Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.
FOI replaced the Open Government Code of Practice, which has been in operation since 1994.
Data Protection and FOI – how do the two interact?
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It provides living individuals with a right of access to personal information held about them. The right applies to all information held in computerised form and also to non-computerised information held in filing systems structured so that specific information about particular individuals can retrieved readily.
Individuals already have the right to access information about themselves (personal data), which is held on computer and in some paper files under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The right also applies to those archives that meet these criteria. However, the right is subject to exemptions, which will affect whether information is provided. Requests will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
The Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act are the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor’s Department. A few of its strategic objectives being:
- To improve people’s knowledge and understanding of their rights and responsibilities
- Seeking to encourage an increase in openness in the public sector
- Monitoring the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information
- Developing a data protection policy which properly balances personal information privacy with the need for public and private organisations to process personal information
The Data Protection Act does not give third parties rights of access to personal information for research purposes.
The FOI Act does not give individuals access to their personal information, though if a request is made, the Data Protection Act gives the individual this right. If the individual chooses to make this information public it could be used alongside non-personal information gained by the public under the terms of the FOI Act.
Our draft publication scheme:
Freedom of Information - NHS
Using the model Publication Scheme for General Practitioners
developed by the
British Medical Association and the NHS Freedom of Information
Project Board, 2003
www.foi.nhs.uk/practice?id=8880 Last revised: DRAFT
Parbold Surgery Publication Scheme
Welcome to the Dr John Caine; Dr Clare Crossan; Dr Daryl Mullen; Dr
Samantha Gullick; Dr Jack Kinsey General Practitioner Publication
Scheme. This is a guide to the General Practitioners (who practice
together) within the partnership practice Publication Scheme as
required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Part I: Introduction
This Publication Scheme is a complete guide to the information
routinely made available to the public by
Dr John Caine; Dr Clare Crossan; Dr Daryl Mullen; Dr Samantha
Gullick; Dr Jack Kinsey General Practitioners. It is a description
of the information about our General Practitioners and Practice
which we make publicly available. It will be reviewed at regular
intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.
How much does it cost?
The publications are all free unless otherwise indicated within each
Class (with £). Where information is provided at a cost the charges
will be calculated as set out in Class 7.
How is the information made available?
The information within each Class is available in hard copy from:
Tel: 0844 811 0909 Some information may be downloadable from the practice website
Your rights to information
In addition to accessing the information identified in the
Publication Scheme, you are entitled to request information about
Parbold Surgery General Practice under the NHS Openness Code 1995.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises that members of the
public have the right to know how public services are organised
and run, how much they cost and how the decisions are made.
From January 1st 2005 it will oblige the General Practice to
respond to requests about information that it holds, and is
recorded in any format and it will create a right of access to
that information. These rights are subject to some exemptions
which have to be taken into consideration before deciding what
information it can release.
New environmental information regulations may be introduced as
early as 2003. These will enable similar access to environmental
information as under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to
access your clinical records or any other personal information
held about you. For this, please contact:
Tel: 0844 811 0909
If you have any comments about the operation of the Publication
Scheme, or how we have dealt with your request for information from
the Scheme, please write to:
Tel: 0844 811 0909
Part II: Classes of Information
All information at the Parbold Surgery General Practice is held,
retained and destroyed in accordance with NHS guidelines. Our
commitment to publish information excludes any information which can
be legitimately withheld under the exemptions set out in the NHS
Openness Code or Freedom of Information Act 2000. Where individual
Classes are subject to exemptions, the main reasons are e.g. the
protection of commercial interests and personal information under
the Data Protection Act 1998. This applies to all Classes within the
Publication Scheme. The information on this Scheme is grouped into
the following broad categories:
1. Who we are
Details of the practice, organisational structures, key
personnel and how we fit into the NHS
This practice adheres to the national General Medical Services
contract. The contract is with: Central Lancashire Primary Care
Trust, Jubilee House, Lancashire Business Park, Leyland, Lancs, PR26
The practice aims to follow National Institute for Clinical
Excellence (NICE) and National Service Framework guidelines. Copies
of these can also be found on the NICE website (www.nice.org.uk) or
the Department of Health website (www.doh.gov.uk).
The NHS is a very large part of the public sector. It is possible to
find out information about our practice, the Central Lancashire
Primary Care Trust and other NHS services in your area by using
www.nhs.uk. A full list of local General Practices can be found
there too. The Parbold Surgery provides general medical services for
the geographical area of Parbold and Mawdesley.
The full names of GPs at our practice are listed in the introduction
to this publication scheme. The practice also employs:
Health Care Assistants
A full list of the services we provide is detailed in Class 2 below.
There is a national NHS Plan that explains how the NHS is changing
and sets out how all the different parts function and work together.
A copy is available on the Department of Health website
Some information will be withheld, including personal, confidential
information about individuals which is protected by the Data
Protection Act 1998.
2. Our services
The range of services we provide under contract to the NHS
This is the range of services we provide:
Child health surveillance
Disease management clinics
Health promotions clinics
(e.g. well man and well woman clinics)
Maternity medical services
Minor surgery services
For any policies relating to our services, please refer to Class 6.
See also our practice leaflet which is available free of charge
Included in our practice leaflet is information on the following:
our practice address(es)
our opening and closing times
the arrangements we have for out of hours cover
Language and translation information: We do not employ translators
Clinical interests at our practice: Medical Education
3. Financial and funding information
Funding details and charging policies
The Parbold Surgery receives money from Central Lancashire according
to its contract (as per Class 1 above) in exchange for services
provided for patients.
The total income received from the NHS before expenses in 2001/2002
was £513505 (September year end, souce Hall and Liddy certified accounts). The sum spent on drugs prescribed by the Parbold Surgery
in 2001/2002 (June year end) was £836395 (source PACT data)
Please see Part III for a link to the document titled “Statement of
Fees and Allowances payable for General Medical Practitioners in
England”. Please apply to the Department of Health for information
on costs and the formats this is available in.
There may be circumstances where material cannot be released because
it is confidential or commercial information or the appropriate
officer designated for these purposes under the Act has taken the
view that it may be prejudicial to the conduct of the Practice’s
4. Regular publications and information for the public
Guidance and information leaflets
Information leaflets relating to the clinical services and health
services that we provide for patients and the public, and our range
of regular publications are freely available at the surgeries, in
the reception areas. Alternatively, please contact:
0844 811 0909
Policies, procedures and contacts for complaints
If you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of our service, you
should first contact:
Mrs Jacqueline Tuszynski
0844 811 0909
The complaints policy for our practice can be obtained at a cost of
£ 0 from our website or in hardcopy from:
0844 811 0909
6. Our policies and procedures
General policies and procedures in use within the practice.
These include (but are not restricted to) data protection,
prescribing and prescription, zero tolerance and health and
We have policies available on the following:
complaints (£ 0)
confidentiality (£ 0)
data protection (£ 0)
health and safety (£ tbc)
removal of patients from the practice list (£ tbc)
zero tolerance to violence (£ 0)
Each of the above are available in hardcopy and some are available
on our website. If you would like a copy, please contact:
0844 811 0909
7. This publication scheme
In this class we will publish any changes we make to this
publication scheme, the criteria on which our information
management policies are made and a referral point for all
enquires regarding information management generally in the
practice. We will also publish any proposed changes or
additions to publications already available.
Cost of Information
For the most part, we will charge you only for hard copies or
copying onto media (e.g. CD-ROM). Some information is available
free, but for others there may be a charge. The charges will vary
according to how information is made available. Charges are as
a) Via the General Practice website – free of charge, although any
charges for Internet Service provider and personal printing costs
would have to be met by the individual.
For those without Internet access, a single print-out as on the
website would be available by post from Practice Manager, Parbold
Surgery, The Green, Parbold, WIGAN, Lancs, WN8 7DN or by personal
application at the Parbold Surgery General Practice.
However, requests for multiple printouts, or for archived copies of
documents which are no longer accessible or available on the web,
may attract a charge for the retrieval, photocopy, postage etc. We
will let you know the cost and charges that will have to be paid in
advance. We will not provide printouts of other organisation’s
b) Leaflets and brochures – free of charge for leaflets or booklets
on, for example, services we offer to the public. A list is
available in Class 4.
c) “Glossy” or other bound paper copies, or in some cases a CD-ROM,
video or other mediums are for charge as in our publication lists
available from Practice Manager, , The Green, Parbold, WIGAN, Lancs,
WN8 7DN, 01257 463126 , firstname.lastname@example.org
d) E-mail will be free of charge unless it says otherwise.
The charges will be reviewed regularly.
Part III: Useful Resources
Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust
Lord Chancellors Department
NHS Freedom of Information
General Medical Council
NHS Openness Code
FOI Act 2000
Code of Practice under Section 45 FOI Act 2000
Code of Practice under Section 46 FOI Act 2000
Statement of Fees and Allowances payable for General Medical
Practitioners in England
Copyright: Material available through this Publication Scheme is
subject to the General Practice’s copyright unless otherwise
indicated. Unless expressly indicated to the contrary, it may be
reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is
done so accurately in a manner which will not mislead. Where items
are re-published or copied to others, you must identify the source
and acknowledge copyright status. This permit does not extend to
third party material, accessed through the scheme. For HMSO Guidance
Notes see www.hmso.gov.uk/guides.htm.