Policy & Procedures

  1. LGBTQIA+

    Why LGBTQIA+?

    “LGBT” is one of the most commonly used acronyms, and so shows up in far more searches. However, it’s far from comprehensive and excludes a number of identities: as such, we use “LGBTQIA+” to promote active inclusion.
    For alternatives, MOGAI (Minority orientations, gender alignments and identities) is rapidly gaining recognition, and quiltbag is a popular term in the community.

    Some basic terms:

    Queer: an umbrella term, or an identity in its own right – it can refer to gender or sexuality or both.

    NOTE: due to its use as a slur, this word should not be used to define others, unless they have explicitly stated it is okay.

    Questioning/unsure/undecided: someone still questioning their gender identity and/or sexuality.

    Some people may question if they are straight or not, or if they are transgender, whilst others may be certain that they are transgender and/or non-heterosexual, but may not be certain where exactly under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella their identity lies. Many young people may question their gender or sexuality, and it is important that their identities – fixed or not – are treated as valid and not as ‘just a phase’.

    Gay: someone solely attracted to people of the same gender as themselves.

    Whilst typically applied to men, the term can be used by/about anyone who is solely attracted to people of the same gender as themselves.

    Lesbian: a woman who is solely attracted to other women.

    In addition to homophobia, many lesbians find themselves the targets of what has been termed ‘lesbophobia’: an intersection of misogyny, sexism and homophobia. This includes resentment and harassment over being unavailable to men, sexual objectification and being seen as titillation, and in some cases even ‘corrective’ rape.

    Bisexual: someone attracted to people of more than one gender.

    Pansexual: someone attracted to people of all genders.

    There is some overlap between bi and pan and many people identify as both.

    There is a common fallacy that bisexual means ‘attracted to men and women’ – as a whole, this is not the case, though it may apply to an individual’s attraction. Robyn Och’s definition is widely accepted: “same and other genders”. Whilst ‘bi’ CAN mean a person is only attracted to two genders, it is important to note that this does not automatically mean the two binary genders.

    Non-monosexual (people attracted to people of more than one gender) people can struggle to find a space in LGB communities, as bi/panphobia can lead to discrimination on both sides.

    Asexual: someone not sexually attracted to others.

    Aromantic: someone not romantically attracted to others.

    Some asexuals may identify as homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic or panromantic, indicating their romantic attractions. Others may identify as aromantic; conversely, someone may identify as [x]sexual whilst being aromantic: having no romantic attraction to others. Others may experience grey-asexuality, where they rarely experience sexual attraction to other people; some may experience demisexuality, where sexual attraction is only felt if there is an existing emotional bond.

    Asexuality does not necessarily mean celibate: it is a descriptor of a sexual orientation, not of behaviours.

    Intersex: someone born with characteristics which are considered both typically male and typically female.

    Gender is assigned at birth typically based on what genitalia a person has. However, what doctors consider typically male or female has a number of other characteristics, including karotype (containing genetic coding; considered the ‘sex chromosomes’ and typically – though not always – being XX or XY); genital and reproductive systems arrangement, including gametes (whether someone produces sperm or ova); natural hormone levels, which control many secondarysex characteristics such as weight distribution, breast tissue growth, body and facial hair, and muscle mass.

    Someone who is intersex has a mix of characteristics which don’t fit the typical definitions of male and female. These characteristics may be evident at birth or become so later in life, at puberty or when trying to conceive. For some, the characteristics may not be evident at all.

    Transgender: someone who does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth.

    Transsexual as a term is now usually considered outdated and should be avoided.

    Trans = across from

    Cis = on the same side

    So transgender = does not identify as the same gender as was assigned at birth

    Cisgender = identifies as the same gender as was assigned at birth

    Can be binary (male or female) or non-binary (neither male nor female, or both).

    Non-binary: a person who does not identify as (solely) male or female. It can be an umbrella term, or an identity in its own right.

    Some common non-binary terms (this is by no means an exhaustive list):

    Androgyne – An androgynous gender, which may be neutral, mixed or something else.

    Agender – Being genderless, or without gender; lacking in gendered traits.

    Genderqueer – A non-binary gender, which expresses sitting outside societal gender norms.

    Demiboy/ demigirl – Feeling partially of one binary gender (male or female) and partially of some other sort of gender.

    Bigender – Experiencing two different gender identities, either at the same time, or moving between the two.

    Neutrois – A neutral gender identity, often lacking in gendered traits.

    Genderfluid – Moving between two or more different gender identities.

    Pangender – Identifying as all genders.

    Some non-binary people may use “he” or “she” pronouns. Others may use “they”, “xe”, “ze”, “co” – or many more. Simply ask, and use accordingly.

  2. Privacy Information Leaflet

    Privacy Information Leaflet

    A privacy notice is a statement that discloses some or all of the ways in which the practice gathers, uses, discloses and manages a patient’s data. It fulfills a legal requirement to protect a patient’s privacy.

    Why do we need one?

    To ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Sleaford Medical Group must ensure that information is provided to patients about how their personal data is processed in a manner which is:

    • Concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible;
    • Written in clear and plain language, particularly if addressed to a child; and
    • Free of charge

    What is the GDPR?

    The GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way in which organisations across the region approach data privacy. The GPDR comes into effect on 25 May 2018.

    How do we communicate our privacy notice?

    At Sleaford Medical Group the practice privacy notice is displayed on our website, through signage in the waiting room, and in writing during patient registration (by means of this leaflet). We will:

    • Inform patients how their data will be used and for what purpose
    • Allow patients to opt out of sharing their data, should they so wish

    What information do we collect about you?

    We will collect information such as personal details, including name, address, next of kin, records of appointments, visits, telephone calls, your health records, treatment and medications, test results, X-rays, etc. and any other relevant information to enable us to deliver effective medical care.

    How do we use your information?

    Your data is collected for the purpose of providing direct patient care; however, we can disclose this information if it is required by law, if you give consent or if it is justified in the public interest. The practice may be requested to support research; however, we will always gain your consent before sharing your information with medical research databases such as the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and QResearch or others when the law allows.

    Maintaining confidentiality

    We are committed to maintaining confidentiality and protecting the information we hold about you. We adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security, as well as guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

    Risk stratification

    Risk stratification is a mechanism used to identify and subsequently manage those patients deemed as being at high risk of requiring urgent or emergency care. Usually this includes patients with long-term conditions, e.g. cancer. Your information is collected by a number of sources, including Sleaford Medical Group this information is processed electronically and given a risk score which is relayed to your GP who can then decide on any necessary actions to ensure that you receive the most appropriate care.

    Invoice validation

    Your information may be shared if you have received treatment, to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for paying for your treatment. This information may include your name, address and treatment date. All of this information is held securely and confidentially; it will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any third parties.

    Opt-outs

    You have a right to object to your information being shared. Should you wish to opt out of data collection, please contact a member of staff who will be able to explain how you can opt out and prevent the sharing of your information; this is done by registering a Type 1 opt-out, preventing your information from being shared outside this practice.

    Accessing your records

    You have a right to access the information we hold about you, and if you would like to access this information, you will need to complete a Subject Access Request (SAR). Please ask at reception for a SAR form and you will be given further information. Furthermore, should you identify any inaccuracies; you have a right to have the inaccurate data corrected.

    What to do if you have any questions

    Should you have any questions about our privacy policy or the information we hold about you, you can:

    1. Contact the practice’s data controller via email: swlccg.C83023@nhs.net.
    2. Write to the data controller at Sleaford Medical Group.
    3. Ask to speak to Jodie Knight Practice Manager at Sleaford Medical Group. She is the data controller for the data the Practice holds about their patients.

    The Data Protection Officer (DPO) for Sleaford Medical Group SWLCCG.

    Complaints

    In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with any element of our data-processing methods, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the ICO. For further details, visit ico.org.uk and select ‘Raising a concern’.

    We regularly review our privacy policy and any updates will be published on our website, in our newsletter and on posters to reflect the changes. This policy is to be reviewed on 1st May 2019.

  3. Insurances and Private Fees

    Sometimes you may need the Doctor to complete something which is not covered by the NHS, which is considered a private request and so may incur a fee.

    Requests which may fall under this category include but are not limited to the following:

    • ‘To whom It May Concern’ letters informing about your ill-health or condition for non-employment purposes
    • Travel ‘Fit to Fly’ or holiday cancellation forms
    • Insurance supporting letters (eg. Life Insurance)
    • DVLA supporting letters and DLA applications

    For more clarification on what constitutes a private request, the information on the British Medical Association website may be useful.

    What do I need to do?

    If you are the holder of the form, simply bring it to reception at the surgery for the attention of the Insurances Administrator. You’ll be asked to complete a short form outlining exactly what you require from the Doctor, and to confirm that you’re aware of the cost that may be incurred.

    If the insurance company or an outside body has the relevant forms, they’ll usually send them to us directly to be completed. In this instance, you’ll need to make sure you’ve signed the relevant documents to give us consent to give the company your information.

    You are perfectly allowed to view any reports which are written about you before they are sent to the company if you so wish. You must log this request with either the company or us at reception, and you’ll have 21 days from the completion of the report with which to view it.

    What fees will I have to pay?

    The fees vary depending on the type of document you need completing. If you come into the surgery there will be a payment leaflet available for you, and you are also able to speak to our Finance Manager who will confirm the fee needed to be paid.
    If you are handing in forms over the counter, you as the patient are responsible for paying for it, ven if you have no further need for it upon completion.

    An insurance company, if they send the documents to us, may forfeit any charges themselves. Regardless however, the invoice for the work will be passed on to them and they are perfectly entitled to claim this cost back from you.
    If you want more information on how much an insurance form or letter may cost, please feel free to contact us and ask to speak to the Insurances Administrator.

  4. Practice Complaints Procedure

    Making a Complaint

    Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the same time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.

    Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:

    • Within 12 months of the incident,
    • Or within 12 months of you becoming aware of the matter

    Please provide as much detail as you can.

    If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority (see the separate section in this leaflet).

    We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else (please ask at reception for this). You can also provide your complaint in your own format providing it covers all the necessary aspects.

    Send any written complaint to:

    Practice Manager, Sleaford Medical Group, 47 Boston Road, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7HD

    What we do next

    We look to settle complaints as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days, and aim to have looked into the matter within 21 working days. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.

    When looking into a complaint we 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 issue with those involved if you would like to do so.

    When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you.

    The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.

    Complaining on behalf of someone else

    We keep to 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 and that we can deal with someone else about it. Please ask at reception for the Complaints Form which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.

    Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter.

    Please note that we are unable to discuss any issues relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply.

    We may still need to correspond direct with the patient, or may be able to deal direct with the third party; this depends on the wording of the authority provided.

    If you are dissatisfied with the outcome

    You have the right to approach the Health Service Ombudsman. The contact details are:

    The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
    Millbank Tower,
    Millbank,
    London,
    SW1P 4QP

    Tel: 0345 015 4033

    Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk

    NHS Complaints Advocacy Service

    POhWER provide a free, independent and confidential advocacy service to support people with their NHS complaint.

    Website: http://www.pohwer.net

    Telephone: 0300 456 2370

    Email: pohwer@pohwer.net

  5. GP Net Earnings

    NHS England requires that the net earnings of doctors engaged in the practice is publicised, and the requirement disclosure is shown below.

    However it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice, and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice.

    All GP Practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g average pay) for GP’s working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.

    The average pay for GP’s working in Sleaford Medical Group, in the financial year 2017/2018, was £61,621 before tax and national insurance. This is for:

    3 Full Time GPs

    4 Part Time GPs

    2 Locums Employed For More Than Six Months

  6. Privacy Notice for General Practice Patients

    How we use your personal information

    This fair processing notice explains why your GP Practice – Sleaford Medical Group collects information about you and how that information may be used.

    Our health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.).
    These records help us 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 hold about you may include the following information:

    • Details about you, such as your address, contact details, date of birth, carer, 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

    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 in general and to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the services 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.

  7. Accessibility Information

    Accessible Information Standard

    The accessible information standard applies to people who use a service and have information or communication needs because of a;

    • Disability
    • Impairment
    • Sensory Loss

    It covers the needs of people who are deaf/blind, deafblind or those with a learning disability. This includes interpretation or translation for people whose first language is British Sign Language.

    We want to make sure you can read and understand the information we send you. If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you at appointments, please let us know.

    Website Accessibility Information

    If you:

    • Have problems seeing the screen
    • Find it difficult to use the mouse or keyboard
    • Need help with language or reading websites

    Then we recommend you visit the BBC website My Web My Way, which provides advice on how to make your computer easier to use, whether you are a Windows, Mac or Linux user.

  8. Named Accountable GP

    As a part of a new contractual requirement for 2015-2016, all patients registered at a GP practice are to be allocated a named accountable GP.

    What does accountable mean?

    The new contract requires the named accountable GP to be responsible for the co-ordination of all appropriate services required under the contract and ensure they are delivered to each of those patients where required, on the patients behalf. However, this does not mean that they will be the only GP or clinician who will provide care.

    Will GP practices write to patients to inform them of their named GP?

    No. However, practices are required to inform patients of their named GP at the next appropriate interaction.

    Can patients choose their own named GP?

    In the first instance, patients will simply be allocated a named GP. However, if a patient requests a particular GP, reasonable effort will be made to accommodate their preference.

    Do patients have to see their named GP when they book an appointment?

    No. Patients can and should feel free to choose to see any GP or nurse in the practice in line with current arrangements. However, if their preferred choice of GP is not available, an alternative will be offered.

    All patients registered at Sleaford Medical Group have been allocated a named accountable GP.

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