We have a number of policies to ensure a safe, efficient practice. Some of these are listed below.
Your rights and responsibilities
We subscribe to the principles of a free at point-of-care health service, laid out in the NHS Scotland Document "The NHS and You", copies of which can be requested from the practice. This document outlines what you can expect from us as a patient, but also your responsibilities when accessing our services in consideration of needs of other patients, our staff, and using NHS resources appropriately.
Violence or Abusive patients policy
We operate a zero-tolerance policy towards patients who are violent, threatening or verbally abusive towards any member of our staff. We recognise that at times illness is stressful, but please remember our staff are trying to do their best for you.
Behaviour which is deemed threatening, abusive or violent may lead to immediate removal of the patient from the practice list, and we will inform the police. Actual threat or physical assault will lead us to press for prosecution in every case.
Missed appointments policy
It is simple to cancel an appointment - please call the surgery as soon as possible and the receptionist will cancel the appointment and be able to offer it to someone else.
Request for sickness certificates in the first seven days of illness
The Department of Health issues strict guidance which states that all employees who are ill must self-certify their sickness with their employer for the first seven days of their illness and not request sickness certification from their GP purpose. This is to prevent GP appointments being unnecessarily wasted with requests for sicknotes for brief absences from work.
Doctors are not required by law to issue Sick Notes (statements) for periods of incapacity lasting 7 days (including weekends) or less, nor for the first seven days of longer periods of sickness and employers should not ask you to get a sick note from your doctor. If your employer insists on a sick note to cover this period, a private sick note may be issued and a charge will be made.
If the employee requests a sick note for this period, this is a private sick note and a charge will be made which the employee must pay before the note is issued.If the employer ignores the guidance from the Department of Health and states they require a sick note for the employee absence, then the employer must pay the charge. In this case the following must happen:
1. The employer must write to the practice with the enclosed fee requesting the sickness certificate
2. The employee must give written consent for us to release the information
3. A private sick note will then be issued which will be sent directly to the employer.
We aim to offer all patients a high standard of care. If you have any concerns regarding your care, you should raise this with the member of staff at the time of your appointment. If you prefer, you may write to the practice manager with your problem. We will issue an acknowledgement within 2 working days and aim to investigate your problem and provide a written reply within 10 working days . Problems of an administrative nature will be dealt with by the practice manager. Problems with your medical care will be dealt with by one of the GP's. If you are not happy with the outcome, we will provide you with advice on whom to contact at NHS Highland Health Board. Please note that any concerns should be notified to the practice within 12 months of the incident, and for reasons of confidentiality that we cannot respond to queries made on behalf of a patient by another person without the written consent of the patient first.
We need to hold personal information about you on our Computer system and in paper records to help us to look after your health needs, and your doctor is responsible for their accuracy and safe-keeping. Please help to keep your record up to date by informing us of any changes to your curcumstances.
Doctors and staff in the practice have access to your medical record to enable them to do their jobs. From time to time information may be shared with others involved with your care if it is necessary. Anyone with access to your record is properly trained in confidentiality issues and is govered by both legal and a contractual duty to keep your details private.
All information about you is held securely and appropriate safegaurds are in place to prevent accidental loss.
In some circumstances we may be required by law to release your details to statutory or other official bodies, for example if a court order is presented, or in cases of public health issues. In other circumstances you may be required to give written consent before information is released - such as medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc.
To ensure your privacy, we will not disclose information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure we are talking to you, information will not be disclosed to family, friends, or spouses unless we have prior consent, and we do not leave leave messages with others.
You have the right to see your records if you wish. Please ask at reception if you would like further details and our practice information leaflet. An appointment will be required. A fee may be payable.
Child Protection Policy
The practice has a policy based on the principles of GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child).A useful website for children/parents and professionals on these issues can be found at :
From time to time we may need to share information between professionals or seek advice from others involved in the care of children to ensure the safety of children. We aim to do this with sensitivity and in confidence. We may ask our health visitor to comment if there are any concerns about children under 5 with whom GP's come into contact with, or with the 'named' child protection officer for those over five.
Why does the doctor want another member of staff present on occasions?
We understand that some examinations can be embarrassing, particularly intimate examinations performed by a doctor of the opposite sex. You may feel more comfortable with another person present (eg a nurse, or receptionist), and we will arrange this for you if you request this. However, sadly, some doctors in the UK have been falsely accused of assault in the past when performing intimate examinations, and therefore the doctor may request a "chaperone" (another member of staff, usually a practice nurse or receptionist) be present for their own protection. This is no reflection on you; the doctor is simply ensuring they follow recommended procedures, particularly when undertaking breast, genital, or rectal examinations on the opposite sex. If the doctor requests a chaperone and you insist you will not have one present, they may request you see another doctor (e.g. one of the same sex) for the examination unless there is a clear urgent need to undertake action during the consultation.
Doctors are bound by strict confidentiality rules which prevent them disclosing any sensitive medical information to another person, unless that person is another health professional who will be involved in the care of the patient. That means, unless we have consent from the patient themselves, we cannot discuss any confidential details with a relative or other person. This even extends to some details about young people's medical records under the age of 18, if it is deemed the young person has the capacity to consent to medical treatment and does not want us to disclose this information. Very occasionally, if we suspect a serious crime has been committed or there is a risk that a patient is likely to put another person at risk of serious harm through their illness, we are duty bound to break confidentiality to prevent further harm occurring.