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Practice Policies

Confidentiality & Medical Records

Locked blue folderThe practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:

  • To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
  • To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
  • When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.

If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.

Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.

Freedom of Information

Information about the General Practitioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.

Access to Records

Subject Access request form

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Requests can be made online using the Subject Access Request form attached.

No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Comments & ComplaintsCustomer service form

We would welcome any comments/suggestions about the services provided at Horncastle Medical Group. If you have any comments/suggestions please either send them for the attention of: 
The Practice Manager at:
or to Horncastle Medical Group, The Old Vicarage, Spilsby Road, Horncastle, Lincs.LN9 6AL.

Practice Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you receive from the Practice, please let us know. We operate a Practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints and our complaints system meets those standards set out in the national criteria (Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009).

How to Complain

We hope that we will be able to resolve any problems or complaints you may have quickly and efficiently, often at the time that they arise and with the person(s) concerned. If your problem can not be resolved in this manner and you wish to make a formal complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible.

Complaints can be made verbally, in writing or electronically. You can make complaints to NHS England rather than the Practice if you wish. The required timescale for this is within 12 months of an incident or becoming aware of an issue. However, the 12 month limit does not apply if the responsible body is satisfied that:

  • There were good reasons for not making the complaint within the time limit
  • Despite the delay, it is still possible to investigate matters effectively and fairly

Complaints should be addressed to Mrs Hazel Fuller , Practice Manager or any of the Partners. Alternatively you may ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager in order to discuss your concerns. At this appointment the Practice complaints procedure will be fully explained to you and your concerns will be dealt with promptly.

Acknowledgement of a complaint will be made within 3 working days either verbally or in writing.

You may also go through PALS (Patient Advice and Liason Service):
Lincolnshire PALS,
Greetwell Place,
2 Limekiln Way,
Greetwell Road,
Lincoln, LN2 4US
Tel: 08456 024 384

Practice Responsibility

  • Find out exactly what happened and what went wrong
  • The Practice will include the complainant in discussion about how the complaint will be handled and provide a timescale of closure
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again

Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else

Please note that we have to observe the strict rules of medical confidentiality. If you wish to complain on behalf of someone else, we will require their permission. A consent form signed by the person concerned would be acceptable. This can be obtained from the receptionist desk (Form 2).

Complaining via NHS England 

We hope that if you have a problem you will allow the Practice to deal with the complaint in the first instance. If we are unable to resolve your complaint or if you are unhappy with the way that we have dealt with your complaint you may contact the NHS England. 

NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding English Bank Holidays)

Alternatively you may contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) who provide free advice and support to people who want to complain about the NHS. (ICAS - 0845 650 0088)

After 31/03/2013 you are entitled to also take your complaint to the Care Quality Commission. Please see contact details below:

Care Quality Commission 
Finsbury Tower
103 - 105 Bunhill Row
Telephone: 03000 616161


Violence Policy

The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.

Chaperone Policy

This practice is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment and strives to achieve good practice at all times. All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present during any consultation, examination or procedure. Clinicians at this practice will advise patients that a chaperone is necessary during any intimate examination; this is to safeguard both the clinician and you, the patient.  Where a chaperone is not available, the clinician will ask you to make an appointment and request the presence of a chaperone at the time of booking.

We only use clinical staff as chaperones as they have had the appropriate training and have knowledge of the examination or procedure you may be undergoing.

Family and friends are not permitted to act as chaperones as they do not have the knowledge required, nor do they have the necessary training.


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