Freedom Of Information - Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the practice to produce a Publication Scheme. A Publication Scheme is a guide to the ‘classes’ of information the practice intends to routinely make available. This scheme is available from reception.

Guide to Information provided by GPs under the model publication scheme

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 all public authorities are required to have and operate a publication scheme approved by the Information Commissioner. Doctors providing medical services under most contracts with the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are public authorities in respect of information relating to those services.

It is the intention of the Information Commissioner that all public authorities should adopt and operate the one model scheme that has been approved. This is a very general scheme based on the principal that all public authorities need to recognize the public interest in the transparency of the services provided for and paid for by the general public. It is a commitment to make information easily available to the public.
Note: The scheme is only for information held as a public authority and does not include any information that is not held, is held for other purposes or would be exempt from release.

The scheme requires three documents to be considered:

The model scheme itself; our guidance on adopting and operating the scheme; and, a guide provided by the public authority indicating what information will be provided, how it will be provided and whether any charge will be made for its provision.

To assist medical practitioners who are public authorities we have produced the outline of a guide for their use. They should consider expanding elements of it to provide greater explanation and additional information where this can be done. For example if there are specific plans for the provision of NHS services these could be detailed. It is not necessary to submit the guide completed by the practice for approval.

We recognize that it is unlikely that GPs are going to have registers available for public inspection and while this remains the case “None Held” can be entered in this section. Under policies and procedures we have listed the policies we would expect practices to have. Again if this is not the case, “Not held” can entered in the relevant part. Any additional policies should also be listed.

Fees should be requested only where this is done in accordance our guidance.

Information available from (Insert name of person (or practice) providing medical services under contract to the NHS) under the Freedom of Information Act model publication scheme.

Information covered by this scheme is only about the primary, general or personal medical services we provide under contract to the National Health Service.

Information to be published How the information can be obtained (eg hard copy, website) Cost

Class1 - Who we are and what we do
(Organisational information, structures, locations and contacts)

This will be current information only

Practice Leaflet & Website FOC
Doctors in the practice  Practice Leaflet & Website FOC
Contact details for the practice (named contacts where possible with telephone number and email address (if used) Practice Leaflet & Website  FOC
Opening hours Practice Leaflet & Website FOC
Other staffing details Practice Leaflet & Website FOC

Class 2 – What we spend and how we spend it
(Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contracts and financial audit)

Current and previous financial year as a minimum

Practice Leaflet & Website  FOC
Total cost to the PCT/LHB/HSSB of our contracted services. Freedom Of Information Nominal
Audit of NHS income Freedom Of Information Nominal

Class 3 – What our priorities are and how we are doing
(Strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and reviews)

Current and previous year as a minimum

Freedom Of Information Nominal
Plans for the development and provision of NHS services Freedom Of Information Nominal

Class 4 – How we make decisions
(Decision making processes and records of decisions)

Current and previous year as a minimum

Freedom of Information Nominal charge for photocopying
Records of decisions made in the practice affecting the provision of NHS services Freedom of Information Nominal

Class 5 – Our policies and procedures
(Current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities)

Current information only (mark “not held” against any policies not actually held)

Policies and procedures about the employment of staff Freedom of Information Nominal
Internal instructions to staff and policies relating to the delivery of services Freedom of Information Nominal
Equality and diversity policy Freedom of Information Nominal
Health and safety policy Freedom of Information Nominal
Complaints procedures (including those covering requests for information and operating the publication scheme) The practice operates within the laid down NHS Complaints procedure. Details can be obtained at reception or from the Practice Manager. FOC
Records management policies (records retention, destruction and archive) Freedom of Information Nominal
Data protection policies Freedom of Information Nominal
Policies and procedures for handling requests for information Freedom of Information Nominal
Patients’ charter Website & Practice Leaflet FOC
Class 6 – Lists and Registers
Currently maintained lists and registers only
Freedom of Information Nominal charge for photocopying
Any publicly available register or list (if any are held this should be publicised; in most circumstances existing access provisions will suffice) None held  

Class 7 – The services we offer

(Information about the services we offer, including leaflets, guidance and newsletters produced for the public)

Current information only

Practice Leaflet & Website FOC
The services provided under contract to the NHS Freedom of Information Nominal
Charges for any of these services Freedom of Information Nominal
Information leaflets Practice Leaflet & Website FOC
Out of hours arrangements Practice Leaflet & Website FOC
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