Policies at Bayside Family Medical & Musculoskeletal Practice
At our Glenelg practice we install a series of policies to ensure your safety, privacy and protection. It is important for us to have these policies in place in order to keep our patients and the team here at Bayside Family Medical & Musculoskeletal Practice informed and aware of the process at our practice. Our policies include:
Phone calls to doctors
All of our practitioners are reluctant to take calls during a consultation as their duty of care at that time is to the patient they are seeing. Our reception staff is trained to assess the urgency of any calls and will only interrupt a doctor’s consult for emergencies. In most cases they will take your name and number after assessing the nature of the call and forward that to the doctor. In our practice, the procedure for GPs and clinical staff receiving and returning telephone calls is to return phone calls at the end of the day or as soon as convenient.
Please be aware that reception staff can only provide medical information after approval from the doctor. This information is only given to the patient not to a third party. In the rare circumstances of threatening or abusive calls our reception staff will inform the caller that they are about to hang up and will do so if the problem continues.
The doctor needs to determine if advice can be given on the phone or if a face to face consultation is necessary, being mindful of clinical safety and patient confidentiality. Patients are advised if a fee will be incurred for phone advice. Reception staff do not give treatment or advice over the telephone. Results of tests are not given out, unless cleared with the Doctor.
Doctors and other practice staff make visits to regular patients of our practice where it is safe and reasonable. These visits may be to patients in their homes, residential aged care facility, residential care facility, or hospital both within and outside normal opening hours where such visits are deemed safe, and where the patients are acutely ill, immobile and elderly or have no means of transport to the practice.
All patients are made aware that home visits or a suitable care alternative, are available both within and outside normal opening hours. Regular patients who meet the eligibility criteria are offered home visits.
For regular patients whose circumstances are deemed not safe and reasonable, e.g. the patient is located too far away for a home or other visit, the practice ensures that there is an alternate system of care that these patients can access. A patient can arrange for a home visit or the doctor may request home visits if the criteria below are met.
- regular patients of this practice
- where it is safe and reasonable
- has provided a phone number
- patient has the type of problem that necessitates a home visit such as:
- acutely ill
- have no means of transport
- unable to access the practice facilities due to disability
- the home is within reasonable distance from the practice
Our doctors’ home visit schedules are recorded in the appointment record at reception and are normally conducted in the morning after 9.00am or the afternoon after 2.00pm. There may be occasions where it is unsafe or unreasonable to provide a patient requesting care at home with a home visit. There may also be regular patients who can no longer attend the practice due to disability. This may apply after hours or within opening hours. Our practice advises the following options:
- Ring 000 and ask for an Ambulance
- Flinders Medical Centre (8204 5511), or
- Ashford Hospital (8375 5222)
This advice is documented in the patient records, along with evidence of the subsequent care provided.
Our practice employs a nurse to undertake some nursing home visits.
Appointment times are precious and cancellations on short notice deny others in need of treatment the chance to fill that time slot. We understand that cancellations cannot be avoided at times but we would appreciate as much notice as possible (preferably 24 hours) so that the appointment time can be opened for others.
Non – attendance
We ask that everyone makes an effort to remember their appointment time. Failing to attend an appointment results in another patient unnecessarily having to wait longer to see a doctor. If you ring to make an appointment we ask that you make a note of the date, time and your doctor in your diary or calendar. Those who attend in person to make an appointment will be given an appointment card with the details written on it.
Obtaining a sickness certificate
Sickness certificates are supplied with the doctor’s discretion, if you require a sickness certificate please let our health professionals know during your appointment. We cannot supply sickness certificates for patients that we do not assess.