Policies and Procedures

Accessible Information Standard

Air Balloon Surgery Accessible Information Standard - Policy and Guidance

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.

Communication Questionnaire ABS May 2018


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

Why not take our Friends and Family Test and let us know us know how we got on. Take the short survey.

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


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.

Please read our Privacy Statement. We ask for information about you only so you can receive the best possible care and treatment - please read the NHS information about your NHS Health record if you have any questions about this.

Patient records are kept electronically on our practice systems. As the data controller of patients' personal confidential data, GP practices have a duty to protect the data they hold.  

Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. We only pass information concerning you to people who have a genuine need for it.  Whenever we can we shall remove details that identify you as an individual.

Data-sharing initiatives

There are a number of data-sharing initiatives which potentially mean your GP medical records are available to other organisations. These are described in the Privacy Statement together with methods for opting-out if you do not want to share your personal data in these ways. 

National Data sharing

All patients registered with a GP will have data shared with  the national Personal Demographics Service database (PDS). This is the national electronic database of NHS patient demographic details such as name, address, date of birth and NHS Number. The PDS enables a patient to be readily identified by the NHS quickly and accurately; it does not hold any clinical or sensitive data.

You cannot opt-out of your information being held on the PDS database however in special circumstances there is a process for flagging a record as ‘sensitive’ which means that healthcare professionals will only be able to see NHS Number, name, date of birth and gender - no other demographic details will be displayed.  If you require your record flagging, or for this flag to be removed, contact us and we will liaise with the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to action this as appropriate. This can be useful, e.g. for victims of domestic violence or people in a witness protection program, however flagging your record is not an action to be undertaken lightly - your demographic information will still be held nationally and having your details unavailable locally will have an impact on your GP being able to make referrals for you to hospital consultants or to other NHS services. 

Summary Care Record (SCR)

A national system that takes information from patient's GP record and makes it available to clinicians anywhere in the country.

The core SCR record is limited to Medication and Allergies however patients who are frail or have complex health needs may wish to provide consent for additional SCR data release, which adds additional information and supporting free text onto their core Summary Care Record, including significant medical history, reason for medication and end of life care information - please discuss with your GP if you would like this consent recorded on your record.

If you have registered for Online Services with a minimum of Core record access, you will be able to check what is accessible on your core SCR record.

An information letter and opt-out form for SCR was posted to patients in August 2013. If you have not previously received the opt-out form, this can be obtained from the NHS Health Records webpage. If you do not want your data available within the SCR, you will need to complete the opt-out form and return it to the Practice to action. You can complete this form on behalf of another patient. Forms completed on behalf of children under the age of 16 will be reviewed by the GP who may wish to discuss the decision further with you and who ultimately may over-ride a parent/carer’s wishes if the decision is deemed to be not in the child's best interests.

Questions or concerns

Should you have any questions or concerns about how your information is handled, please contact the surgery. 

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.

Job Applicant Privacy Notice (GDPR)

As part of any recruitment process, Air Balloon Surgery collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants. This statement explains how Air Balloon Surgery uses personal data we collect about job applicants.

We are committed to protecting your personal information and to being transparent about what information we hold.

Our data protection policy and procedures are governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and, from 25th May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The law in this area is changing rapidly and we anticipate this statement may be revised in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s office.

Air Balloon Surgery is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) with registration number Z596861X.


Data controller: Air Balloon Surgery, Kenn Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 7PD
Data protection officer: Kate Francis, Practice Manager

What information does Air Balloon Surgery collect?

Air Balloon Surgery collects a range of information about you. This includes:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
  • information about your current level of remuneration;
  • whether or not you have declared a disability for which Air Balloon Surgery needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process; and
  • information about your entitlement to work in the UK.

Air Balloon Surgery may collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms, CVs, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment, including online tests.

Air Balloon Surgery may also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by current and former employers and information from criminal records checks. Air Balloon Surgery will seek information from third parties once a job offer to you has been made and will inform you that it is doing so.  Air Balloon Surgery may also seek information from third parties prior to a job offer being made, but not without your agreement to do so.

Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application record, in HR management systems and on other IT systems (including email).

Why does Air Balloon Surgery process personal data?

Air Balloon Surgery needs to process data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. It may also need to process your data to enter into a contract with you.

In some cases, Air Balloon Surgery needs to process data to ensure that it is complying with its legal obligations. For example, it is required to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts, and is required to carry out Disclosure and Barring Service checks appropriate to the job role for which you are applying.

Air Balloon Surgery has a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process. Processing data from job applicants allows Air Balloon Surgery to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate's suitability for employment and decide on whom to offer a job. Air Balloon Surgery may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.

Air Balloon Surgery may process special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religion or belief, to monitor recruitment statistics. It may also collect information about whether or not applicants are disabled to make reasonable adjustments for candidates who have a disability. Air Balloon Surgery processes such information to carry out its obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

For some roles, Air Balloon Surgery is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where Air Balloon Surgery seeks this information, it does so because it is necessary for it to carry out its statutory obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

Who has access to data?

Your information may be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR and management team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, line managers in the team with a vacancy and secretarial staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles, such as sending out applicant information packs to job applicants.

Air Balloon Surgery will not share your data with third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and it makes you an offer of employment. Air Balloon Surgery will then share your data with former employers to obtain references for you and the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks. 

Other than outlined above, Air Balloon Surgery does not share data with any third party, except as allowed for in other privacy notices or required by law. We do not sell your personal data to third parties under any circumstances, or permit third parties to sell on the data we have shared with them.  Air Balloon Surgery does not currently send or share your data with any agencies outside the European Economic Area. Should this change you will be notified of this change and the protections which are in place.

By submitting your personal data, you’re agreeing to this storing or processing. 

How does Air Balloon Surgery protect data?

Air Balloon Surgery takes the security of your data seriously. It has internal policies and controls in place to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our employees in the proper performance of their duties.

Our data protection policy and procedures are governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and, from 25th May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The law in this area is changing rapidly and we anticipate this statement may be revised in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s office.

For how long does Air Balloon Surgery keep data?

If your application for employment is unsuccessful, Air Balloon Surgery will hold your data on file for 6 months after the end of the relevant recruitment process. If you agree to allow Air Balloon Surgery to keep your personal data on file, Air Balloon Surgery may hold your data on file for a further 12 months for consideration for future employment opportunities. At the end of that period, or once you withdraw your consent, your data is deleted or destroyed.

If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file and retained during your employment. The periods for which your data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice.

Your rights

As a data subject, you have the following rights:

To be informed

This Privacy Notice provides the information you are entitled to receive


Please contact us if you would like confirmation that your data is being processed and access to your personal data.


There is no charge for us providing you with this data and it will usually be provided within a month of the request (unless the request is unfounded or excessive).


Please inform us of any data which you would like rectified and we will usually respond within a month of the request.


We will pass on the changes to any third parties who need to change their records and let you know this has been done.


You may exercise your right to have your personal data erased in a number of circumstances (eg if the data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was created or you withdraw your consent). Where possible we will comply with all such requests, though some details may be part of the Practices permanent records (enhanced services claims) which cannot reasonably be deleted.

Restrict processing

You can tell us that we can keep your data but must stop processing it, including preventing future mailings and communications.


If possible we will inform any third parties to whom your data has been disclosed of your requirement.

Data portability

Your data is across manual records and bespoke Excel databases. We will do our best to provide information in a portable format but it is unlikely that we can create systems to do so.

To object

If we can, we will stop processing your data if you object to processing based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest / exercise of official authority (including profiling).


We will stop processing your data if you object to processing for purposes of research and statistics.

Not to be subject to automated decision-making

including profiling

We do not use any automated decision-making.

If you would like to a exercise any of these rights please contact Kate Francis, Data Protection Officer, at .

If you believe that Air Balloon Surgery has not complied with your data protection rights, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at

What if you do not provide personal data?

You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to Air Balloon Surgery during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, Air Balloon Surgery may not be able to process your application properly or at all.