from our books. If a patient fails to attend a second appointment within 12 months of the first DNA, a second letter will be sent explaining that a third DNA will result in them being removed from our books. If they fail to attend a third appointment within 6 months of the second DNA, a third letter will be sent to inform them that they will be removed from our books unless they contact the practice manager to discuss the reasons for their persistent non-attendance. They will be given a 4 week time period to do so. If there are no mitigating circumstances or the patient does not get in contact, the practice will then request that they are removed from our books. The patient’s GP will always be consulted before removal takes place.
No member of the practice may discriminate against or treat unfairly another member of the practice, a patient or a member of the public attending the surgery, on grounds of gender, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour or creed, age, marital status, disability, medical condition, social background or sexual orientation. Respect and dignity are the right of everyone, staff, patients and members of the public.
If you are rude or aggressive to our staff you will be told of this and the incident will be recorded in your notes. If this happens a second time, you will be removed from our list and will be allocated to another practice by the Primary Care Trust.
This practice operates a zero tolerance to verbal and physical violence and aggression and will remove any patient who is physically violent or aggressive to the GPs or staff and will report the matter to the police.
Smoking is not permitted in the surgery. Please turn off your mobile phone whilst on the surgery premises.
We operate an appointment system and as such expect patients who book an appointment to keep the appointment or cancel it in good time so that it may be offered to someone else.
Patients who do not attend for appointments may be written to. Persistent non-attenders may be asked to register at another practice.
If you change your name, address or telephone number, please let us know immediately. Remember, we may need to contact you urgently.
This is a large practice and occasionally things don’t work out how we might have anticipated. We welcome constructive criticism and suggestions on how to improve our services. We also like to receive letters telling us what we have got right! If you have any comments or complaints about the surgery, please contact the Deputy Practice Manager.
This surgery is under contract with:
Telephone 0113 8249095
INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA USE POLICY FOR STAFF, PATIENTS AND VISITORS
Available to all staff via the intranet / patients and visitors via our website
1.2. Used well, the internet and social media can improve the way we share information, can empower patients and staff and can improve the openness and transparency of NHS organisations. We have an obligation to ensure those using the internet and social media, or in relation to the Practice’s activity, are absolutely clear about our expectations regarding professional behaviour, protecting patient confidentiality and safeguarding.
1.3. The social media ethos is all about engagement, participation and relationship building. 1.4. This policy sets out our expectations for internet and social media use for the Practice’s employees and those visiting our surgery. It outlines the ways in which staff can ensure acceptable use of the internet and social media by patients and visitors.
1.5. Social media is rapidly evolving and expanding, so this policy will focus mainly on the most popular and commonplace social media platforms currently available. This includes Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, Facebook and Reddit.
1.6. New social media channels and platforms will emerge but the underlying principles and expectations of this policy will be the same.
2.1. This policy applies to all personnel of the Practice, including those directly employed via an employment contract, those engaged on a self-employed basis, contractors, volunteers, apprentices and those carrying out business at the Practice, whether paid or unpaid, including the patient Participation Group when they are on our premises. For the purpose of this policy, the term “personnel” will be used to describe all the above groups.
2.2. This policy also applies to patients, carers, families and all those visiting MMC premises, whether in a personal or professional capacity. Its expectations and guidance include any use of Trust or personal devices to access the internet or social media, whether through the WIFI network or through alternative internet access arrangements.
2.3. The scope of this policy includes use of both the Practice and personal resources to access social media, including outside of working hours. All personnel are expected to maintain a professional approach to work, patients and colleagues at all times and must not bring the Practice into disrepute.
2.4. This policy is not intended to account for every situation that may arise. It aims to outline a number of important principles that reflect the standard of behaviour required by Practice personnel.
2.5. All personnel must read and understand this policy to be clear about the general standard of conduct required when using the internet or social media. If any employee of the Practice has any doubt about the meaning of the examples listed, they should speak to their line manager for clarification.
2.6. The Practice communications department will regularly provide communications materials, both internally and externally, to make personnel, patients and visitors aware of this policy and its guidance.
3.1. Social media is the generic term given to any form of internet-based platform that enables online interaction and communication between users. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts and other multimedia communications.
3.2. Social networking is the use of social media sites, allowing individuals to conduct online interactions that mimic offline interactions between people with similar interests.
3.3. Microblogging is the practice of posting short messages or digital content (essentially this is a form of blogging with a very limited word count). Twitter is an example of a microblogging site and limits messages (or “tweets”) to 280 characters in length.
3.4. Blogging is the use of a public website to write an online diary (known as a blog), sharing thoughts and opinions on various subjects.
3.5. Social sharing is a form of social networking website that allows registered users to create personal profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch.
3.6. Video / picture sharing allows anyone to upload short videos or pictures to a website, either for restricted viewing (to a limited list of friends or viewers) or as a showcase to the wider public.
4.1. All managers are responsible for ensuring that personnel know how to access current Trust policies and, in circumstances when they are not being adhered to, discuss the standards and expectations required with staff concerned. All managers must understand the policy and how to escalate concerns that cannot be resolved locally.
4.2.1. All MMC personnel are required to adhere to this policy.
4.2.2. All personnel have a responsibility to report inappropriate use as outlined in this policy to their line manager in the first instance or to another member of staff (as outlined in 9.0). 4.3. Patients and visitors
4.3.1. All patients and visitors are required to adhere to this policy. It is the responsibility of the Practice to ensure the policy is publicised and available for review by all patients and visitors.
5.1. The Practice maintains its own corporate presence on the following social media channels: • Facebook It may also respond directly to patient feedback on public websites, including but not restricted to NHS Choices and Patient Opinion.
5.2. Maintaining an active presence on social media sites allows the Practice to effectively manage its corporate brand and communication to stakeholders online. This is overseen by the Practice Manager, with support from members of the practice team.
5.3. Content deemed suitable for corporate social media includes: news, events and activities that are related to the Practice’s business, content that provides a direct link back to the Practice’s external website, engagement with people who have an interest in the Practice, information that enhances the Practice’s reputation and new developments, awards or achievements in the Practice.
5.4. Any member of staff may submit information to be considered for inclusion on social media sites by contacting the Deputy Practice Manager
5.5. All social media accounts associated with the Practice’s business and activities are expected to adhere to the principles and expectations of this policy. The Practice will take all steps available to close down any linked social media account found to be acting outside of this policy.
6.1. These key principles apply to all Mayflower Medical Centre (MMC) personnel or contractors who make use of any form of social media, whether personal or professional, using Trust or personal equipment, inside or outside working hours.
6.2. The intention of these principles is not to prevent MMC personnel from conducting legitimate activities on the internet in their personal time, nor to stifle constructive feedback. It serves to highlight those areas in which problems are most likely to arise, both for individual personnel and the Practice as a whole.
6.3. Maintain confidentiality at all times
6.3.1. All personnel have a responsibility to maintain and protect service user, colleague and organisational confidentiality. Under no circumstances should you identify service users, post information that may lead to the identification of the individual or post information that is stigmatising or derogatory to any patient group or condition. This includes never disclosing information which may be: • Sensitive, • Confidential, or •
6.3.2. By disclosing any such information, you interfere with privacy and breach the law on confidentiality, your employment contract and your professional Code of Practice. 6.3.3. When creating a new social media account, a privacy impact assessment should be completed to ensure that the Practice’s information governance standards are adhered to.
6.4. You are an ambassador for the Practice and your profession
6.4.1. Never post a comment, photo or video online that you would not be willing to share with people in “real” life in a face-to-face setting.
6.4.2. Your online behaviour not only reflects on you but also on the Practice and your profession. While there is often a focus on the negative impact of social media on an organisation and its reputation, remember that you have the potential to act as a positive and respected brand ambassador for the Practice. Everything you post online, including photographs, is public, even with the strictest privacy settings. Once something is online, it can be copied and redistributed and it is easy to lose control of it. Presume that everything you post online will be permanent and will be shared. You should refrain from any action or activity that may bring you, your colleagues, your profession, the Practice or the NHS into disrepute. This may include posting on any social media (whether text, images, video or audio) that expresses defamatory, derogatory or offensive comments or attitudes (whether explicit or implied) towards any of the following: - Service users or their relatives, carers or visitors - Your colleagues, direct reports or managers - The Practice or its contractors Union representatives are at liberty to use social media to publicise views and campaign on behalf of their members. Even though these may on occasion be critical of the Practice, this would not be deemed to be bringing the Practice into disrepute.
6.5. Be mindful of professional boundaries
6.5.1. Do not use social media to build or pursue relationships with service users, their families or carers even if they are no longer in your care. If you receive a friend request from a current or former patient or their relative, some sites like Facebook allow you to ignore this request without the person being informed, avoiding unnecessary offence. Please refer to the Policy and Procedure Regarding Staff Relationships with Service Users for further guidance on this.
6.6. Protect your own privacy
6.6.1. Think carefully about what kind of information you want to share and with whom, and adjust your privacy settings accordingly. For example, Facebook allows you to adjust your privacy settings at group level to share different levels of information with different kinds of friends.
7.1. Personal use of social media should be restricted to agreed rest/lunch breaks and should comply with the principles in this policy. The principles exist to protect everyone using the internet and social media. Professional use via a personal account, such as at a conference or other work related event, is acceptable during working hours.
7.2. The Practice acknowledges that social media provides a number of benefits in which personnel may wish to participate. Whether or not an employee explicitly declares their association with MMC on social media, they are expected to behave appropriately and professionally at all times and in a manner that is consistent with the Practice’s values and policies and relevant professional codes of conduct.
7.3. Personnel holding professional registration should be aware of their responsibility to uphold the reputation of their profession, and that their online conduct could jeopardise their registration if their fitness to practice is called into question.
7.5. The absence of affiliation or registration with a professional body (e.g. where registration is not required for employment) does not exempt personnel from appropriate and responsible use of social media.
7.6. Personnel who are found to breach the Internet and Social Media Use Policy or the Practice’s Acceptable Use Policy may be subject to disciplinary action in line with the Practice’s Disciplinary and Capability Policy.
8.1. Patients and visitors to our premises will be able to access WIFI where installed. The appropriateness of accessible content will be automatically managed by the NHS IT team using existing security protocols.
8.2. Patients and visitors may be able to access social media and internet sites via their mobile phone networks whilst at the surgery.
8.3. Where staff suspect inappropriate use of social media or internet content by patients or visitors, they should alert their line manager in the first instance.
8.4. The Practice requires all users of mobile devices to use them in a courteous, considerate and non-intrusive manner to help maintain a caring environment for patients and effective working environment for staff. Patients must not use mobile devices during consultations with MMC staff.
8.5. Mobile devices must not be used to photograph MMC staff, patients or facilities without the explicit permission of the individual and the ward/department manager.
8.6. Patients may take photos of themselves and / or their relatives for personal reasons and for their own personal use. Patients and visitors must ensure that other patients are not visible in any part of such photography to ensure confidentiality and to protect privacy and dignity.
8.7. Express permission is needed for photographs to be taken of the inside of MMC premises, particularly reception and clinical areas. This includes photographs of MMC staff. Permission should be obtained from the Practice Manager in the first instance. Taking photographs on our site of other patients, staff or visitors without their informed consent is not permitted.
8.8. We understand that our patients will want to stay in touch with their friends and family. We also have a duty to protect patient confidentiality and a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable patients in our care. The following guidelines apply to all our patients: • You may overhear conversations about other patients while on our premises. Please respect the confidential nature of these conversations by not sharing details about others in our care without their prior consent. If we obtain evidence of internet or social media activity that shares such confidential information, we will ask you to remove that content. • Defamatory comments about members of our staff should not be shared in any public forum. Legal advice will be sought and action taken where necessary. The Partners at MMC believe that complaints that take the form of a scurrilous personal attack on members of the Practice or contain allegations which are clearly unfounded usually indicate a serious breakdown in the patient-doctor relationship.
It is a breakdown of the relationship rather than a complaint per se which must form the basis of any decision to remove a patient from the list; it may then be in the patient’s best interest to seek care at another practice.
9.1. Personnel who become aware of a breach of this policy have a duty to report it to their line manager. If they are unable to or are uncomfortable doing so, they may report their concerns to the next in line, another senior manager or via mechanisms outlined in the Practice’s Whistleblowing Policy.
9.2. Personnel or patients who become aware of inappropriate use of the internet or social media by patients or visitors on Trust sites should report it to their line manager.
9.3. Line managers who are made aware of a breach of the policy should seek Human Resources (HR) advice and where possible resolve the matter informally and locally. Where it concerns patients or visitors, line managers should seek advice from the Safeguarding Team/Caldicott Guardian if required and where possible resolve the matter informally and locally.
9.4. Directly employed personnel in breach of the policy will be managed via the Practice’s Disciplinary and Capability Policy and sanctions taken could include dismissal.
9.5. If you feel that you are the target of complaints or abuse on social media sites, you can remove someone from your friends or followers list and block them from interacting with you. Most sites will include mechanisms to report abusive activity and provide support for users who are subject to abuse by others. If you have reason to believe that the activity is originating from a colleague or service user, you should alert your line manager or the next in line.
9.6. Any grievance with the Practice should be channelled through procedures and policies already in place and dealt with in the work environment, and not displayed or discussed via social media.
The policy has been made available to visitors, patients, and carers on the Practice’s website and will be publicised on facebook, our intranet (one set up) and CQC policies section
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