Freedom of Information Act

What is the Act?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 aims to produce a culture of openness in public bodies, by providing members of the public with the right to access information held. The main purpose behind this is to show how public money is being used.

GP practices, although not government owned, are considered to be “public bodies” for the purposes of this Act. Therefore members of the public (not necessarily patients) can request information from them. This right came into force in 2005.

GP practices are required to make information available via a “publication scheme”. This may be held in paper form or by electronic means. It will include information commonly requested and is available on request.

The practice’s publication scheme follows the model scheme for GP practices approved by the Information Commissioner.

Fees

The information contained in the publication scheme is available at no charge.

In some circumstances, a fee may be charged for the provision of information, and the classes of information incurring a fee are listed in the publication scheme document. Please ask reception for a copy.

How Up To Date is the Information?

The practice complies with the principles of the Freedom of Information Act, and as such updates the publication scheme document on at least an annual basis, and at other intervals during the year if significant changes occur.

The publication scheme itself will contain the date of the latest update.

What Sort of Information is Available?

  • Fees and charges
  • Format of the publication scheme
  • Information held by the practice (with some exceptions)
  • How information requests are processed
  • Details of the practice, structure, and relationship to the NHS
  • Services provided
  • Financial and funding information
  • Regular publications and public information
  • Complaints policies and procedures
  • General policies and procedures

Note: Information related to individual / health / clinical records is not available under this legislation.

Please ask reception for details of access for this purpose under the Data Protection Act. A separate leaflet is available.

Suggestions

We welcome feedback from members of the public as to the information they would like to see in our publication scheme.

Please write to the practice manager with any ideas which you may have.

Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request for access under the Act has been handled, or if you wish to appeal against a refusal to release any information requested, please write in the first instance to the practice manager.

If, after receiving a reply, you remain dissatisfied you may appeal to the Information Commissioner. Details of how to do this will be supplied as part of your reply.

Making an Access Request

All requests (with the exception of a copy of the publication scheme) are to be made in writing to the following address;

The Marlow Medical Group, The Doctors’ House, Victoria Road, Marlow, Bucks SL7 1DN.

If however you would initially like to read our publication scheme this is available on request at reception.

The publication scheme contains the following policies and procedures;

  • Our NHS relationship
  • NHS income for the last financial year
  • Prescribing cost information
  • Practice Area
  • Full partners names, qualification and status
  • Key staff names, qualification and status
  • Clinics and services, and opening hours
  • Complaints procedures
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Security Policy
  • Zero Tolerance (Violent patient) policy
  • Data protection Policy
  • Health & Safety Policy

Patient Removal Policy Other information is subject to specific written application as above. A fee may be charged.