How to use us: Working with Patients
Partnership with Patients

We hope to form a good and effective partnership with all our patients. We will do our bit and hope you will do yours!
We value feedback and encourage you to make any suggestions to improve our service. We encourage you to join the activities of the Patient Group and to answer our regular surveys as well as the 'Friends & Family Test' on the surgery Patient Kiosk or online from our home page.
If things go wrong, please let us know as soon as possible, informally at first is often best or if you prefer you may raise an official complaint.

Our Values
These are our core values and they underpin our vision, strategies, policies and procedures.
- Fairness
- Compassion
- Respect and equality
- Excellence
- Partnership

Our Commitment to You
• Everything we find out about and know about you is governed by rules of the strictest confidentiality. Without your written informed consent, we cannot divulge attributable information about you to anyone. (This rule even applies to those under 16 where applicable: The Doctor or Nurse must consider them to be "Gillick Competent" - ie they are sufficiently mature and intelligent to understand the what is being said and done to them. We would encourage them to involve their parents but will abide by their wishes and will see them on their own or with a friend or guardian). The rules of confidentiality apply to anybody working or studying at Willow Tree.
• We shall not discriminate against anybody by race, age, creed, gender, lifestyle, disability, language or belief.
• We shall treat you according to your clinical need with the best treatment currently available according to currently accepted best evidence and expert guidance. We continually review our clinical protocols in the light of new evidence and monitor and audit all aspects of our care.
• We will deal with your problems as quickly as we are able and will prioritise where necessary.
• We will ensure you are promptly referred to another practitioner whenever necessary.
• We shall involve you at all stages in your medical care and respect your wishes at all times. You may not wish to consent to treatments we suggest – that is your right and it will not prejudice your care here. We shall inform you of side effects of any treatment and will provide written information about your condition where possible.
• We will keep you informed about delays to your appointment.
• We shall monitor and maintain as good and easy access to our services as possible.

Your Commitment to Us
• To treat our staff and fellow patients with courtesy and respect and not to be rude, abusive or aggressive, no matter what cause you feel: we operate a “zero tolerance” policy backed up by the CCG and the NHS.
• To treat our building and property with care.
• To cancel unwanted appointments in good time (including those we’ve made for you at the hospital).
• To always check in at reception whenever you arrive in the building.
• To carefully look after all children in your care whilst on our premises.
• To refrain from smoking in the building, gardens and paths.
• To turn off your mobile phones in the building –they can interfere with equipment and cause distress to ill patients.
• To arrive in good time for your appointment.
• To inform us straight away of any change of telephone number or address.
• To request prescriptions and certificates in good time.
• To be patient if you are kept waiting – urgent, unplanned problems will always occur and sometimes it causes delays (especially if you are seeing the Duty Doctor): one day it might be you, so please try and bear with us.
• To tell us when things have gone wrong (and indeed right – our staff thrive on knowing they have done a good job). Tell us your suggestions for improvements.

Your Named Doctor
Under our regulations, all patients have been allocated a named GP who is responsible for your overall care at the practice and coordinating the services you need. You can, of course, still choose to see any of our doctors or nurses at any time and this will not affect your care in any way. If you don't know who your named GP is please ask next time you come in or contact the surgery to find out. If you prefer a certain doctor to be your named GP, please let us know.

In addition, for patients aged 75 and over, the named accountable GP will also work with relevant associated health and social care professionals to deliver a multi-disciplinary care package that meets the needs of the patient and ensures that these patients have access to a health check.

The NHS Constitution

The NHS Constitution details what staff, patients and the public can expect from the National Health Service. It also explains what you can do to help support the NHS, help it work effectively, and help ensure that its resources are used responsibly.

The Regulation of Doctors
The General Medical Council licenses and regulates the professional practice of doctors. It provides guidance for doctors and it acts on behalf of patients protecting them against unprofessional behaviour by doctors. Doctors's licences to practice require regular revalidation during which they need to show participation in continued professional development.

Information about the role of the GMC and the duties and responsibilities of Doctors is available here

GP Net earnings
GPs are self employed contractors of services to the NHS. Our practices are businesses but set within a framework of extreme complexity and are not free to operate as independent businesses; a rather peculiar situation but one which has benefitted the NHS, patients and GPs alike, but with certain downsides too.

GP earnings are extremely complex, made up from a price per registered patient (basically around £88 per patient per year - not a lot for comprehensive medical care!) with complex 'weightings' for different areas, different ages of patient with additional payments for reaching certain national or local targets, participating in certain health promotion schemes such as smoking cessation and fees for some individual items of service such as vaccinations. We have our premises rental and some other associated costs reimbursed but have to pay all our staff costs including NI and employer's pension contributions and of course the considerable expense of equipping and running the surgery (£100,000 of partners' money for the new surgery). Accounting for all the money from the many different sources is tricky and very time consuming - nothing is at all straightforward. And determining what a GP earns is also very difficult as there are so many factors to take account of - you may have seen figures bandied around in the press but often these are net, before practice expenses are taken out and may well also include private services earned outside the NHS.

Our regulations now require all GP practices to publish the following statement:

“NHS England require that the net earnings of Doctors engaged in the Practice is publicised, and the required disclosure is shown below. However it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time Doctors spend working in the Practice, and should not be used to form any judgment about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other Practice. All GP Practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each Practice. The average pay for GPs working in Willow Tree Medical Doctors in the last financial year (2017/18) was £73,769 before tax and national insurance. This is for two full-times GPs and 8 part-time GPs who worked in the Practice for more than 6 months”.