Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights

Everyone has certain rights covered by the NHS Patient’s Charter. You have the right to:

  • Receive information on health services, including quality standards and waiting times.
  • Receive treatment regardless of your race, sex, age, disability or income.
  • Have your treatment explained to you.
  • Refuse to be treated in front of students or be involved in medical trials.
  • Have a relative or friend with you.
  • Have access to an interpreter or signer.
  • Emergency medical care.

GP Services

You have the right to be registered with a general practitioner (GP). Ask your preferred surgery if you can be registered on their list. GPs can refuse to take you.

A GP can remove you from the practice list at any time and does not have to give a reason. This is rare and usually only happens if a patient has been abusive or violent. Your GP may also remove you from the practice list if you often miss appointments. They will warn you before they do this.

You can get a list of GPs in your area from Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust. If you cannot find a GP who will take you, contact Practitioners Services at the Common Services Agency (CSA).

Second Opinion

You have the right to ask for a second opinion, but you are not automatically entitled to one. You should speak to your doctor if you want a second opinion.

Contraception and Maternity Services Women have the right to free contraceptive advice and maternity care from a GP. You can get free contraceptives from a family-planning clinic.

Confidentiality and Health Records

You have the right to see your health records and for them to be kept confidential. Information should only be given to people involved in your care, and only if you have given your permission. Information is only given without your permission in exceptional circumstances.

Help with Costs

Everyone is entitled to free GP and hospital services. You may be entitled to other financial help depending on your age, income or medical condition. There is more information in the leaflet ‘Are you entitled to help with health costs?’ which you can get from post offices and social security offices.

Complaints

You have the right to complain if you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received. The complaints procedure is detailed below.

Your Responsibilities

You help yourself and your health service staff by doing the following:

  • Be on time for your appointments.
  • Tell the surgery or clinic as soon as possible if you cannot keep an appointment.
  • Tell your GP, or any hospital you are attending if you move home or change your name or contact details.
  • Use emergency services responsibly.
  • Treat healthcare staff politely.
  • Pass on your comments to healthcare staff.
  • Take care with medicines.
  • Do not use medicines which are out of date – your pharmacist can safely get rid of these for you.
  • Share responsibility for your own health.
  • Carry an organ donor card.

Please Help Us To Help You

Our telephone lines tend to be busiest first thing in the morning.

For house call and appointment requests, it is helpful if you contact us as early as possible.

For non-urgent problems, you may find it easier to contact the practice in the late morning or early afternoon.

To help reduce traffic on the main practice telephone lines, please use the Prescription and Result Lines shown on this web site, when appropriate.