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Practice Charter

Responsibilities

It is crucial to understand that healthcare is a partnership. Within this partnership we have responsibilities to you the patient and you have responsibilities both to us, the practice, and to others who use the practice.

Respect

Patients will be treated with courtesy and respect as individuals and partners in their healthcare, irrespective of their ethnic origin or religious and cultural beliefs. We ask that you treat the practice staff, the doctors and their families with the same courtesy and respect.

Names

People involved in your care will give you their names and ensure that you know how to contact them. Please let us know if you change your name, address or telephone number.

Appointments

We run a 10-minute appointment system. You will be given a time at which the doctor, nurse of other member of the Primary Healthcare Team hopes to see you. Please try and be punctual; if you arrive late this may cause delays and inconvenience to other patients.

You should not wait more than 30 minutes without receiving an explanation for the delay. Please ask for more than one appointment if you wish for more than one patient to be seen.

We will try to ensure that you are seen on time but some consultations take longer than others and we have no way of knowing this in advance. If there is a patient with an emergency or serious problem, we will give them priority. If we are running late please be patient because on another occasion it might be you who needs the extra time. Please don’t blame the receptionists. If you have a particularly complicated problem or several matters to raise, please bear in mind that this may need to be spread over more than one consultation.

Access To Primary Healthcare Team

You will have access to a doctor rapidly in the case of an emergency. Urgent problems which need to be seen on the same day will be. You will be seen by your own doctor whenever possible. Urgent problems may be seen by a doctor other than your own. In order to cope with the ever increasing demand and to be flexible, doctors work as a team and healthcare sometimes has to be shared. We encourage patients to stay with their own doctors. Please try to see your own doctor whenever possible.

Home Visits

We will arrange a home visit as appropriate for those patients who are too ill or too infirm to be brought to the surgery. Please do not ask for a home visit unless the patient cannot be brought to the surgery. In particular most children can quite safely be brought to the surgery by car. Please ensure that any request for a home visit reaches the surgery by 10.30 am unless a genuine emergency arises later.

We will take responsibility for all our patients equally. We may encourage you to attend surgery if this helps us to deliver care to our other patients. We take full responsibility for our decisions in this respect.

Out Of Hours

Cover is provided by the Dorset Urgent Care Service outside of normal surgery hours. Please do not call this service out of hours unless there is a medical problem that cannot wait until the next surgery.

Telephone

We will try to answer the telephone promptly and to ensure that there are sufficient staff available to do this. Please keep your telephone call brief and avoid telephoning during peak morning time 8.30-11.00 am for non-urgent matters.Please do not ring before the stated time.

Test Results

Please ensure that you find out the result of any test performed at the surgery. It is best to telephone between 2.00 - 5.00 pm. As a rough guide it is necessary to allow several days for the results of tests to come back to us: blood tests and x-rays usually take one week, cervical smear results usually four to six weeks. Enquiries about tests ordered by the hospital should be directed to the hospital, not the practice.

Second Opinion

If it is considered that you need a second opinion or treatment is not available in the practice we will try to inform you of the best way of achieving this. Please do not ask or arrange a specialist appointment without first discussing the matter fully with your own doctor. If you later decide that you no longer need the appointment made for you, please inform both the hospital and us.

Training

We have committed ourselves to achieving and maintaining the extra standards required in order to undertake the advanced training of doctors who wish to go on to practise family medicine. Please accept their presence as an extension of our own.

Health Records

These will be kept confidential at all times. You have a right to see your medical records subject to any limitation in the law (see the Data Protection page on our website for further information). If you wish to see your records, please make an appointment with your doctor for this.

Information

We will give you full and up-to-date information about the services we offer. Please read the practice booklet which sets out our services. More information may be found in our regular newsletter.

Health Promotion

The practice will offer patients advice and information on steps they can take to promote good health and avoid illnesses and self-help which can be undertaken without reference to a doctor in the case of minor ailments. Remember, you are responsible for your own health and the health of your children. We will give you our professional help and advice. Please act upon it, try to comply with treatments advised and take any medication as instructed.

Suggestions/Complaints

We welcome any comments and feedback on our services. Please contact our practice manager, who will be happy to discuss any matters. The Complaints Protocol can be viewed on request.

Dissatisfaction

If you are totally dissatisfied with us or the services we provide you have the right at any time to leave our list and register with another practice. We also have a right to have patients removed from our list. In general we will only exercise this right in the case of patients who repeatedly and persistently ignore their own responsibilities to us and to other patients. We will remove from our list immediately, patients who are violent or seriously abusive towards any of the practice staff.



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