Practice Policies

Your Medical Records

The days when doctors wrote in Latin to keep their notes secret are long gone. Most GPs explain what they are writing in your notes. Computer terminals are found on all surgery desks. Doctors and healthcare workers take confidentiality very seriously.

Your employer cannot demand sight of your notes or even any medical information about you unless you give permission.

Insurance companies and solicitors cannot see any part of your medical history unless you allow them access.

Test results, such as HIV status or pregnancy, will not be released to anyone without your consent.

Access to your health records

Under the Data Protection Act, subject to certain conditions, an individual is entitled to be:

  • Told whether any personal data is being processed
  • Given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed, and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people; and
  • Given a copy of the information comprising the data; and given details of the source of the data (where this is available). 

The Data Protection Act extends equally to all relevant records relating to living individuals, including records held in the private health sector and health professionals’ private practice records

For further information on how to apply please read our Access to Health Records Patient Information leaflet below.Access to Health Records


You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS. So that we can all work together for your benefit we may need to share some information about you. We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interests. Whenever we can we shall remove details which identify you.

Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.

If you agree, your relatives, friends and carers will be kept up to date with the progress of your treatment

Freedom of Information

A copy of our FOI Publication Scheme is available on request from the practice manager

Practice Charter

The aim of the practice is to provide you and your family with the best possible treatment and advice at all times and to help you keep healthy.

Please be considerate and honest when asking for an Emergency Appointment, or Home Visit.

We continually strive to improve our service. We welcome your suggestions and comments. We always take complaints seriously and act on them as courteously and quickly as possible. 

How we can help you:

  1. All Doctors and staff are committed to giving you a good quality of medical care at all times
  2. We will endeavour to treat you with courtesy and respect
  3. In handling your medical records, we exercise the utmost professional care in order to respect privacy.
  4. We comply with the Data Protection Act and Access to Medical Records Act.

 How you can help us:

  1. Please be punctual for your appointment, and cancel your appointment if you cannot attend in good time.
  2. Make a separate appointment if more than one member of the family needs to be seen.
  3. If surgery is running late, please be patient. (One day it may be you who needs extra time!).
  4. If you think a home visit is needed, please think carefully whether you could come into the surgery. We can provide a far better service in the surgery. If a patient is acutely ill, we can easily arrange to see you in our emergency room as soon as you arrive. If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask the receptionist.
  5. If you change your name, address or telephone number, please inform the receptionist.
  6. If you move out of our practice area, please check with us that we can continue to look after you at your new address.
  7. Our staff work hard to help. Please be courteous to them.
  8. Despite our best endeavours, on rare occasions you may feel you have cause for complaint. We will make every effort to look into this and put it right. Please discuss your problems, suggestions and complaints with the The Practice Manager.

Compliments and Complaints

At Somerset Bridge Medical Centre we strive to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

If we receive a compliment we share this with the individual and team involved as well as the GPs. We use these as an opportunity to ensure the good practice is established throughout the practice.

However, we are aware that things can sometimes go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint.  If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

We view all complaints as an opportunity to see where things have gone wrong and make improvements to the service we give. This may be by educating the team, changing a procedure or process or providing more patient education. All complaints are discussed (anonymously) in practice meetings so that we make the best improvements as a result.

We believe in acting on a complaint as soon as possible – ideally as soon as we are aware a patient is unhappy. So, if you are unhappy with any aspect of our care or service, please tell us straight away as this means we can resolve the problem or explain why it has occurred and thus gives you the best possible outcome.

Please ask to speak to the Duty manager if you have a concern about your care who will always be happy to assist you.  If the matter cannot be resolved informally your complaint will be passed to Practice manager (Complaints Manager) to formally investigate .  Details of our in-house complaints procedure can be found in our 'Help Us to Get it Right' Patient Information Leaflet below, which is also available from reception.

Help Us to Get It Right


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