Practice Policies

pad_and_penSuggestions & Complaints

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

Simply contact the Practice Manager or a named partner and they will set the necessary wheels in motion. Further written information is available on the complaints procedure from reception. We are continually striving to improve our service. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated and a suggestion box is located in the waiting area.

The Patient’s Charter

The Government has given the Health Service quality standards, which are the rights of all patients. While we agree that these standards are important we do not feel they are achievable without the help of our patients. We ask you then to read this section bearing in mind that we will keep to the standards set if you give us the opportunity to do so.

We expect patients to:

  • Treat Doctors and practice staff with courtesy.
  • Be punctual for appointments.
  • Remember an appointment is for one patient only.
  • Give Reception notice if you are unable to attend your appointment.
  • Be patient if the Doctors are running late.
  • Not request an out of hours visit unless it is an emergency, which cannot wait until the morning

Freedom of Information Act

This practice aims to follow national and local best practice guidelines. With effect from 1st November 2003, this Act gives the public a general right of access to written information held by the practice. Under the Data Protection Act, people have the right to access information about themselves held on computer and on paper. Requests must be made in writing to the Practice Manager. The practice will charge a fee for access to the information requested.

Patient Responsibilities

Patients have a responsibility to respect the practice staff. We have a zero tolerance policy of aggression towards staff. Patients also have a responsibility to keep, or cancel their appointments.





  1. Purpose

Southeast Family 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.

There will be no discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, social class, age, religion, marital status, political opinion, disability, medical condition, having dependants, sexual orientation or appearance, and so removal will not be made without reasonable grounds.


  1. 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 (a warning letter will be issued and is valid for 12 months) Patient will be removed if re-offends within 12 months.
  • 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 When 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.

The Practice undertakes to retain patients currently on the list who reside outside of our boundary, until such time as the patient changes address to an address outside of the boundary.


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

Failure to attend pre-booked appointments

  • Where a patient fails to attend pre-booked appointments on a number of occasions during a 12 month period (a warning letter will be sent after 3 missed appointments)

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

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

  1. Procedure for Removal


Violence / Crime and Deception


Any incident involving violence, crime or deception will be reported to the Practice Manager and brought to the attention of the 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 for violent behaviour towards any member of the practice staff when she/he will 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.


Failure to attend pre-booked appointments

If a patient fails to attend a pre-booked appointment on more than three occasions in a rolling twelve month period, 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.


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 (except if the Practice have reasonable grounds for believing that the issue of such a warning would be harmful to the physical or mental health of the patient, or would put at risk the safety of one or more of the persons working in or visiting the premises.)
  • 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/BMA representative if necessary.

Steps to be taken to remove the patient

  • Inform BSO 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 i.e. patient to take medical card to a Doctor of their choice and ask if she/he will accept them onto their list. No Doctor can refuse to accept new patients unless their list is closed, the patient resides outside of the Practice area or the patient is registered as violent.
  • Except in the circumstances of Violence, Crime or Deception, Distance, Emigration the Practice may only request removal if, within the period of twelve months prior to the date of request to the BSO, the Practice has warned the patient that they are at risk of removal and have explained to them the reasons for this.

A removal requested shall take effect from the date on which the person is registered with another Practice, or the eighth day after BSO receive the notice, whichever is the sooner.

Where on the date at which the removal would take effect, the Practice is treating the patient at intervals of less than seven days, the Practice shall inform BSO in writing of the fact and the removal shall take effect on the eighth day after BSO receives notification from the Practice that the person no longer needs such treatment, or on the date on which the person is registered with another Practice, whichever is the sooner. We will provide treatment/medication for the patient as clinically appropriate for up to eight days.

If the Practice requires guidance on the removal process, contact the Removals Officer at BSO 9536 3772. Form RVP1 (for violent removals) should be requested from BSO.

For violent removals it shall take effect at the time the Practice makes the telephone call to BSO, or sends or delivers the notification the BSO.

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 four weeks to re-register rather than being removed from the practice list immediately.


Record Keeping


On all occasions a record will be kept of date and reasons for warning or removal.

If no warning is issued a record will be kept of the reason explaining why.

Any action taken will be recorded and kept separately in the Removal of Patient’s file.




It is our Practice policy not to re-register patients who have left the Practice for reasons other than relocation of home, employment or education.





Responsibility for implementing and monitoring the policy rests with the Practice Partners / Practice Manager.


The Partners at Southeast Family Practice 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.


The BSO will acknowledge receipt of the Practice’s correspondence and will inform the patient of the Partner’s request.


BSO will request the patient’s medical notes to be returned. These are returned in a sealed confidential envelope and transported via the BSO courier service.





July 2015

Reviewed April 2019

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