Access to Medical Records
The following document outlines the processes required for your access to your medical information.
It also explains how access might be obtained for the notes of children under 16, representatives of patients and where access is sort from abroad.
Allowing Access to your Records
Happy House takes the security of your personal and medical information seriously however we realise that, for some patients, there are occasions where it is useful for others to be able to have limited access to your medical information, such as someone booking an appointment on your behalf or ordering a repeat script.
Others may rely on carers who support them in their everyday lives and would like them to assist them in their medical care.
To enable this, we have a simple access to records form which allows patients to nominate an individual to have access to their information at two levels:
LEVEL ONE – Book, check and alter an appointment, order and check if a prescription is ready and know what has been prescribed and check if test results are back (BUT NOT WHAT THE RESULT IS).
LEVEL TWO – gives access to all areas of your medical information and is ideal for patients with carer.
If you would like to arrange access, complete the form below and hand it in to the surgery.
Please note that if you need to stop access then you must complete the Access removal Form – we will not remind you to review who you have given access to, the access withdrawal form can also be found below.
Summary Care Records
Over three years ago, the government wrote out to every patient detailing their plans to create an electronic Summary Care Record for each patient.
Your Summary Care Record contains important information about any medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have previously experienced.
Allowing authorised healthcare staff to have access to this information will improve decision making by doctors and other healthcare professionals and has prevented mistakes being made when patients are being cared for in an emergency or when their GP practice is closed.
Your Summary Care Record also includes your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS Number to help identify you correctly.
Healthcare staff who have access to your Summary Care Record:
- need to be directly involved in caring for you
- need to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode
- will only see the information they need to do their job and
- will have their details recorded every time they look at your record
Healthcare staff will ask for your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record.
If they cannot ask you (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), healthcare staff may look at your record without asking you, because they consider that this is in your best interest.
If they have to do this, this decision will be recorded and checked to ensure that the access was appropriate
This could be accessed, only with the patient’s permission (unless the patient was unconscious) by clinicians in the NHS to ensure good and safe patient care.
Patients can opt out of the scheme but must inform their GP of the wish to do so.
Over the years, some of our patients have asked to be opted out and the relevant codes have been applied to prevent this.
You can opt out of this at any time by dropping a letter in at reception expressing your wish to be removed from the Summary Care record scheme.
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required.
The chaperone may be a family member or friend, on occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present i.e. a trained member of staff.
Wherever possible we would ask you to make this request at time of booking your appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way.
Where this is not possible we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request, however occasionally it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.
Declaration of Mean Earnings for 2019 – 20
All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average earnings for the GP’s working in the Happy House Surgery in the last financial year was £81,204 before taxation and national insurance.
This is for 2 full time, 1 part time GP’s , and 2 locum GP’s who worked in the practice for more than six months.
Emis Access Practice Agreement
Whilst we believe that online access will be very useful for many of our patients, we do ask that you read the important terms and conditions below as you will need to accept them before joining.
Use of EMIS Access: In using EMIS Access and our online facilities you agree with the terms and conditions under which this website is provided.
We will be monitoring the use of this service and we are sure that you will find it most useful.
If we find that any users are abusing the service, we will revoke their access to the service.
We consider the following as inappropriate use: sending inappropriate or abusive messages, booking appointments and not using them, consistently booking inappropriate appointments with a doctor, booking appointments for another person (except for a dependent child under the age of 16).
You are responsible for ensuring that your EMIS Access log-in details are kept confidential.
You will also be held responsible for any misuse of your account. You must inform us immediately if you believe an unauthorised person has gained access to your account.
Although EMIS Access uses high levels of internet security to protect your personal information, we do not warrant the service to be 100% secure and in using the service you are accepting a degree of risk.
EMIS Access is generally available 24 hours a day, but at certain times, for example when our computer system is backing up data or undergoing maintenance, you may be unable to use the service for a while.
Happy House Surgery does not guarantee that EMIS Access or our other online facilities will always be available and will not accept any liability for damages resulting directly or indirectly from the use of, or from any inability to use, EMIS Access or our other online facilities. EMIS have incorporated a “Current Status of EMIS Access “ link to the front screen of the EMIS Access Web site.
You may click on this link at any time to be redirected to a page showing the current status of the service. This page is updated at regular intervals and will display any operational problems and when they are due to be fixed.
EMIS Access is provided by EMIS, a trading name of Egton Medical Information Systems, the company that provides our patient records system.
Happy House Surgery cannot accept liability for damages resulting, directly or indirectly, from the use or misuse of the EMIS Access service.
In using EMIS Access, you agree to the terms and conditions and privacy statement on the EMIS Access website.
End of Life Charter
Happy House Surgery
End of Life Care Patient Charter
A charter for the care of people who are nearing the end of their life
We want to offer people who are nearing the end of their life the highest quality of care and support; we wish to help you live as well as you can, for as long as you can.
Therefore, if and when you want us to, we will:
- Listen to your wishes about the remainder of your life, including your final days and hours, answer as best we can any questions that you have and provide you with the information that you feel you need;
- Help you think ahead so as to identify the choices that you may face, assist you to record your decisions and do our best to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, wherever possible, by all those who offer you care and support;
- Talk with you and the people who are important to you about your future needs. We will do this as often as you feel the need, so that you can all understand and prepare for everything that is likely to happen;
- Endeavour to ensure clear written communication of your needs and wishes to those who offer you care and support both within and outside of our surgery hours;
- Do our utmost to ensure that your remaining days and nights are as comfortable as possible, and that you receive all the particular specialist care and emotional and spiritual support that you need;
- Do all we can to help you preserve your independence, dignity and sense of personal control throughout the course of your illness;
- Support the people who are important to you, both as you approach the end of your life and during their bereavement.
We also invite your ideas and suggestions as to how we can improve the care and support that we deliver to you, the people who are important to you and others in similar situations.
For more information, please contact reception.
To download a copy of the Advanced Care Plan click here.
Equality and Diversity
Staff and Patients
The Practice is committed to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the way in which we provide services to the public and the way in which we treat our staff reflects their individual needs and does not discriminate against individuals or groups on any grounds.
To view our Statement of policy on Equality and Diversity, click here.
Fees and Charges for Non-NHS Work
Many forms and some medical services fall outside of the NHS and are charged.
For the current list of charges and fees, please click the link below.
Freedom of Information
The following Document gives information about the Freedom of Information Act and what information we can provide.
How We Use your Health Records / Confidentiality
We always take care to respect patient confidentiality and have detailed policies and procedures we follow to ensure we handle information in as secure a manner as possible.
Please click on the following links for more information:
There is a short video which has been made by NHS Liverpool (which is both informative and entertaining) which is already running a similar scheme to this one in Sunderland.
It explains why allowing us to share your information with secondary care and the extended Primary Care team is extremely useful in your healthcare. To view the video, click here
Your health and care information is used to improve your individual care.
It is also used to help us research new treatments, decide where to put GP clinics and plan for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital.
Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.
What is confidential patient information?
Confidential patient information identifies you and says something about your health, care or treatment. You would expect this information to be kept private. Information that only identifies you, like your name and
address, is not considered confidential patient information and may still be used for example, to contact you if your GP practice is merging with another.
Who can use your confidential patient information for research and planning?
It is used by the NHS, local authorities, university and hospital researchers, medical colleges and pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments.
Making your data opt-out choice
You have the right to opt-out at any time from data being shared.
Your data is used in broadly two different ways:
- To provide you with care. This is called “Primary Use“
- To allow for planning and research to be done. This is called “Secondary Use“
Both uses will only be made where it is considered secure and appropriate to use patient data.
Opting-out of data sharing is an option for all patients, however it is not without potential downsides.
For Primary Use data, if you opt-out and need care in a local hospital, for example, it may be much harder for the staff to access important medical information about you needed to provide safe and effective care.
For Secondary Use, the downsides are more indirect. If everyone in the country were to opt-out, it would make it much harder to ensure funding is used in the NHS to develop services where they are needed. It would also be harder to develop new treatments.
It is possible to opt-out of specific parts of data sharing, while keeping some elements of data sharing in place. It is very common, for example, for people who have privacy concerns about Secondary Use, to be happy to continue sharing data for Primary Use/Direct Care.
The below table summarises what opt-outs are possible, and how to request them:
How data in your GP record is used, and how you can control the use
Primary Use – sharing your data for your direct care
|Who it is shared with||How it is used||How to opt out|
|Summary Care Record||These are used by NHS hospitals and other providers (e.g. midwives) to ensure they have the data needed to provide you with the right care.||Opt out through your GP practice – contact the surgery reception to speak to the practice manager to discuss this and we will be able to apply the opt-out|
|Great North Care Record|
Secondary Use – Using your data to design health services and do health research
|Who it is shared with||How it is used||How to opt out|
|Local NHS Organisations (such as Clinical Commissioning Groups)||Using data to plan how to design local services around the needs of the population||Use a ‘type-1 opt out’ – Please send this form to the practice by emailing to us at: sunccg,firstname.lastname@example.org|
|NHS Digital||Using data to plan and design national services around the needs of the population|
|External research organisations||Using data for various research purposes||Use the National Data Opt-out – Visit the NHS website, use the NHS App or call 0300 3035678
How to manage your sharing preferences using the NHS App
You can view or change your current preference at any time.
To view and change your preference in the NHS App:
- Go to Your health
- Select Choose if data from your health and care records is shared for planning and research.
- Select Make your choice.
- Review the information on the page, then select Start now.
- View your preference, then select Change if you want to change it.
- Update your choice, then select Submit.
You can also visit nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
You can choose to opt out of sharing your confidential patient information for research and planning.
There may still be times when your confidential patient information is used: for example, during an epidemic where there might be a risk to you or to other people’s health.
You can also still consent to take part in a specific research project.
Will choosing this opt-out affect your care and treatment?
No, your confidential patient information will still be used for your individual care. Choosing to opt out will not affect your care and treatment. You will still be invited for screening services, such as screenings for bowel cancer.
If you have any questions about the national data opt-out, or want to view or change your national data opt-out choice at any time, you can direct them to use the online service at nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/ or to call 0300 3035678.
National Diabetes Audit: If you have diabetes, the NHS requires us to submit data in regards to your care and treatment to the audit. If you do not wish to have your data submitted, please contact reception.
Cause For Concern Notifications
Please note that may receive information from Northumbria Police in regards to patients who are perpetrators of domestic abuse incidents when children are known to be in the household.
This is provided for information only but may be used in future assessments.
The NHS Constitution has been created to protect the NHS and make sure it will always do the things it was set up to do when it was established in 1948 – to provide high quality healthcare that is free and for everyone.
It has been created in conjunction with staff, patients and the public.
This means that it is based on ideas from the people who are closest to the NHS.
Click on the following document to see how we, as a Practice, implement the NHS Constitution.
We operate a policy in conjunction with Sunderland PCC of prescribing drugs and other forms of treatment generically.
Patients will always be offered the most cost effective treatment in its generic name of formulation.
In addition, we also operate a policy of offering the most cost effective treatment for products that can be bought over the counter.
We do not prescribe by brand unless this is clinically indicated.
The operation of these policies means that we have no control over which generic brand or formulation the Pharmacy will dispense.
We would like to inform you that GP’s in this practice do not prescribe antibiotics for infections which get better on their own such as colds and flu.
We would recommend you visit your pharmacist for advice if you are suffering from these sorts of conditions.
Privacy / Fair Processing Notices
Our GP practice holds information about all of our Patients.
Our ‘Privacy Notice’ outlines the information we keep in regards to our patients and how it is used in your care.
Our ‘Fair Processing Notice’ document outlines how that information is used, with whom we may share that information, how we keep it secure (confidential) and what your rights are in relation to this.
Read and download our:
Privacy Notice for Employment
Research at Happy House
Happy House Surgery is very keen to support the development and improvement of NHS services and treatments and has joined with the National Institute for Clinical Research (North East and Cumbria), an NHS body, to take part in research projects relevant to Primary Care.
In some instances, we may provide anonymised data on patients – for example how many patients have asthma or how many patients over a certain age take a particular medicine, however it may be possible that you might be asked to take part in a project.
It is entirely up to you as to whether you wish to take part in the research or not and the decision you take will not affect your care from the practice in any way.
If you want any further information on this, please download the Practice Leaflet, which explains this in a little more detail by clicking here.
Suggestions and Complaints
Comments on any aspect of the practice are always welcome; if you have any suggestions or are unhappy about any aspect of our service, write them down and drop them in our reception box in reception.
The practice also has a Patients’ Committee who can be contacted via our suggestion box – details can be obtained from reception
We take concerns about our service and complaints very seriously and are very keen to work with you to resolve issues as soon as we can.
If you wish to make a formal complaint against us, we operate the NHS complaints procedure: any letters of complaint should be addressed to the Practice Manager.
A leaflet outlining the procedure in more detail is available from the link below.
To listen to the information on our complaints procedure, please click here.
A general leaflet is also available on how to make a complaint about an NHS organisation, which is published by NHS England, is available from the link by clicking here.
Who is My Allocated GP?
Whilst all of our patients are welcome to see any of our GP’s in the practice, we have allocated a GP to every patient in the practice (including children) as part of the government’s plans to give every patient in the country a named GP, responsible for co-ordinating all of the services we provide through our contract.
Who is My Allocated GP?
If your surname begins with the letters A – L, your allocated GP is Dr Quasim
If your surname begins with the letters M – Z, your allocated GP is Dr Kwan.
Can I Change my Allocated GP?
Whilst you can see any GP in the practice, if you really feel that you wish to change your allocated GP, you can contact reception who can make this change.