Information about GP practices
This article is a stub. Please feel free to expand it and make it more encyclopaedic.
GP practices should have a practice leaflet with information about the practice. With most patients having internet access, they may be well advised to duplicate and supplement the leaflet with information on a practice web site.
It may help to explain to patients what they are (and are not) entitled to, and why it is in their best interests that the practice has certain policies.
Information to include in practice leaflets
Information about the practice
- Practice address and how to get there
- Contact details - in and out of hours; whether appointments can be made or repeat
prescriptions requested on line, opening times, etc.
- Names and qualifications of staff
- How to register, including information on eligibility for NHS primary care
- How to make a complaint about a practice or practice member/employee
- How to contact the local MP[s] to complain about matters which are beyond the practice's control (perhaps with a link to the They Work for You web site).
Policies that might be covered in a practice leaflet and web site
Policies that might be covered include those relating to:
- How to -
- Make an appointment (including e.g. when to call for routine appointments)
- Request the results of tests
- Request documents such as print-outs of test results (and the time that will usually be required for this)
- "Sick notes:
- Home visits
- Patients with dental problems
- Lost or stolen drugs/prescriptions, especially for controlled drugs and others that may be misused. (Do you require a police number? Or never replace them? Or…)
- Making best use of the limited consultation time available, e.g.
- Practice policy on late arrivals and missed appointments
- While the doctor may not be able to take a break, and may therefore sometimes have to eat or drink in the consulting room, patients are requested not to take food or drinks into the consulting room
- The use of mobile phones during consultations (if your phone goes off, you may be asked to leave and book another appointment)
- Self-care and when antibiotics are (and are not) appropriate - with links to e.g. the "When should I worry" leaflet.
- Services not included in the NHS contract, and for which a fee may be charged, or which will not be provided even for a fee. A good example is the Carlton House Surgery web page, although it might be worth adding that:
- medicals "required" by others in order for patients to undertake activities (performing, driving, parachuting, diving, and so on) are private work.
- The practice leaflet and website should state the practice policy on performing such medicals; and emphasise that patients booking appointments for such purposes will be charged even if it is practice policy not to do the work (and therefore the appointment amounts to a request being made and denied) - unless they had told the receptionist the purpose of the appointment and they had not been advised that the appointment would be private and chargeable.
- Similarly, the practice policies on other non-NHS work can be included. It's much easier to turn down a request if your practice leaflets and website explicitly say it's something that will not be done. Examples might include:
- Violence, intimidation, and defamation
- Situations in which a patient might be removed from the practice list, and the process, including e.g.:
- When patients move away
- Break down of doctor-patient relationship
- Patients with whom the practice has a commercial relationship (as, in the event of a dispute, this might cause a conflict of interests for the practice)