The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities.
It does this in two ways:
- public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
- members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by Scotland’s own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Your rights for information:
- The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is designed to promote openness and accountability amongst all organisations that receive public money.
- From January 1st 2005 it will oblige GP practices to respond to requests about the NHS related information that it holds, and it will create a right of access to that information. These rights are subject to some exemptions that have to be taken into consideration before releasing information.
- In addition to accessing the information identified in the publication scheme, you are entitled to request information about our NHS services under the NHS Openness Code 1995 (see the NHS foi website page).
- New environmental information regulations was introduced early 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 and you can contact any practice where your records are held to do this.
In more detail
- What is the Freedom of Information Act for?
- What are the principles behind the Act?
- Are we covered by the Act?
- When is information covered by the Act?
- Who can make an FOI request?
- What are our obligations under Act?
- What do we need to tell people about the Act?
- How does the Act affect data protection?
- How does the Act affect copyright and intellectual property?
- What other laws may we need to take into account when applying the Act?
To find out what patients in the most recent survey think of the practice go to the following link: www.gp-patient.co.uk