Castleton Dental Practice

Accessible information policy

This practice policy implements the requirements of NHS England’s ‘Accessible Information Standard’ to ensure that patients and their carers obtain information in a way that they can understand and receive communication support (for example, interpreters, signers) when they have identified this as necessary.

We recognise that patients with a disability and their carers might feel disadvantaged when contacting the practice for information and will endeavour to help them obtain information easily and in a way that they can understand by:

  • Asking patients and carers to describe any communication or information needs they might have and how we might meet these needs
  • Recording any identified needs in the patient’s record
  • Highlighting those needs in the patient’s records, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how those needs should be met
  • Sharing information on communication needs (with the patient’s permission) when making a referral to other healthcare providers
  • Providing patients and carers with the information they need in the most appropriate format – for example, large print, braille, audio-format or electronically. And making it easy for patients to contact the practice using their preferred method – for example, by offering email, text messaging, telephone and text relay.

Appointment times for patients with information or communication needs may need to be longer. All team members should check this when a patient presents at reception or makes contact with the practice to make an appointment.

Ask patients and carers

All patients must be asked if they have any communication or information needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss and how these needs might be best met.

  • New patients should be asked at their first appointment
  • Existing patients should be asked when they next contact the practice.

The receptionist will ask each patient on arrival at the practice and will note the patient’s response in their clinical records and bring it to the attention of the treating dentist. The dentist will assess the information or communication needs identified by the patient.

Recording communication needs

Patients communication needs are recorded by the receptionist and stored in the patient’s electronic clinical notes on an electronic pop up note. Electronic pop ups are date and time stamped and the initials of who wrote the note are also recorded. This is set so that it can be viewed by the clinical staff and the reception staff. Our software automatically saves this information into the patients note section of the electronic clinical notes.

Our practice system for highlighting patients’ communication needs consistently

Electronic pop up notes are set to be triggered every time the patient’s electronic record file is opened. The note is also put into the section “Notes” about this patient so that it cannot be missed.

Methods that we use to contact individuals with communication needs

Patients with communication needs are contacted by telephone, SMS text with ability to reply, post and email, contact form and live chat option on the website. Each patients file has a preference tick box which we record patients preferred contact options.

How can patients and carers contact the practice

Patients with communication needs can contact the practice by telephone, SMS text with ability for reception to reply, post, email and contact form on the website.

Available formats

  • Information about the practice is available in the following formats: Standard format print

Practice contacts

The following team members have skills that can be useful when patients with information or communication needs attend the practice:

Include the names of team members and the skills that they possess

Peter Johnston                        Dentist                         GDC 67704

Matt Golightly                           Dentist                         GDC 69698

Andrea Jay                              Hygienist                      GDC 4125

Katy Gandhi                             Hygienist                      GDC 6541

Diane Etherington                    Hygienist                      GDC 6350

Francesca Stoneman               Nurse                           GDC 145491

Lucy Archibald                         Nurse                           GDC 247959

Nicola Garwood                       Nurse                           GDC 152002

Tanya Teixeira                         Nurse                           GDC 262073

Laura Musgrove                       Marketing                     N/A

Elizabeth Grant                        Receptionist                 N/A

Jo Hounsham                          Admin                          N/A


Access to information held by Castleton Dental Practice

We may be asked to disclose information, documents or records held by the practice. Requests for personal information are made under data protection legislation and under freedom of information legislation for information about the services provided by the practice.

Requests for personal information or for information about the practice that is not included in the practice information leaflet should be passed to Peter Johnston or Practice administrator.

This policy describes who can request information and how and the practice procedures for managing these requests.

Requests for personal information

Personal information is any information that allows an individual to be identified. This includes information where the individual is not named but a cross-reference to other information held by the practice would allow identification.

Data protection legislation allows individuals to request access to their personal information. Those eligible to request access include:

  • A person aged 16 years or older (for practices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • The parents or guardians of a child under the age of 16 years and in connection with the health and welfare needs of the child
  • A child under the age of 16 years who has the capacity to understand the information held by the practice. Children aged 11 years and under are deemed too young
  • A third party, such as a solicitor, who has the written consent of individual concerned – checks should be undertaken to ensure that the consent is genuine – for example, by checking the patient’s signature or contacting the patient directly to confirm that they have given consent for the information to be disclosed.

If a request concerns information about a deceased person, those eligible to request access include:

  • The administrator or executor of the deceased person’s estate
  • A person who has a legal claim arising from the person’s death – the next of kin, for example. The person should explain why the information requested is relevant to their claim.

If the information requested includes information about third parties, it can be disclosed if the third party gives consent or is a health professional involved in the care of the patient.

The request

The request must be made in writing and describe the type of information required with dates, if possible, and include sufficient information to ensure correct identification (name, address, date of birth, for example).  You must check that the person asking for information has the right to do so and, if necessary, ask for proof of identity.

We will provide the requested information within one month of receiving the request or confirming the individual’s identity.

The information

We will usually provide the information requested in electronic form using secure means, unless the individual asks for the information in paper format or otherwise agreed. The individual may also come to the practice to view the original version under supervision and on practice premises.

We will provide the information in a way that can be understood by the individual making the requests and may need to provide an explanation to accompany dental clinical notes.

Unfounded or excessive requests

Where requests are manifestly unfounded or excessive (particularly if they are repetitive), we can:

  • Charge a reasonable fee taking into account the administrative costs of providing the information; or
  • Refuse to respond.

If we refuse to respond to a request, we will explain the reasons and informing the individual of their right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office and to a judicial remedy.

Requests for information about the practice

Freedom of information legislation allows anyone to ask for information about the provision of NHS services. The available information is described fully in the practice guide to information available under FOIA (Freedom of information act) and the model publication scheme. If the requested information is part of a larger document, we will disclose only the relevant part.

A freedom of information request cannot include clinical records or financial records.

The request

The request must be made in writing and should describe the information that they want and with dates, if possible. The individual making the request does not have to give a reason.

We will provide Information within 20 working days of receiving the request or confirmation of identity or, if applicable, from the receipt of the fee.

[England, Wales and Northern Ireland only: it may be possible to extend this timescale if we need more information about the request or are taking legal advice on whether an exemption applies. We must inform the person making the request if we need to extend the 20-working-day deadline.]

The information

Most of the information covered by a freedom of information request is available in the practice information leaflet or on the practice website. Requests for other information should be referred to Peter Johnston or Practice administrator. If we do not hold the information requested, we will inform the individual within the 20-working-day time limit.

We will provide information in a way that is convenient for the person who requested it, which may be in writing, by allowing the applicant to read it on the premises, or, if the information is held electronically, in a useable electronic format.

We are not required to respond to

  • Vexatious requests for information, for example, requests that are designed to cause inconvenience, harassment or expense.
  • Repeated requests for the same or similar information (unless the information changes regularly, for example performance or activity information)

In either situation, you should seek advice from Peter Johnston or Practice administrator.

Date: November 2018

Review date: November 2019