Practice Information

Complaints or Suggestions

We aim to provide a high quality service and are very interested in hearing how our systems could be improved.

You are also welcome to send us a note with any suggestions on it.

Furthermore, if you are unhappy with any aspect of our service please contact either Dr George Craig or Marie Macaskill, the practice manager, who will be happy to listen to your complaint and initiate appropriate action. Leaflets detailing our complaints procedure are available on request in the practice.

Patients’ Responsibilities and Rights

  • You should share in the responsibility for your own health.
  • You are entitled to information and practical help towards healthier living and you are entitled to expect the staff of the NHS to set a good example.
  • You are entitled to the highest standards of care possible for yourself, your family and friends and to be treated as a person, not a case.
  • You are entitled, if you want, to accurate relevant and understandable explanations of your problems and your options for treatment and if you wish, a second opinion.
  • You are entitled to be involved so far as is practical in making decisions about your own care and wherever possible given choices.
  • You are entitled to know more about the standards of the hospital, community or other health services you are using.
  • You are entitled to expect close links between different aspects of health care.
  • You are entitled to expect all NHS staff to ask themselves on each occasion “How would I want to be treated if I were that person in that situation?”.
  • You are entitled to access, with safeguards, to information held about you by the NHS; and to be sure that this information will be kept confidential.
  • You are entitled to know how long you are likely to have to wait for an out-patient appointment.
  • You are entitled to know how long you may have to wait to be seen at an outpatient clinic.
  • You are entitled to expect that any comment you may have will be taken seriously and that any complaints will be treated fairly and quickly.
  • You are entitled to readily available information about how to complain and to help and advice.
  • You are entitled to clear information about the specific services offered by each GP practice and the facilities available.
  • You are entitled to improved information about NHS services.
  • You have a responsibility to keep appointments or to contact the practice insufficient time for the appointment to be reallocated. Patients who fail to keep appointments waste valuable time that other patients could use. Patients who consistently fail to keep appointments may be removed from the practice’s list of patients.


GPs and all practice staff are bound by strict rules concerning confidentiality. No information, however trivial, will be passed on to a third party without permission, usually in writing, from the patient concerned. The strict rules mean that e.g. if the wife of a patient phones us for a test result for her husband, we can’t tell her unless her husband has given us his permission. This includes data concerning addresses, phone numbers and appointments etc. However, please see the information on data protection for how information about patients might be used.

Violence or Verbal Abuse towards Staff

Physical or verbal abuse towards any staff member will be treated very seriously and may result in the police being informed and the patient being removed from the practice list.

NHS Western Isles Health Board

North Harris Medical Practice has a contract with the Western Isles health board. Full details of all health services in the Western Isles, including all primary health services, can be obtained from them.

NHS Western Isles Health Board
37 South Beach

Tel: 01851 702997

General Data Protection Regulation

We have been advised to make patients aware of how information about them is used, and who might see it, here is a summary:

Using information about patients for care and treatment

  • Notes are made in written and computerised records in the course of providing treatment.
  • In medical emergencies, relevant information about the patient will be given to e.g. the ambulance crew
  • Relevant information about patients will be given to other health professionals as required e.g.  To hospital consultants during referral, to our social worker when discussing a home care need for a housebound patient.
  • We will use information about patients when auditing our care of patients against national standards (e.g. we might make a list of all our patients on Blood Pressure treatment and check through the notes to make sure that we are treating everyone to the highest standard possible)

Using information about patients for administration purposes

  • Processing data to claim payments. We are required to give the health board lists of patients who have received certain types of treatment in order to receive payment, for example, immunisations.
  • Administrative audit. The NHS may ask us to study the way we deal with some patient related task (e.g. how many ambulance cars we book per year) which may involve looking at the names of patients.

Using information about patients for research and teaching

  • We are obliged by law to give details to the health board of patients who have certain diseases (e.g. mumps and measles) The health board may also ask for information about patients with certain diseases that are not required by law but is helpful to them in planning health care
  • Clinical trials can take place, which would involve asking permission from patients beforehand
  • Teaching can take place in the practice, or in hospital, which can involve somebody else (e.g. a medical student) knowing information about a patient

Using information about patients for non-health purposes

  • There are exceptional circumstances in which information could be passed to the police, and information could also be disclosed under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
  • Information may be passed to a hospital chaplain, or to a minister whose church member is in the hospital.
  • In the event of e.g. a major accident, media involvement could occur. Any information would normally be given via the health board press officer and would take account of medical confidentiality rules.

Patients should be aware that they can question us at any time about the use of information about them. We have been advised by the Scottish Executive that the above-listed uses of information about patients are necessary in order to enable medical services to be provided. We are assured that safeguards are in place in order to prevent misuse of information. Patients who think that information about them may be or has been misused can complain either via the practice complaints process or to the health board.