Rights & Responsibilities


As a patient you have certain rights and you can expect Port Ellen Practice and the NHS in general to do the following:

1.    Provide services for everyone: You have a right to access to the health care you need, irrespective of your ability to pay.  When using the NHS you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, irrespective of your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion or disability.

2.    Provide safe, high quality healthcare: You have a right to be provided with care in a safe and clean setting, by professionals who have the appropriate training and skills for their job.  You also have a right to expect the best care that can be provided by the resources available.

3.    Respond to your needs: You have the right to have your own specific views and beliefs acknowledged and respected by NHS staff and also given due consideration when your care is being planned.  You have the right to ask staff to involve your family, partner or carers in decisions about your health care, if you feel this would be of benefit to you.

4.    Communicate with you: You have the right to have information about your health care explained to you in a way that you can understand and which is appropriate to your needs, e.g. in a language other than English, using an interpreter, with a family member present etc.  You also have the right to ask questions about your care and to have the risks and benefits of treatment fully explained to you.

5.    Involve you in decisions about your care: You have the right to accept or refuse any treatment, examination, test, screening or diagnostic procedure.  However in some situations NHS staff may treat you without your agreement, e.g. in an emergency.  You have the right to ask for a second opinion and to state your preferences regarding your future treatment.

6.    Give you information: You have the right to ask for information about your local health services in a suitable format.  Also to ask for the names of the NHS staff who are responsible for your care and how to contact them.  You have a right to access your health records and request copies of hospital letters, tests results etc.  You also have a right to ask how to give feedback to the NHS staff on the care you have received, including how to make a complaint.

7.    Keep your information safe: You have a right to have your health records stored securely and to have all information about you kept confidential – all NHS staff have a legal duty to do this.  You also have a right to know how the NHS uses and shares your information and to tell staff if you don’t want your information to be passed on to other staff. 

Further information can be found at www.hris.org.uk

Patients can also expect the Practice to comply with the following policies:


All Practice staff have signed a Confidentiality Policy and are bound by this at all times.  If you suspect a breach of confidentiality has taken place, please inform the Practice Managers immediately.  Any member of staff who breaches confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary proceedings which may result in dismissal.

Information Sharing

The Practice complies with Data Protection and Access to Medical Records legislation. Your identifiable information will only 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 access other services which may benefit your care, e.g. Social Services.  (Sharing information with these types of services requires your consent.
  • When we have a public duty to disclose information to others, e.g. in child protection cases.
  • Anonymised patient data will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government develop and plan services, e.g. for diabetes care.  If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in this way, please let us know.

Freedom of Information

Port Ellen Practice has a Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) 2002 Publication Scheme in place.  To access this scheme please contact the Practice Managers by phone, email or in writing. 

Access to Records

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to health Records Act, patients have the right to request access to their medical records.  We have an Access to Health Records Policy in place to facilitate this and a copy is displayed in the waiting area.  Please ask the receptionist if you require further information.


The Practice Complaints Procedure is displayed in the waiting area and copies are available from reception. We also have Complaints / Suggestions forms which can be filled in and given to the reception staff or posted in the Complaints & Suggestions box in the waiting area. If you wish to make a complaint formally in writing please address this to the Practice Managers.  You are also welcome to speak to the Practice Managers informally about any concerns.  Your complaint will normally be acknowledged within 2 working days and notification will be given of any action deemed necessary within four weeks of the complaint, giving time for investigation. 

Violence and Aggression

Along with these rights, patients accessing NHS care have certain responsibilities and are expected to behave in an appropriate manner.  Staff have a right to feel safe in their workplace and abusive or violent behavior by a patient or relative towards members of the Practice staff will not be tolerated.  This includes verbal aggression or use of inappropriate language either on the phone or in person.  If staff feel threatened in any way you will be asked to leave the premises and we will contact the police.  The Practice has the right to remove violent patients from the registration list with immediate effect.  In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and the reasons for removal will be recorded in the patient’s medical records.