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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 Daryl Mullen; Dr Samantha Gullick; Dr Jack Kinsey;

           Dr Rebekah Mason and Dr Chetan Dongre.                                                     

             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 Daryl Mullen; Dr Samantha Gullick; Dr Jack Kinsey; Dr Chetan Dongre and        Dr Rebekah Mason      

            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:

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              Lancs

              WN8 7DN

              Tel: 01257 514000 Some information may be downloadable from the practice website

            (www.parboldsurgery.co.uk)

            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:

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              Lancs

              WN8 7DN

              Tel: 01257 514000 

              Email: mailto:jackie.tuszynski@nhs.net 

            Feedback

            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:

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              Lancs

              WN8 7DN

              Tel: 01257 514000 

              Email: jackie.tuszynski@nhs.net

            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

            6TR, (http://www.centrallancashire.nhs.uk/)

            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:

              Administrative staff

              Practice manager(s)

              Practice nurse(s)

              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

            (www.doh.gov.uk/nhsplan).

            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:

              Cervical cytology

              Child health surveillance

              Contraceptive services

              Dietician

              Disease management clinics

              District nurse

              Health promotions clinics

              (e.g. well man and well woman clinics)

              Immunisations

              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

from:

            Practice Manager

            Parbold Surgery

            The Green

            Parbold

            WIGAN

            Lancs

            WN8 7DN

            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

            affairs.

                  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:

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              Lancs

              WN8 7DN

              01257 514000                  5. Complaints

                  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

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              Lancs

              WN8 7DN

              01257 514000            The complaints policy for our practice can be obtained fom our website or in hardcopy from:

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              WN8 7DN

             01257 514000                  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

                  safety.

            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:

              Practice Manager

              Parbold Surgery

              The Green

              Parbold

              WIGAN

              WN8 7DN

              01257 514000                  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

            follows:

            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

            websites.

            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 514000  or jackie.tuszynski@nhs.net            d) E-mail will be free of charge unless it says otherwise.

            The charges will be reviewed regularly.

 

            Part III: Useful Resources

            Websites:

              Our website

              www.parboldsurgery.co.uk

              Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust

              http://www.centrallancashire.nhs.uk/

              Information Commissioner

              www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

              Lord Chancellors Department

              www.lcd.gov.uk

              NHS Freedom of Information

              www.foi.nhs.uk

              General Medical Council

              www.gmc-uk.org

            Publications:

              NHS Openness Code

              www.doh.gov.uk/nhsexec/codemain.htm

              www.doh.gov.uk/nhsexec/codeannx.htm

              FOI Act 2000

              www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/20000036.htm

              Code of Practice under Section 45 FOI Act 2000

              www.lcd.gov.uk/foi/codepafunc.htm

              Code of Practice under Section 46 FOI Act 2000

              www.lcd.gov.uk/foi/codemanrec.htm

              Statement of Fees and Allowances payable for General Medical

              Practitioners in England

              www.doh.gov.uk/pricare/fees.htm

            

            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.

 

             

 

 

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