Policies and Procedures

Accessible Information Standard

The Accessible Information Standard tells organisations how they should make sure that disabled patients receive information in formats that they can understand and receive appropriate support to help them to communicate. All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard by law. The standard requires us to make sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as: large print, braille, easy read, email etc.

Further information can be found on NHS England’s website at:

Please let the surgery know if you have any communication or information support needs.


Air Balloon Surgery welcomes all feedback about our services.  We would like to hear from you if you have been particularly pleased with the services you have received from us, or if you feel we could make some improvements. 

Please do not use this form of communications if you have an urgent need. In this case please call us on 0117 9099912

Please download a feedback form and email it to:

  • Alternatively you can hand it in or post it to Air Balloon Surgery, Kenn Road, St George, Bristol  BS5 7PD, or
  • Fax it to 0117 9086660.   


If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know.  We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints.  Our complaints system meets national criteria.

How to Complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.  If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible, ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks, because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. 

Under the national procedure you have 12 months in which to raise a complaint, from the occurrence giving rise to the complaint or from the time that you become aware of the matter. The Complaints Manager retains the discretion to investigate complaints brought later than this if there are good reasons for the delay and it is still possible to carry out the investigation.

Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager.  It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint and put it in writing.

What We Shall Do

We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will agree how your complaint will be dealt with and keep you informed if the investigation is not running to plan. When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong and explain this
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
  • Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.

Complaints About The Out of Hours Doctor Service

Out of hours services are provided by Brisdoc and complaints can be dealt with through us or directly with them. If you wish to contact them directly you can either call them on 0117 9370908 or e-mail

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality.  If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so.  A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (for example because of illness) of providing this.

Getting Help With Your Complaint

If you would find it helpful to speak to someone independent of the
Practice for support and advice in pursuing issues with us, you can contact the following free service:

SEAP (Support Empower Advocate Promote)
Tel: 0300 3435704


Complaining to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure.  We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice.  This does not affect your right to approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you feel you cannot resolve your complaint with us. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of our investigation, you have 60 days in which to ask for an Independent Review. 
You can do this by phoning or writing to:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Tel: 0345 015 4033

Your information and how it is used

We are obligated to advise you about the ways your data and medical information is being stored and used, both by Air Balloon Surgery, and by other health and social care schemes and organisations.

Data Extraction Schemes

There are various data systems which use your information in various ways. Some, such as the national HSCIC (Health and Social Care Information Centre) use anonymised information about you, and some including the national Summary Care Record and the local Connecting Care schemes hold information specific and personal to you. 

Please find out more about the national HSCIC and Summary Care Record schemes, and how to opt out of these by visiting the NHS Choices Website.

Connecting Care is a local scheme which meets the same quality and date protection standards as national schemes, and it uses your information for sharing your data with other authorised and regulated health service providers such as hospitals. For more information look contact the surgery or visit the Connecting Care website (website details should be on the form). If your data is being uploaded to Connecting Care, you will have been written to and given the opportunity to opt out.

How Air Balloon Surgery uses your information

We keep information about you, including your name and contact details, notes of consultations with you and the treatments you received, on both computer and paper records. This enables us to monitor the quality of care provided, share information as appropriate across the different organisations who may be involved in your care and treatment, and the plan and review health services. 

Information about you which is stored on any media is subject to strict security controls.  All practice staff and everyone else working for the NHS have a legal duty to keep your medical and personal information safe and confidential. All practice staff receive training and updates about how to handle your information.  We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission, except in exceptional circumstances, for example when the health or safety of you or others is at risk.

In some instances you may be receiving care jointly from NHS and other health and social care providers, information about you may be shared with them.  Any such organisations who may receive confidential information about you will also be under the same legal duty to keep your medical and personal information safe and confidential. 

You may be invited to participate in research studies.  All research must be approved by a ‘Research Ethics Committee’ before it can commence. Details about you and your health will not be passed to researchers unless you choose to take part.

In certain circumstances we may be required by law to share information with the appropriate authorities. This may be to prevent you or others coming to harm, or in child protection cases, or in the control of infectious diseases. This information is only provided after formal authority has been given by a qualified health professional.

How you can arrange to see your own records

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, should you wish to access your medical records, please contact the surgery. Please note there is usually a fee for this service. You will be asked to put your request in writing. Should your doctor decide that seeing your records might put your health at significant risk, you may only be shown part of your records or your request may be declined.

Questions or concerns

Should you have any questions or concerns about how your information is handled, please contact the surgery. Alternatively, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service for your area:

  • Bristol: 0117 9003433
  • South Gloucestershire: 0800 0730907

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities, and members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

Air Balloon Surgery complies with the requirement under The Freedom of Information Act 2000  to adopt and maintain a scheme which makes information they hold available on request. For more information please contact the surgery.