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About St. Andrew's

This section includes:

  • History of the practice
  • Practice charter
  • Freedom of information
  • Patient removal from the practice list
  • Statement of intent - information technology
  • CQC inspection report 2017

History of the Practice
The Practice was established in Southborough more than 50 years ago. We are a friendly and caring practice in a modern purpose built surgery, with full access for the disabled at ground floor level with ample car parking facilities.

The Practice aims to provide high quality personal General Medical Services to our patients with provision for disease prevention and health promotion. Our patients are our first concern; we aim to treat everyone politely and considerately, respect dignity and privacy; we are honest and, above all, trustworthy.

The Practice is fully computerised with direct links to the Kent Primary Care Agency and local hospital. All information is held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Practice cares for approximately 8000 patients.

Practice Charter
The team at St Andrews Medical Centre are committed to giving the best possible health care. The purpose of this charter is to set out the services we offer and what we expect of our patients in order to provide the best possible service.

We undertake to provide you with medical care as detailed in our contract with West Kent Primary Care Trust.

What we provide:

  • You will be treated courteously, with kindness & dignity, irrespective of ethnic origin, religion, cultural beliefs, sex or age.
  • You have a right to confidentiality.
  • You will be seen by a doctor the same day if your problem is urgent.
  • You will be seen by a doctor within 48 hours for a normal (non-urgent) consultation.
  • You will be seen by your own doctor whenever possible.
  • You have the right to access your health service records, subject to limitations in the law. If you require access to your notes please ask your GP in writing.
  • We will try to ensure you wait no longer than 40 minutes after your appointment time before being seen. If the wait is longer, an explanation will be given.
  • In the event of a doctor having to deal with an emergency you will be informed and be offered a new consultation if appropriate.
  • If you have a medical condition that requires a repeat script it will be ready for you to collect within two working days of your request.
  • Urgent home visits will be carried out or telephone advice given on the day of the request.
  • The surgery will remain clean and well decorated and your privacy will always be respected.
  • Facilities for disabled patients will always be available and additional assistance will be given if required.
  • You will be referred to a Specialist if your GP thinks it necessary and referred for a second opinion if you and your doctor think it is desirable.
  • You will be given the result of any test or investigation on request or at your next appointment.
  • Your suggestions and comments about the services offered will be considered sympathetically and any complaint dealt with quickly.

What we expect of our patients:

  • Endeavour to always treat the staff with respect and in a friendly manner.
  • Please understand that it is not the receptionists fault if the doctor is delayed.
  • Please do not ask for information about anyone other than yourself.
  • Please notify the Practice in good time if you are unable to keep an appointment. This can then be offered to another patient.
  • Please notify the practice of any change of address or telephone number. This information could be vital in an emergency.
  • Please arrive on time for an appointment.
  • Only request an urgent appointment if appropriate. Home visits should only be requested if you are really too ill to attend the surgery.
  • Use the dedicated POD phone line or online system to request your repeat prescription whenever possible and make requests in good time and in writing.
  • Please attend for review, when asked, before your next prescription is due.Do let us know whenever you feel we have not met our responsibility to you.
  • We would, of course, be pleased to hear from you when you feel praise is due as well.

Viloent and abusive patients: This Practice has a zero tolerance policy with regards to violent/abusive patients

We aim to treat our patients courteously at all times and expect our patients to treat our staff in a similar manner. We take seriously any threatening, abusive or violent behaviour against any of our staff or patients. If a patient is violent or abusive, they will be warned to stop their behaviour. If they persist we may exercise our right to take action to have them removed, immediately if necessary from the surgery and from our patient list.

Patient removal from the practice list
Situations which justify removal from the practice list are when a patient:

  • Is physically violent or threatening towards a doctor, practice staff or other patients on the premises.
  • ​​Causes physical damage to practice premises or other patient’s property.
  • Gives verbal abuse or makes threats towards a doctor, practice staff or other patients.
  • Gives racist abuse, orally or physically.
  • Is violent 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 or household member.
  • Theft from the surgery premises or of surgery property
  • Persistantly misses appointments without advising SAMC in a timely fashion.

Freedom of Information
The FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT became law on the 30th November 2000. St Andrews Medical Centre conforms to the requirements of the Act and has produced a publication scheme in accordance with the Act. A copy of the Act is available on the Freedom of Information website: www.foi.nhs.uk

Confidentiality: All our staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the Doctors and Nurses. They all have a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. This means in effect that no information will be divulged to a third party such as relatives, insurance companies or solicitors unless the patient has given us written permission to do so.

  • This also applies to relatives or friends checking on appointment times.
  • Asking for test results.
  • Asking whether someone has attended the Practice for an appointment.
  • No clinical messages will be left on an answering machine.

Although in most cases these would be innocent requests, we obviously do not know all our patients particular circumstances and we therefore have to ensure that patient confidentiality is not broken.

Unfortunately this will at times mean that the receptionists may appear to be withholding information but they are following guidelines laid down by the Department of Health and are not trying to be obstructive.

Your understanding of this matter would be very much appreciated. If you wish to discuss the above details please speak with the Practice Manager who will do his best to help you.

Data Protection Act
The Practice is computerised and patients’ details are held on computer. We are therefore, registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. In line with the Department of Health Guidelines, the Caldicott report and the Data Protection Act, we wish to advise you of how we handle information about our patients. We ask for information so that you can receive proper care and treatment. We keep this information, together with details of your care, because it may be needed if we see you again. We may use some of this information for other reasons: for example to help us protect the health of the public generally and to see that the NHS runs efficiently: to plan for the future: to train staff and account for actions taken. Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information: for example to notify birth.

The NHS Central Register for England & Wales contains basic personal information of all patients who are registered with a General Practitioner. The Register does not contain clinical information. You have a right to access your health records.

Release of information to Solicitors – Please be aware that if you consent to release of your medical records to your Solicitor copies of all your notes will be released. These may subsequently be seen by the defendants Solicitor and other third parties. You need to discuss with your GP the provision of sensitive or inappropriate information before providing any consent to seek such information to your Solicitor.

Statement of Intent - Information Technology
New contractual requirements came into force from 1st April 2015 requiring that GP practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the following IT developments:

  • Referral Management
  • Electronic Appointment Booking
  • On line Booking of repeat prescriptions
  • Summary Care Record
  • GP2GP transfers
  • Patient Access to records

Please find below details of the practice stance with regards to these developments.

Referral management
All practices must include the NHS Number as the primary identifier in all NHS clinical correspondence issued by the practice.
SAMC includes the NHS Number on all correspondence

Electronic appointment booking
Practices are required to promote and offer the facility for all patients, who wish to, to book, view, amend, cancel and print appointments online.
SAMC currently offers the facility for booking and cancelling appointments online.

Online booking of repeat prescriptions
Practices are required to promote and offer the facility for all patients, who wish to, to order online, view and print a list of their repeat prescriptions for necessary drugs, medicines or appliances.

SAMC currently offers the facility for ordering repeat prescriptions online.

Summary Care Records (SCR)
Practices are required to enable successful automated uploads of any changes to a patient’s summary information, at least on a daily basis, to the SCR.
Having your SCR available will help anyone treating you without your full medical record.  They will have access to information about any medication you may be taking and any drugs that you have a recorded allergy or sensitivity to.

SAMC is already live with SCR.

GP2GP record transfers
There is a contractual requirement to utilise the GP2GP facility for the transfer of patient records between practices, when a patient registers or de-registers.
It is very important that you are registered with a doctor at all times.  If you leave your GP and register with a new GP, your medical records will be removed from your previous GP and forwarded on to your new GP via NHS England.  It can take several weeks for your paper records to reach your new surgery.  With GP to GP record transfers, your electronic record is transferred to your new practice much sooner. 

SAMC confirms that GP2GP transfers are already active and we send and receive patient records via this system.

Patient access to their GP record
Practices are required by 31st March 2016 to promote and offer the facility for patients who wish to, to view online, export or print the detailed information from their medical record. The information is: test results, list of problems and consultation titles, allergies, immunisations and acute and repeat medication, the information held is in coded form.

SAMC is working with our clinical system supplier to achieve this functionality which will be available to patients by 31st March 2016.

Care Quality Commission Report - SAMC Inspection 2017

A team from the CARE QUALITY COMMISSION (CGC) led by Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP) Chief Inspector of General Practice, carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at St Andrews Medical Centre on 12 January 2017.

Overall the practice is rated as good.
The key findings across all areas inspected were as below but click here to download a full copy of the 

  • There was an open and transparent approach to safety and an effective system for reporting and recording significant events.
  • ​Risks to patients were assessed and well managed.
  • Staff assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with current evidence based guidance. Staff had been trained to provide them with the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment.
  • Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment.
  • Information about services and how to complain was available and easy to understand. 
  • Patients said they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP and there was continuity of care, with urgent appointments available the same day. 
  • The practice had good facilities and was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs.
  • Translation services were available to patients whose first language was not English. 
  • The practice had developed a wide range of other services for patients. The practice objective was to place the patients at the heart of the services, rather than the patients being sent through the health care system to access the services. 
  • There was a clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management. The practice sought feedback from staff and patients, which it acted on. 
  • The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the duty of candour. 
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