Please help us by:
Being on time for your appointment.
Letting us know if you need to cancel. Even at short notice we may be able to book another patient into that slot.
Ringing for the results of tests after 11:30am.
Trained chaperones are available in the surgery. If you would prefer somebody with you during your physical examination with the doctor or the nurse, please ask at reception. For further information please read the chaperone policy.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can 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. For further information on how to make a complaint, please see our Complaint Procedure and Complaint Form.
For Nappy Changing
Nappy changing facilities are available in the ground floor WC. This door is kept locked for security reasons, please ask at reception.
There is limited car parking at the rear of the Medical Centre for the use of patients with a doctor or nurse appointment only. There is also a large public car park adjacent to the surgery.
Designated parking spaces are available for disabled patients. Wheelchair access is possible to all rooms and facilities. There is a disabled toilet on the ground floor, in the corridor nearest to the main Treatment Room.
This link to the Department of Health website lists health publications and resources that have been translated into other languages and are now available electronically. Alternatively, you can try Google Translate - click http://translate.google.co.uk/#
If you need an interpreter you must tell the receptionist when you make the appointment. Please tell us which language you speak and we will book an interpreter for you or get an interpreter on the phone. It is important that you and the doctor understand each other so that he/she can make an accurate diagnosis of your problem.
We have developed several online facilities to save you time. These are exactly the same as paper based services, but are accessible through the homepage on this website. These include booking and cancelling appointments; requesting repeat prescriptions and updating changes to your personal details, e.g. telephone number.
If you wish to sign up for these services:
Please visit reception with some ID and ask to register for SystmOnline. You will be provided with a Username and Password. You will then be able to access all online services immediately.
You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
Some employers or insurance schemes will ask you to provide a private 'sick note', although these are not usually required for the first week of any illness. The surgery will charge a fee to provide you with a 'sick note'.
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.
This section contains information about our data protection responsibilities. Please take the time to look through and if you have any questions, please ask at reception or email us via the Contact Details page.
Confidentiality & Medical Records
The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation.
Information we hold
Personal information such as your name, address, contact details, and date of birth.
Your medical record including your past record, details you have told us about and details provided by others, e.g. any hospitals you may have attended.
Details of when you contact us and when we contact you.
All clinical information is stored in the practice on a secure central Database.
The practice database now has links to the Department of Health Patient Demographic Service (PDS).
Any information received by us or if you advise us of any changes we will automatically update our database to ensure records are up to date and accurate.
The practice uses your information to open and maintain your record.
We collect this information from you directly or from a third party authorised to transfer information on your behalf, e.g. your previous GP practice.
If we are asked to provide information about you, in order to improve our services we may pre-fill forms using the information we hold on you.
No information is provided to a third party without written authorisation from you.
Our database is password protected and only authorised personnel may access your record on a need to know basis.
Database information is validated on a quarterly basis by our Clinical System Support Organisation and by the Patient and Practitioner Services Agency every three years.
Use of Third Party Mailing Organisations
We use a secure print and mailing company, Imail, to handle bulk mailing to our patients such as the invitations to attend flu clinics. Imail provides a print and mailing service for Local Government, GPs, Schools, Exam Boards and Banks, etc, throughout the UK. They guarantee the security of your data and meets with the terms and conditions of the Department of Health Information Governance Assurance Statement. The records provided to Imail will only contain enough data for them to provide the mailing service and all patient data is deleted 28 days days after the mailing. If you would prefer not to be invited to clinics in this way please let us know.
The practice is required to hold policies on:
Patient Privacy and Confidentiality
Records management, Information Sharing and Data Protection
Drugs, Dispensing, Prescribing and Prescriptions
Health and Safety
Audit and Controls Assurance
All the above policies are in place. These are periodically audited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group each year and are monitored and updated regularly by the practice.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practitioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.
Practice FOI statement: Click here to open the FOI Publication scheme
Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat in order to view the FOI Publication scheme.
Access to Records
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
How do I make a request?
You can write to the practice manager requesting access to your medical record. We can provide someone to interpret medical terminology for you and can also provide photocopies of any information you wish to keep.
To protect your confidentiality, we check that anyone asking for personal information has the right to receive it. We will ask you to provide proof of your identity or provide a written authority before making information available.
We charge a fee for the interpreting service and for providing copies of the information. We will tell you the cost first so that you can choose whether to proceed or not.
We may ask for further details to help us find the information you want. In certain circumstances we may edit the information provided by a third party.
You will find a great deal of information and guidance about the Data Protection Act on the Information Commissioner’s website: http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
Summary Care Record
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.
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery.
Who will we share your information with?
As part of our Improved Access Initiative, Brannam Medical Centre patients will be able to book evening and weekend appointments, both here and at other local GP Practices [Black Torrington (Blake House Surgery), Bideford Medical Centre, Castle Gardens Surgery, Hartland Surgery, Northam Surgery, Torrington Health Centre and Wooda Surgery]. This will benefit you as a patient as it ensures that there are more appointments available to you at times that are more convenient out of the practice’s usual hours.
GP practices in our locality use one of the following clinical systems to securely host your electronic patient record:
SystmOne (provided by TPP)
For more information on this please read our Improved Access Privacy Notice
Duty of Candour
Every healthcare professional must be open and honest with patients when something that goes wrong with their treatment or care causes, or has the potential to cause, harm or distress. Please click on the link to read our policy.
Duty of Candour Policy
Please read our annual statement on managing infection control.
Infection Control Annual Statement 2020