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Patient Policies

Patient Responsibilities

We will treat you with respect, care and courtesy and ask that you do the same. Please be on time for appointments and cancel appointments you cannot attend. It is important that you inform us promptly if you change address or telephone number. If you are under the care of a hospital or are awaiting an appointment, please notify them too.

Access to Patient Information

You have a right to keep your personal health information confidential. Any information given to anyone in this practice is considered confidential. All employees are trained in information security and confidentiality. There are strict codes of conduct in place to ensure your information is safe whether it is on paper or computer files. Where data is stored electronically we comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Any information shared (confidentially) with other specific NHS organisations is also bound by strict regulations of confidentiality. Whenever we can, we shall remove details which identify you. Medical information requested by other sources, e.g. employers, insurance companies and solicitors is only provided with your written consent.

Your medical details will not be disclosed to your family, friends or colleagues unless we have your written consent to do so.

You are entitled to receive a copy of any letter that the practice writes about you. This is usually in the form of referral letters to hospitals. The clinician writing the letter will ask whether you wish to receive a copy.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998. you are legally entitled to access your clinical records from 1st October 1991 , but we usually permit access to your complete record. If you wish to access your records, please contact reception for further advice. All requests to view medical records should be made in writing to the surgery. The practice is allowed by law to charge a fee to cover our administration costs.

Violence Statement

The practice operates a Zero Tolerance Policy in respect of aggression and violence. Any patient who commits a violent or aggressive act towards staff or patients whilst on surgery premises or in a place where the practice is providing a service, will be removed from the practice list and reported to the police.

The practice will report the incident to NHS ENGLAND and a request made for the removal of the patient from the practice list with immediate effect.

Policy For Removal Of Patients From Practice List

1. Purpose

Spring Hill Medical Centre, General Practice, aims to provide the best possible health care for their patients. However there may be circumstances when it would be considered reasonable, or in the best interests of the patient, to remove patients from the list.

The purpose of this policy, therefore, is to define the practice guidelines for when it is reasonable to remove a patient from the practice list and to ensure that any concerns about removing patients from the list are dealt with fairly.

2. Situations which justify removal

When a patient:-

  • Is physically violent or threatening towards a doctor, practice staff or other patients on the practice premises.
  • Causes physical damage to practice premises or other patient’s property.
  • Gives verbal abuse or makes threats towards the doctor, practice staff or other patients.
  • Gives racist abuse, orally or physically.
  • Is violent or uses or condones threatening behaviour to doctors (or some other members of the primary health care team) while visiting the patient’s home. Such behaviour may involve the patient, a relative, a household member, or pets (such as unchained dogs).

Crime & Deception
Where a patient:-

  • Fraudulently obtains drugs for non-medical reasons.
  • Deliberately lies to the doctor or other member of the primary health care team (e.g. by giving a false name or false medical history) in order to obtain a service or benefit by deception.
  • Attempts to use the doctor to conceal or aid any criminal activity.
  • Steals from practice premises.

Where a patient has moved out of the designated practice area and has failed to register with another GP.


  • Where a patient has moved abroad for a period of 3 months of more

Failure to attend pre-booked appointments

  • Where a patient fails to attend pre-booked appointments on a number of occasions during a given period

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

  • Where a patients behaviour falls outside of that which is normally considered reasonable and leads to an irretrievable breakdown of the doctor-patient relationship

3. Procedure for Removal

Violence / Crime and Deception
Any incident involving violence, crime or deception will be reported to the practice manager, who will complete an incident report and bring to the attention of the practice partners.

Each individual case will be discussed at a Practice Meeting and a majority agreement will be reached.

Following agreement, the practice manager will write to the patient and explain the reasons for removal.

The exception to this is if a patient has to be reported to the police and PCT for violent behaviour towards any member of the practice staff when s/he may be immediately removed.

On notification that the patient is no longer living within the practice boundary, a letter will be sent to the patient advising of the need to re-register within the next 30 days.

If the patient has not re-registered, or contacted the surgery with a reasonable explanation, within the 30 day period, they will be removed from the practice list.

On notification that the patient has moved abroad the patient will be removed from the practice list within 3 months of that notification.

Failure to attend pre-booked appointments
If a patient fails to attend a pre-booked appointment on more than three occasions in the last year, a warning letter will be sent to the patient, advising them that a further occurrence could risk removal from the practice.

If the patient fails to attend another appointment, the matter will be discussed at a Practice Meeting and a majority agreement will be reached as to whether the patient will be removed from the practice list.

Following agreement, the practice manager will write to the patient and explain the reasons for removal.

Guidance on Removing patients due to irretrievable breakdown of the doctor- patient relationship
Occasionally patients persistently act inconsiderately and their behaviour falls outside that which is normally considered to be reasonable. In such circumstances there may be a complete breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship.

Steps to be taken within the practice

  • Inform all appropriate members of the practice about the problem.
  • The patient and possible reasons for the patient’s behaviour (e.g. disagreeableness, cultural differences, mental illness, personality disorder) will be discussed at a Practice Meeting

Steps to be taken with the patient

  • Inform the patient, either personally or in writing, that there is a problem
  • Explain the nature of the problem to the patient
  • Obtain the patient’s perspective and interpretation of the situation.
  • Obtain advice of a Medical Defence Society.

Steps to be taken if discussion fails to resolve the problem

  • Suggest that another GP within the practice might better fit with the patient’s needs and expectations.

Steps to be taken in actually removing the patient

  • Inform the appropriate Health Authority in writing of your decision.
  • Inform the patient in writing of the decision and the reason for removal from the list.
  • Explain to the patient that he or she will not be left without a GP.
  • Give the patient information on how to begin the process of registering with another GP.

Family Members
When a decision is made to remove a patient from the practice list, the removal may well be extended to other members of the family or household.

The practice manager will write to the family / household offering an explanation for the removal. They will be allowed 4 weeks to re-register rather than being removed from the practice list immediately.

Responsibility for implementing and monitoring the policy rests with the practice partners / practice manager.

The Partners at Spring Hill medical Centre re-affirm their commitment to do everything possible to protect staff, patients and visitors from unacceptable behaviour and their zero tolerance of any incident that causes hurt, alarm damage or distress.

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