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19 Beaumont Street practice charter


Practice Charter - Dr Kenyon & Partners
19 Beaumont Street Surgery
Revised 1.7.2015

Welcome to 19 Beaumont Street
We are very pleased that you have chosen to register with us.  The Practice consists of a large team of doctors, practice nurses, district nurses, health visitors, physiotherapists, a midwife, an addictions specialist nurse, a practice-based counsellor, the practice manager, receptionists, administrators and our practice secretary.  We want to provide the best possible care to every one of our patients and aim to achieve this by working with you in partnership.

We are committed to the founding principles of the NHS: to meet the needs of our registered patients, to be free at the point of delivery and the health care we provide to be based on clinical need, not ability to pay. These principles are applied in a real world context of finite resources and ever increasing healthcare costs. We do our best to spread our resources, both financial and human, as fairly as possible.

1. Appointment system

Urgent appointments.  We endeavour to ensure that patients who need to see a doctor urgently may do so on the same day (but not necessarily with the doctor or nurse of their choice).  Special times are set aside for urgent appointments.  Please use these urgent appointments appropriately.

Routine/non-urgent appointments will endeavour to be available within a reasonable time-frame, although you may have to wait a little longer if you want to see the doctor of your choice (subject to leave or illness). We encourage patients to develop a relationship with a particular doctor, wherever possible, as this improves continuity and quality of care.

Missed appointments: we still have a significant number of people who book an appointment but then, for whatever reason, do not turn up. While we understand that on rare occasions this is unavoidable, please help us to keep this number to an absolute minimum by letting us know as soon as possible if you are unable to make your appointment, so that someone else can take your place.

2. Waiting times

Routine appointments are of 10 minutes duration: long enough, on average, to cover only one significant problem. Occasionally we can arrange a double appointment (ie. 20 minutes), but these are limited in number, otherwise we would run out of appointments for everyone. We try to see patients within 30 minutes of their appointment, but unforeseen delays can sometimes occur because of emergencies.

3. Home visits

The practice catchment area is specified on the practice leaflet and the website. The  boundaries ensure that home visits, when necessary, can be managed as swiftly and effectively as possible and also ensure the best use of time for our busy district nurses, midwives and health visitors. You can only register with the practice if your home address is within the catchment area and if you move outside the catchment area then you will need to register with a new, local practice. We are not able to visit patients outside our catchment area.

Home visits are for those who are too ill or frail to visit the surgery. Those who are well enough to travel, but have no transport, will be asked to make their way to the practice with the help of a relative, friend or neighbour, or by taxi. This will ensure that all patients are seen by the doctor as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If a home visit is required, please give the receptionist some idea of the problem so the doctor can see the most urgent patients first.  If you are not sure whether you need a home visit, we are very happy to discuss it on the telephone.  Please try to phone before 10 am whenever possible, to allow the doctors to plan their visits in the middle part of the day.

4. Out of hours and emergency cover

If you need to contact a doctor when the Surgery is closed (including emergency contraception), telephone 111.  They will be able to guide you to local healthcare services including the on-call doctor. The on-call doctor will then ring back and discuss the problem with you. Please ensure that you give a correct telephone number and that if you are using a mobile phone that there is a good signal. Advice may be given over the phone or the doctor may suggest seeing you in the out-of-hours base, which is in the East Oxford Health Centre, on Manzil Way, off the Cowley Road. If a patient is housebound, or too ill to attend, they can be visited by a doctor or nurse at home.

If a life threatening emergency arises at any time of day or night, call an ambulance immediately by ringing 999.

5. Telephones and emails

We are happy to discuss medical issues by telephone. If you ask to speak to a doctor for advice on the telephone, the receptionist will take your number and log your call. The doctor will then phone you back when he/she is free to speak.  In an emergency you will, of course, be put through immediately. As with the out of hours service, it is very important to ensure that you have given a correct number and that your mobile phone has a good signal.

Email is an alternative method of communication. The doctors are happy to be contacted by email as long as the message is brief and the matter straightforward (for example, to discuss results or as a follow up to a previous consultation). We would ask you not to send us more complex questions by email; new problems are best dealt during a normal appointment. Please do not use email to contact us about urgent matters.

6. Prescriptions

We prescribe generically as a rule, in line with NHS policy. This means that we use the name of the drug on the prescription, rather than the brand name (for example, we prescribe diclofenac rather than ‘Voltarol’). Usually generic prescribing saves the NHS money, allowing the best value brand to be issued by the pharmacist. This does not affect the effectiveness of the drug, as all drugs must meet the same standard.

Based on the same principle - if there are two treatments of similar efficacy for a health condition, then the less expensive of the two will usually be prescribed. This allows a fairer spreading of NHS funds across the whole population and better use of tax-payers money.

Repeat Prescriptions: if you need to take a particular medicine regularly, we will usually issue you with a repeat prescription.  You will be given a slip of paper listing details of each repeat medicine. To request a repeat, you can complete a request slip in the surgery or use the online system.  Please give us two working days to process you request, in order to give the doctors enough time to ensure that your prescriptions are accurate.  If you would like your prescription posted, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. If your medication review is overdue or you request a medication you have not had for some time, we may need to contact you before issuing a prescription.

7. Results

Most blood test results are back within a week, but more complex tests, such as x-rays, can take longer. You can ring for your results and you will be advised whether they are normal and whether you need to discuss them with a doctor. You may need to make a separate appointment to discuss the results in more detail. The best time to ring for results is after 11:00am when the telephone lines are less busy.

8. Medical records

You are allowed to read your medical records, both computerised and paper-based, provided the doctor does not think that the contents will be harmful to your physical or mental well-being.  Talk to your doctor or the practice manager, about your request.  You may be asked to come into the surgery at a separate time in order to read them. Photocopies, if required, will incur a reasonable charge to cover the staff time involved.

9. Clinics

We hold regular clinics for a number of medical conditions
including diabetes, asthma and chronic lung disease, as well as well woman and child health clinics. These clinics help us manage these long-term conditions more effectively and are usually staffed by both doctors and nurses. 

10. Training

19 Beaumont Street is a training practice for GP Trainees
(known as ‘GP Registrars’) as well as Medical Students and sometimes nurses in training. You will be asked for your permission if there is to be a student present and have the right to decline this. Please let the receptionist know beforehand if you would rather see the doctor on his or her own. Occasionally you may be asked if your consultation can be recorded on video to help the doctor to improve his or her clinical skills - again, you can decline this without it affecting your care.

11. Complaints

Although we try hard to please, things don’t always turn out as we would want them to. Should this happen, we would like the opportunity to say sorry, to correct things if we can, and improve the service for the future.  If you are dissatisfied, please come and see one of the doctors, or the practice manager, so that we can have a chance to deal with your complaint properly.  Every complaint will be taken seriously. We have an official complaints procedure which helps all concerned to learn from any mistakes or misjudgements which may have been made.

Regrettably, every so often things go so badly wrong that it can damage the trust a patient has in their doctor. In these uncommon circumstances, it can be the best interests of the patient to register with a GP in another local practice.  Of course, this is very unusual indeed; we are always sorry if it does happen, as we strive to offer a high quality and caring service to everyone.

12. What you can do to help us

Please only request a home visit when it is necessary for serious illness or immobility.  Within the Practice we have full access to your medical records and more resources available to treat you.  The doctor can see 5-6 patients in the surgery during the time it takes to do one home visit.  Home visits are for the housebound and those too ill to travel to the surgery. If you find you can’t come to an appointment please let us know so it can be given to another patient.

13. Staff

Please treat our staff as you would like to be treated - with courtesy and respect.  We know patients often feel unwell or unhappy when they visit us and that this can result in expressions of anger to the staff. While we fully understand this, it can nevertheless make it more difficult for us to help you. Please do your best to keep calm and for our part we will do our very best to help you. Persistently unreasonable or disrespectful behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated, and the patient in question will be removed from the practice list.

14. Change of contact details - including address

Please provide us with any changes to your name, address, email or telephone number (including mobile as well as home numbers) so that our records are kept as up-to-date as possible.

15. Suggestions

Suggestions are always welcome - please feel free to offer any helpful suggestions to any member of staff – or use the suggestions box provided at reception.

16. Services and treatments which fall outside the remit of the NHS

Not all services and treatments are covered by the NHS. Some, such as administrative tasks, will require a payment to the practice if undertaken by us. If a patient wishes to access specialist treatment which is not within the remit of the NHS we can usually make a private referral for this.

In addition, there is a complex set of rules governing the entitlement of non UK nationals (or domiciles) to NHS treatment. This means that we have to charge certain groups of patients for consultations and services within the practice which are normally free to NHS patients.

Information about entitlement to NHS treatment can be found here.