NORTHERN MIDLANDS MEDICAL SERVICES

28 GEORGE STREET LONGFORD                                                                     180 FAIRTLOUGH STREET PERTH

PATIENTS RIGHTS

Policy

The practices’ staff members recognise rights and needs of all patients.

No patient is refused access to clinical assessment or medical treatment on the basis of gender, race, disability, Aboriginality, age, religion, ethnicity beliefs, sexual preference or medical condition. Provisions are implemented to ensure patients with a disability can access our services.

The practice identifies important/significant cultural groups within our practice including non-English speaking background patients, religious groups and those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. We endeavour to continue to develop any strategies required to meet their needs.

The practice provides respectful care at all times and is mindful of patient’s personal dignity. We have a plan in place to respectfully manage patients in distress. (Medical Emergencies and Urgent Matters)

  • Visual and auditory privacy is provided in the waiting room and during the consultation. The waiting room provides a tonic TV to assist patient auditory and visual privacy.
  • Each doctor’s, nurses and treatment consulting room has a curtain around the examination bed for patient privacy and the door is closed for each consultation.

Patient privacy and confidentiality is assured for consultations and in medical and account records, appointments, telephone calls and electronic media including computer information.

  • Doctors and staff do not leave patient information in any format in areas of the Practice or surrounds for unauthorised access by the public.
  • Staff members sign a privacy agreement upon acceptance of employment and risk immediate dismissal should a breach of this agreement occur.
  • Information no longer required that contains any reference to patients, including diagnosis reports, specialist’s letters, accounts etc. is securely disposed of via shredding.

Patients have a right to access their personal health information and may request to view their record or obtain a copy.

Our privacy policy for the management of health information is displayed in the waiting room and also on the practice information sheet. It is made available to anyone who asks. This policy includes information about the type of information this practice collects, uses, how it protects it and to whom we disclose it to.

Patients have the right to refuse any treatment, advice or procedure. Our doctors discuss all aspects of treatment and will offer alternatives should a patient seek another medical opinion. (refer to Management of a patient refusing treatment or advice)

For ongoing management of patients should they leave the area, our doctors will ask for the forwarding doctor’s or Practice address. A copy of the patient’s medical record or the health summary will be sent directly to the new location via post or an electronic copy can be sent if the new surgery uses compatible software.

The Practice acknowledges a patient’s right to complain. We provide mechanisms to ensure that this feedback in addition to positive comments and suggestions are freely received and any changes implemented where possible.

Patients are provided with sufficient information about the purpose, importance, benefits, risks and possible costs associated with proposed investigations, referrals or treatments to enable patients to make informed decisions about their health.

Patients are provided with adequate information about our practice to facilitate access to care including arrangement for care outside normal opening hours. (See patient information brochure).

This Practice participates in the RACGP Training Program and regularly has registrars on site. Patients are advised of this with a poster in the waiting room. If medical students are on practice placement here and observe doctors’ consultations, then the patient is asked for his/her consent.

Consent is requested when nursing students are on practical placement with our registered nurses also.

The patients consent is sought for participation in health reminders systems and research programs. Consent can be withdrawn at any time by the patient.

Our Commitment to Service

  1. You will be treated as an individual, with courtesy, respect and dignity at all times.
  2. You will be given the names of the people involved in your care.
  3. You will be given, under normal circumstances, a routine appointment with a doctor of your choice at the next available time he/she is available.
  4. Every reasonable attempt will be made to ensure you are seen within 30 minutes of your appointment time. Should you be kept waiting longer than this you should be advised of the estimated delay and given an explanation for this.
  5. You will be given the most appropriate care by suitably qualified people, no care or treatment will be given without your formal consent.
  6. You will be referred to a consultant acceptable to you when your doctor feels that such a course of action is necessary.
  7. We need you to make sure that you tell us all the information we need to help in your care.8. We need you to make sure you are reviewed if your symptoms change or your condition deteriorates.
  8. We need you to let us know if you do not understand any of our advice.
  9. You have a right of access to your medical records subject to any limitations in the law.
  10. You will have access to a doctor at all times for genuine emergencies.                                    

With these rights come responsibilities and for the patients this means:

  1. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer it to another patient. It is surgery policy to write to all patients who fail to attend their appointment.
  2. Please try to arrive on time for your appointment. If you are late we cannot guarantee to see you within our agreed waiting limits.
  3. Please treat the doctors and staff with the respect and courtesy you would expect to receive yourself. We are here to help you but may need information from you to enable us to offer you the most appropriate care. Although reception staff are not medically trained they may ask you for medical information. This will be at the request of the doctor and solely for them to be able to pass this on to the doctor for assessment. Reception staff are not involved in making clinical decisions of any kind.
  4. Where possible please telephone the surgery to make an appointment. If you arrive at the surgery without one we will try to assist you but cannot always guarantee that you will be seen which may cause inconvenience to you.
  5. All appointments are made to cover one consultation. Please make a separate appointment for each person who wishes to see the doctor.
  6. Please notify the surgery if you change your address.
  7. We ask patients to give 48 hours’ notice for repeat prescriptions, this gives us the time required to allow for accurate prescribing.
  8. Medical care is available 24 hours a day through a deputising services between 6.00pm and 8.00am but please try not to use the After Hours service unless it is for a matter that cannot wait until the surgery is open.
  9. The doctor is here to give you treatment and advice. It is important that you understand the information given to you. If you are unsure about your treatment please ask for more information.
  10. Although the doctor will try to see you within a reasonable time when you attend the surgery, please be patient if an emergency situation arises and you are delayed.