All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GPs working in Solihull Healthcare Partnership in the last financial year was £89,515 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 17 full time GPs and 18 part time GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.
The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
We understand that ill patients do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. We ask you to treat your doctors and their staff courteously and act reasonably.
All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning after a second incident or removed from the practice list after a third incident if your behaviour has been unreasonable.
SHP Social Media Patient Policy
There are many social media platforms that are widely used by both staff and patients; these include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. At Solihull Healthcare Partnership we have a Facebook page, which provide a range of useful information for our patient population.
Solihull Healthcare Partnership has a duty to maintain patient confidentiality and to safeguard vulnerable patients. You can help us achieve this by adhering to the code of conduct outlined in this policy.
Patients at Solihull Healthcare Partnership are expected to adhere to the following code of conduct at all times:
- The practice requires all users of portable devices to use them in a courteous and considerate manner, respecting their fellow patients. Portable devices are not to be used during consultations.
- Patients are not permitted to disclose any patient-identifiable information about other patients, unless they have the express consent of that patient.
- Patients must not post any material that is inaccurate, fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, obscene, defamatory or unlawful. Any such posts on the practice Facebook page will be deleted by the SHP communications team and the post reported.
- Patients are not permitted to take photographs in the waiting room or areas where other patients are present, nor are photographs of staff permitted.
- Patients must not post comments on social media that identify staff who work at the practice.
- Patients are to use NHS Choices and through our website should they wish to leave a review about the Solihull Healthcare Partnership. This will enable the Practice to respond appropriately.
Social Media Zero Tolerance Policy
Following recent activity on Facebook where patients of Solihull Healthcare Partnership posted derogatory/defamatory comments about some of our staff as well as the Practice, we now have the following policy in place. If any such posts are brought to our attention and has invoked a potential breakdown in the doctor – patient relationship, this may result in you being removed from our registered practice list. Legal advice will be sought and the appropriate action taken against any patient who posts defamatory comments or comments which may indirectly affect patient safety or compromise patient access within Solihull Healthcare Partnership. However, we would ask that rather than posting derogatory or hurtful comments about any of our staff on social media, or if there are any aspects of the service that you are not entirely happy with, please ask to communicate via the NHS patient choices or through our official website page about this or put your comments to us in writing giving us the opportunity to respond. We welcome all feedback, positive and negative as it gives us the opportunity to review the services that we provide and where necessary or appropriate, make any changes or improvements.
Removal from the Practice List
A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care. The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship. When trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient’s interest, just as much as that of the surgery, that they should find a new practice. An exception to this is on immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the police are involved.
Removing other members of the household
In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family. This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or verbal abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the practice list and, in extreme cases, the police will be contacted if an incident is taking place and the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.
The Surgery prides itself in maintaining professional standards. For certain examinations during consultations an impartial observer (a “Chaperone”) will be required.
This impartial observer will be a practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant who is familiar with the procedure and be available to reassure and raise any concerns on your behalf. If a nurse in unavailable at the time of your consultation then your examination may be re-scheduled for another time.
You are free to decline any examination or chose an alternative examiner or chaperone. You may also request a chaperone for any examination or consultation if one is not offered to you. The GP may not undertake an examination if a chaperone is declined.
The role of a Chaperone:
- Maintains professional boundaries during intimate examinations.
- Acknowledges a patient’s vulnerability.
- Provides emotional comfort and reassurance.
- Assists in the examination.
- Assists with undressing patients, if required.
The practice complies with the Data Protection Act. 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. 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 grave risk of serious harm.
All members of the primary health care team (from reception to doctors) in the course of their duties will have access to your medical records. They all adhere to the highest standards of maintaining confidentiality.
As our reception area is a little public, if you wish to discuss something of a confidential nature please mention it to one of the receptionists who will make arrangements for you to have the necessary privacy.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person. Young people aged under 16 years can choose to see health professionals, without informing their parents or carers. If a GP considers that the young person is competent to make decisions about their health, then the GP can give advice, prescribe and treat the young person without seeking further consent.
However, in terms of good practice, health professionals will encourage young people to discuss issues with a parent or carer. As with older people, sometimes the law requires us to report information to appropriate authorities in order to protect young people or members of the public.
We aim to keep our surgery clean and tidy and offer a safe environment for our patients and staff. We are proud of our modern, purpose-built Practice and endeavour to keep it clean and well maintained at all times.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness or infection control, please report these to our Reception staff.
Our GPs and nursing staff follow our Infection Control Policy to ensure the care we deliver and the equipment we use is safe.
We take additional measures to ensure we maintain the highest standards:
- Encourage staff and patients to raise any issues or report any incidents relating to cleanliness and infection control. We can discuss these and identify improvements we can make to avoid any future problems.
- Carry out an annual infection control audit to make sure our infection control procedures are working.
- Provide annual staff updates and training on cleanliness and infection control
- Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are adequate and meet national guidance.
- Maintain the premises and equipment to a high standard within the available financial resources and ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove all infection risk.
- Use washable or disposable materials for items such as couch rolls, modesty curtains, floor coverings, towels etc., and ensure that these are laundered, cleaned or changed frequently to minimise risk of infection.
- Make Alcohol Hand Rub Gel available throughout the building
We are committed to training health care professionals at SHP
Being a training practice means that we have Specialist Trainees (STs) and Foundation Doctors (F2s) working in our team. All are fully qualified doctors – the ST doctors are training to become GPs and the F2 doctors are doing more general training in the second year after qualification as doctors.
We also sometimes have medical students sitting in on consultations as part of their educational process. Your support in this is very much appreciated. We always ask your consent for this and if you prefer the student not to be present, your care will in no way be affected.
We welcome all comments on the services provided by the Practice.
We are continually looking to turn out patients’ feedback into real improvements in the services we provide. We use it to focus on the things that matter most to our patients, carers and their families.
We would like to hear from you if you have a suggestion on how we can do things better to improve our patients’ experiences. We’d also like to hear from you if you are pleased with the service you’ve received.
We’ll let the staff involved know and share the good practice across our teams.
What is non-NHS work and why is there a fee?
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: prescription charges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.
Sometimes the charge is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, providing copies of health records or producing medical reports for insurance companies, solicitors or employers.
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients but not non-NHS work. It is important to understand that many GPs are not employed by the NHS; they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc. – in the same way as any small business.
In recent years, however, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their own NHS patients are:
- accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes
- school fee and holiday insurance certificates
- reports for health clubs to certify that patients are fit to exercise
- private prescriptions for travel purposes
- Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
- life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies
- reports for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in connection with
- disability living allowance and attendance allowance
- medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering
- copies of records for solicitors
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of their patients. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-NHS work?
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees suggested by them are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates they suggest.
Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. Our GPs do non-NHS work out of NHS time at evenings or weekends so that NHS patient care does suffer.
I only need the doctor’s signature – what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s ENTIRE medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
If you are a new patient we may not have your medical records so the doctor must wait for these before completing the form.
What will I be charged?
It is recommended that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and what the fee will be. It is up to individual doctors to decide how much they will charge. The surgery has a list of fees based on these suggested fees which is available on request.
What can I do to help?
Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge. Read the information that comes with these types of forms carefully before requesting your GP to complete them.
If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.
Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight: urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this may cost more. Usually non-NHS work will take 2 weeks.