Tel: 01626 888877
Fax: 01626 888360
Barton Surgery, Barton Terrace, Dawlish, EX7 9QH
Practice Charter

Our responsibilities to you:

  • We are committed to giving you the best possible service.  This will be achieved by working together.

  • You have a right to absolute confidentiality.

  • You will be treated as a partner in the care and attention you receive.

  • You will be treated as an individual and will be given courtesy and respect at all times, irrespective of your ethnic origin, religious belief, personal attributes or the nature of your health problems.

  • Following discussion, you will receive the most appropriate care, given by suitably qualified people.  No care or treatment will be given without your informed consent.

  • You have the right to see your health records, which will be kept confidential, subject to any limitations in the law.

  • We will give you full information about the services we offer.  Every effort will be made to ensure that you receive the information, which directly affects your health and the care being offered.

  • People involved in your care will give you their names and ensure that you know how to contact them.

  • It is our job to give you treatment and advice.  In the interest of your health it is important for you to understand all the information given to you.  Please ask us questions if you are unsure of anything.

  • Patients may choose whether or not to take part in research or training.

  • We will arrange a home visit as appropriate for those patients who are too ill or infirm to be brought to the surgery.

  • We run an appointments system in this practice.  You will be given a time at which the doctor or nurse hopes to see you.  We will try to ensure that you are seen on time, but some consultations take longer than others and we have no way of knowing about this in advance.  If there is a patient with an emergency or a serious problem we will give them priority.  When there is a prolonged delay, an explanation will be given by the receptionist.

  • All new patients will be offered an appointment for a health check.

  • We will provide you with the information about how to make suggestions or complaints about the care we offer.  We want to improve services and we, therefore, welcome any comments you have.

  • Any complaints will be dealt with promptly in conjunction with our complaints policy.

  • We try to answer the phone promptly and to ensure there are sufficient staff to do this.

  • Urgent prescriptions will be available after 5.00pm on the day the request is received at the surgery and routine prescriptions within 2 working days.

  • If you have undergone tests or xrays ordered by the practice, we will inform you of the results at your next appointment.  If no further appointment needs to be arranged, we will advise you when and how to obtain the results.

  • If we consider that you need a second opinion or treatment not available in the practice, we will try and inform you of the best way of achieving this.

  • All practice staff will wear a badge so that their name is known to you.

  • All consulting rooms are labeled so that you will know the person’s name.

  • A 24 hour emergency service will be available on the usual surgery telephone number, at all times, even when the surgery itself is closed.

  • If you change your doctor we will ensure that your notes are forwarded as soon as possible.

  • Any information related to the charter and local standards will be advertised widely to all patients.

  • The practice will offer advice and information on:
    - steps that can be taken to promote good health and avoid illness
    - self-help, which can be undertaken without reference to a doctor in the case of minor ailments

  • If you are totally dissatisfied with us or the services we provide, you have the right at any time to leave our list and register with another practice.

Your responsibilities to us:

  • Help us to help you.

  • Being a partner means that we have responsibilities to each other.

  • We ask that you treat the doctors; all practice staff and their families with the same courtesy and respect.

  • We would ask you to try and follow medical advice offered and to take any medication as advised.

  • Do not ask for information about anyone other than yourself.

  • Only request an urgent appointment if appropriate.

  • Please allow sufficient time for your consultant’s letter or the results of any tests to reach us.

  • Please read our practice information pack.  This will help you to get the best out of the services we offer and will tell you about the arrangements we have made to receive your comments.

  • Please let us know if you change your name, address or telephone number.

  • We need help too.  Please ask for a night visit only when you feel it is truly necessary and home visits by the doctor only when patients are too ill to visit the surgery.  Please do not ask for a home visit unless the patient cannot be brought to the surgery.  In particular, most children can quite safely be brought to the surgery by car.  Please ensure that your request for a home visit reaches the surgery before 10.00am unless a genuine emergency arises later.

  • Outside surgery hours we provide cover for emergencies at all times, but please do not call out of hours unless it is an emergency, which cannot wait until the next day. 

  • Please do everything you can to keep appointments – tell us as soon as possible if you cannot keep an appointment so that we can offer it to another patient.

  • Please try and be punctual.  If you arrive later than your appointment time this may cause delays and inconvenience to other patients.  Please ask for more than one appointment if you want more than one patient to be seen.  If we are running late, please be patient because on another occasion it might be you that needs the extra time – please don’t blame the receptionist.

  • Please keep your telephone calls brief and avoid calling during the peak morning (08.30 am – 09.30am) for non-urgent matters.

  • Please do not ring before the stated time.  Enquiries about tests ordered by the hospital should be directed to the hospital and not the practice.

  • Please do not ask for or arrange a specialist appointment without first discussing the matter fully with your own doctor.  If you decide later that you no longer need an appointment made for you, inform both the hospital and us.

  • You are responsible for your own health and that of your children and you should take appropriate action and advice.

  • We have the right to remove patients from our list.  In general we will only exercise this right in the case of patients who repeatedly and persistently ignore their own responsibilities to us and to other patients.  We will remove from our list immediately patients who are violent or seriously abusive towards any of the practice staff.


The doctors and staff of the practice will not divulge any information about you to any third party, without your written consent to do so.  We are bound by a strict code of conduct of confidentially and any breach of this will lead to the instant dismissal of the member of staff concerned.

Access to patients’ records by doctors, nurses and clerical staff is on a ‘need to know’ basis.  Non-clinical staff have access to the full records in order to facilitate their ability to carry out their essential work.

Please be assured of a confidential service at all times from all doctors, nursing and clerical staff.

However, there are occasions when requests are received from other agencies, ie insurance companies, solicitors, etc for medical information.  This will never be released from the practice without your signed consent to do so but it is worth remembering that if you give your consent for this information to be disclosed, it is then with a third party who may not be bound by the same code of conduct as the medical profession and your confidential health information could be more easily accessible.

If you have any worries about confidentiality please feel free to speak to a member of staff.

Here to listen, not to tell: Confidentiality & under 16's:

We provide a confidential service to all our patients, including under 16s.  This means that you can tell others about your visit to the doctors’ surgery,
but we won’t.

The only reason we might have to consider passing on confidential information without your permission would be to protect you or someone else from very serious harm.  We would always try to discuss this with you first.

If you are being treated elsewhere – for example at a hospital or Brook Centre – it is best if you allow the doctor or nurse to inform the practice of any treatment you are receiving.

If you have any worries about confidentiality please feel free to ask a member of staff.

The Data Protection Act 1998 & The Freedom of Information Act 2000:

If you require further information about our compliance with these Acts or access to your medical records, then please ask your doctor or speak to the Primary Care Manager.  Our named Data Controller is Dawlish Medical Group and enquiries can be made during office hours on 0845 026 4418.

For security reasons, the practice has three CCTV cameras in operation.  Video monitoring for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner.  If you require further information please ask at Reception.

Research data collection:

The doctors and staff at this practice record information about you and your health so that you can receive the right care and treatment.  We need to record this information, together with the details of the care you receive, 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 to protect the health of the general public generally, to plan for the future, to train staff and to carry out medical and other health research for the benefit of everyone.

We are currently involved in research studies for which we provide anonymised information from patients’ notes.  You cannot be identified in any way from this information as none of your personal details are given to researchers.  Individual patients’ records are added into a much larger anonymous database, containing records from millions of patients across the UK.  This information is used by researchers outside this practice.  The database to which we contribute anonymised records is known as The Health Improvement Network (THIN).  This database is managed by a company outside the NHS which does not have access to your personal details, only to anonymous medical records.  The data are used for research into such topics as drug safety, disease patterns, prescribing patterns, health economics and public health.  Many of these studies provide useful information to medical staff on diseases, the use of drugs or outcomes of disease or treatment.

These studies may be performed by academic researchers or commercial companies amongst others.  However, no researcher has access to your full details such as your name and address, initials or your full date of birth.  The researchers are not given information on the GP nor the practice name, address or post code.

If you would like to opt out of this data collection scheme, please let your doctor know and no data from your records will be collected or used in research.  This will not affect your care in any way.

If anything to do with the research would require that you provide additional information about yourself, you will be contacted to see if you are willing to take part; you will not be identified in any published results.

Note that you have a right of access to your health records.  If at any time you would like to know more, or have any concerns about how we use your information, you can speak to Janine Payne, Primary Care Manager, telephone 0845 026 4418.

Patient Participation Group:

We encourage patients to be actively involved with the practice to improve/develop health and social care for the patients of Dawlish.  A meeting of the Patient Participation Group is held quarterly and is open to anyone who wishes to attend.  Details of the meetings are advertised within the practice and in the local press.

Chaperone policy:

The Barton Surgery is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required.  This chaperone may be a family member or friend.  On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, ie a trained member of staff.

Wherever possible, we would ask you to make this request at the time of booking your appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way.  Where this is not possible, we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of the request.  However, occasionally it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy.

If you would like to see a copy of our chaperone policy or have any questions or comments regarding this please contact the manager.


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