Equality and Diversity Policy

We operate an Equality and Diversity Policy as follows:

The term ‘visitor’ used below refers to anyone (including patients and their family members, other visitors and contractors) making use of the Practice’s premises and services.

The Practice:

  • will ensure that all visitors are treated with dignity and respect
  • will promote equality of opportunity between men and women 
  •  will not tolerate any discrimination against, or harassment of, any visitor for reason of age, sex, marital status, pregnancy, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief
  • will provide the same treatment and services (including the ability to register with the Practice) to any visitor irrespective of age, sex, marital status, pregnancy, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief


This Policy applies to the general public, including all patients and their families, visitors and contractors.


Discrimination by the Practice against you.
If you feel discriminated against:

  • You should bring the matter to the attention of the Practice Manager.
  • The Practice Manager will investigate the matter thoroughly and confidentially within 5 working days.
  • The Practice Manager will establish the facts, and decide whether discrimination has taken place and advise you of the outcome of the investigation within 10 working days. 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you should raise a formal complaint through the Practice’s Complaints Procedure

Discrimination against the Practice’s staff
The Practice will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment of our staff by any visitor. Any visitor, who expresses any form of discrimination against, or harassment of, any member of our staff, will be required to leave the Practice’s premises forthwith. If the visitor is a patient, he/she may be removed from the Practice’s list if any such behaviour occurs on more than one occasion. 

What is PALS?

PALS is an accessible and confidential service for patients, relatives and carers. PALS acts independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and, where appropriate, relevant organisations to negotiate immediate or prompt solutions. If necessary we can refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies.

PALS aims to:

  • offer advice and support to patients
  • provide information on NHS services
  • listen and respond to queries
  • help sort out problems on your behalf

Who do I contact?

PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
South Tyneside NHS foundation trust

Freephone 0800 7312 326

Our Responsibilities

Your Responsibilities

People involved in your care will give you their names and ensure that you know how to contact them. The surgery should be well signposted and the Doctors’ or Nurses’ names should be on their surgery rooms or name badges.
Please let us know if you change your name, address or telephone number. If you have an appointment with a hospital or waiting for an appointment please inform them of any changes.
Waiting time
We run an appointment system in this practice. You will be given a time at which the doctor or nurse hopes to be able to see you. You should not wait more than thirty minutes in the waiting room without receiving an explanation for the delay.
Please try to keep appointments, and tell us as soon as possible if you cannot. Otherwise, other patients may have to wait longer. Try not to save up a lot of different complaints for a single appointment. Please do not call doctors out of surgery except for a real emergency.
You will have access to a doctor rapidly in case of emergency, and within one working day in cases of urgency. We will arrange a home visit as appropriate for those who are too ill or infirm to be brought to the surgery.
We need help too. Please ask for home visits by the doctor only when the person is too ill to visit the surgery.
We will try to answer the phone promptly and to ensure that there are sufficient staff available to do this. You should be able to speak to a doctor by telephone.
Please keep your phone call brief and avoid calling during the peak morning time for non-urgent matters.
Test results
If you have undergone tests or X-rays ordered by the practice, we will inform you of the results at your next appointment. If no further appointment needs to be arranged, we will advise you when and how to obtain the results.
Test results take time to reach us, so please do not ring before you have been asked to do so. Enquiries about tests ordered by the hospital should be directed to the hospital, not the practice.
Patients will be treated as individuals and partners in their health care irrespective of their ethnic origin or religious and cultural beliefs. (Please see details of our Equality and Diversity We ask that you treat the doctors, and practice staff with the same courtesy Policy)
We ask that you treat the doctors, and practice staff with the same courtesy and respect
We will give you full information about the services we offer. Every effort will be made to ensure that you receive the information that directly affects your health and the care being offered.
Please read this practice leaflet. It will help you to get the best out of the services we offer. It is important you understand the information given to you. Please ask us questions if you are unsure of anything.
Health Promotion
The practice will offer patients advice and information on: Steps they can take to promote good health and avoid illness; Self-help which can be undertaken without reference to a doctor in the case of minor ailments.
Remember, you are responsible for your own health and the health of your children. We will give you our professional help and advice. Please act upon it.
Health Records
You have the right to see your health records, subject to any limitations in the law. They will be kept confidential at all times. The Surgery is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Please write the Practice Manager if you wish to see your health records.
We will provide you with information about how to make suggestions or complaints about the care that we offer. We want to improve services, so we welcome any comments you have.
Please read our practice leaflet, which will tell you about the arrangements we have made to receive your suggestions, complaints or even compliments!
Violence & Aggression
This practice supports the Government’s NHS zero tolerance zone campaign. Violent patients will be reported to the police and struck off the GP’s list.
Violence and abuse is a growing concern. GPs and their staff have the right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused either physically or verbally. We ask that you treat your GP and practice staff properly-without violence or abuse. www.nhs.uk/zerotolerance



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