Practice Policies

Confidentiality is a cornerstone of health care and is central to the work of everyone working in general practice. All information about patients is confidential: from the most sensitive diagnosis, to the fact of having visited the surgery or being registered at the Practice.

The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person.

All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission except in the most exceptional of circumstances when somebody is at risk of serious harm.


Responsibilities of Practice Staff

All health professionals must follow their professional codes of practice and the law. This means that they must make every effort to protect confidentiality. It also means that no identifiable information about a patient is passed to anyone or any agency without the express permission of that patient, except when this is essential for providing care or is necessary to protect somebody’s health, safety or well-being.

All health professionals are individually accountable for their own actions. They should also work together as a team to ensure that standards of confidentiality are upheld, and that improper disclosures are avoided.


Additionally, the Partners as employers

Is responsible for ensuring that everybody employed by the Practice understands the need for, and maintains, confidentiality.

Has overall responsibility for ensuring that systems and mechanisms to protect confidentiality are in place.

Has vicarious liability for the actions of those working in the Practice – the health professionals and the non-clinical staff.

Standards of confidentiality apply to all health professionals, administrative and ancillary staff – including receptionists, secretaries, practice managers, cleaners and maintenance staff who are bound by contracts of employment to maintain confidentiality – and also to students or others observing practice. They must not reveal to anybody outside the Practice, personal information they learn in the course of their work, or due to their presence in the surgery, without the patient’s consent. Nor will they discuss with colleagues any aspect of a patient’s attendance at the surgery in a way that might allow identification of the patient, unless to do so is necessary for that patient’s care.


If disclosure is necessary

if a patient or another person is at grave risk of serious harm which disclosure to an appropriate person would prevent, the relevant health professional will counsel the patient about the benefits of disclosure. If the patient refuses to allow disclosure, the health professional can take advice from a professional, regulatory or defence body, in order to decide whether a disclosure without consent is justified to protect the patient or another person.

We try to provide the best possible care for our patients at all times, however, in the event that you are dissatisfied with our service, we would welcome the opportunity to investigate and put things right for you. Sometimes you may have an idea on how we could improve our service and we would be delighted if you would share this with us.

We operate an in-house complaints procedure to deal with any complaints or concerns, please see below links to our ‘Complaints information leaflet’, ‘Complaint form’ and ‘Complaints easy read guide’ for full details:

Complaints information leaflet

Complaint Form

Complaints Easy Read Guide

Please also see the following video link which helps to explain about how to make a complaint: (contains subtitles and sign language)

As per our leaflet your complaint should be addressed to the Operations Manager who will ensure that it is investigated thoroughly and as speedily as possible.

Alternatively, you can raise complaints about a GP, dentist, pharmacy, optician, or GP services (but not Out of Hours) with the local commissioners, this team are experienced complaint resolution handlers providing a comprehensive service for patients and carers. They will also provide local analysis to support the commissioning and design of health service improvements that better meets Hampshire & Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board local priorities. Their contact information is:

South East Complaints Hub

NHS Frimley ICB

Aldershot Centre for Health
Hospital Hill
GU11 1AY

If you require help in raising a complaint the NHS complaints advocacy service has now changed to Hampshire Advocacy. Their advocates can support you with:

  • Advice, information and guidance to help you decide which option to take
  • Making the complaint yourself
  • Making decisions about how to proceed once responses have been received
  • Attending meetings and preparing correspondence if you are unable to do this yourself and there is no-one else that can help you

They can provide more in-depth support if:

  • Your complaint involves more than one NHS organisation
  • The complaint requires a referral to the Ombudsman
  • You have difficulties in dealing with the complaint yourself (either physically, emotionally or intellectually) and you have no-one else to help you with this

Telephone: 02380 783715



You can also obtain advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB). Their service is free and independent of the NHS.

If you still remain dissatisfied following an investigation, you do have the right to take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman and they can be contacted as follows:

Telephone: 0345 015 4033


Writing a letter to:

Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman

Millbank Tower

30 Millbank



It is a requirement of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance that the Infection Prevention and Control Lead produces an annual statement with regard to compliance with good practice on infection prevention and control and makes it available for anyone who wishes to see it, including patients and regulatory authorities.

Annual Statement for Infection Prevention and Control


PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service

The NHS employs over a million staff in thousands of locations. It is a large and complex organisation providing a broad range of services. It is not surprising that sometimes you or a loved one may feel bewildered or concerned when using the NHS. And this can be at times when you are feeling at your most vulnerable and anxious.

So, what should you do if you want on the spot help when using the health service? The NHS expects all members of staff to listen and respond to you to the best of their ability. But sometimes, you may wish to talk to someone employed especially to help you. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS, has been introduced to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, and answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible.

PALS also helps the NHS to improve services by listening to what matters to patients and their loved ones and making changes, when appropriate.

What does PALS do?

In particular, PALS will:

  • Provide you with information about the NHS and help you with any other health-related enquiry
  • Help resolve concerns or problems when you are using the NHS
  • Provide information about the NHS complaints procedure and how to get independent help if you decide you may want to make a complaint
  • Provide you with information and help introduce you to agencies and support groups outside the NHS
  • Inform you about how you can get more involved in your own healthcare and the NHS locally
  • Improve the NHS by listening to your concerns, suggestions and experiences and ensuring that people who design and manage services are aware of the issues you raise
  • Provide an early warning system for NHS Trusts and monitoring bodies by identifying problems or gaps in services and reporting them.


GDPR and Healthcare Records


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law that determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe, and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data. 

Opting out of sharing your confidential patient information

You can decide if health and care information that could identify you is used to improve everyone’s health and care, or only used for your own health and care. If you want your health and care information to be included in sets of data used to improve everyone’s health and care, you don’t need to do anything.  Click the following link for more information:

Fair Processing Notice for Patients – Your Information, Your Rights

Our Fair Processing Notice explains why we collect information about you and how that information may be used to deliver your direct care and manage the local health and social care system.

The notice reflects:

  • What information we collect about you;
  • How and why we use that information;
  • How we retain your information and keep it secure;
  • Who we share your information with and why we do this.

SMG Fair Processing Notice Medical Records

Childrens Privacy Information Leaflet

For a full copy of either notice, or for a leaflet, ask at Reception.

The notice also explains your rights in relation to consent to use your information, the right to control who can see your data and how to seek advice and support if you feel that your information has not been used appropriately.

Patients who would like access to their records can access these via the NHS App and website. Please the Accelerating Patient Access page for more information.

Data Sharing Agreement

The Swan Medical Group have a Data Sharing Agreement in place with other practices within the East Hants Locality that participate in extended access to core primary care services. This allows access to your patient record by a clinician with your consent when you use these services. If you would like to know more about this please email

Our staff come to work to care for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with courtesy and respect.

The practice considers aggressive behaviour to be any personal, abusive and/or aggressive comments, cursing and/or swearing, physical contact and/or aggressive gestures and the damaging of property.

In line with the rest of the NHS and to ensure this is fully observed, we have a Zero Tolerance policy.  This means that aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff or any member of the public within our Practice premises will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Anyone giving verbal abuse to members of staff, either in person or over the telephone, will be sent a letter from the Practice Manager advising that this behaviour will not be tolerated.  Any future violation of this policy will result in the removal from the Practice patient list.  There will be no appeal process.

We feel sure that you will understand that proper behaviour is absolutely necessary for our staff and patients and that non-observance will not be accepted.

Accessible Information

Do you have any communication or information needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss? Swan Surgery can provide various ways in which to make information accessible to you and for you to communicate with us:

Swan Medical Group Vision Statement

‘To be a local leader in delivering exceptional, integrated healthcare.’

Swan Medical Group Mission Statement

“We aspire to deliver the highest quality of healthcare, through a personal and dignified service for you and your family, working with you to respect your choices. We aim to be an approachable and accessible team, professional and motivated, evolving with the times. Working in a friendly and happy environment, we value each other and encourage learning, whilst working collaboratively with other health and wellbeing partners.”