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Freedom of Information (FOI) Act

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION POLICY

 
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 aims to promote greater openness and accountability across the public sector, including the NHS and Independent Contractors, i.e. General Practitioners.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognizes that everyone has the right to know how public services, such as NHS Wales, are organized and run, how much they cost and how you can make complaints if you need to.  You have the right to know which services are being provided, the targets that are being set, the standards of service that are expected, the results achieved and how decisions are made.
 
The Practice will continue to protect the personal data entrusted to us, by disclosing it only in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
The Practice will provide advice and assistance to requesters to facilitate their use of FoI Act.  We will publish our procedures and assist requesters to clarify their requests so that they can obtain the information that they require.
 
The Practice will work with the Local Health Board and other bodies with whom we work to ensure that we can meet our FoI Act obligations, including the disclosure of any information that they hold on our behalf.
 
The Practice will apply the exemptions provided in the FoI Act and, where qualified exemptions exist, the Practice will disclose the information unless the balance of public interest lies in withholding it.
 
The Practice will consult with third parties before disclosing information that could affect their rights and interests.  However, according to the FoI Act, the Practice must take the final decision on disclosure.
 
The Practice will charge for information requests in line with FoI Act Fees and Regulations or other applicable regulations, including the Data Protection Act 1998.
 
The Practice will record all FoI Act requests and our responses and will monitor our performance in handling requests and complaints.
 
The Practice will ensure that all staff are aware of their obligations under FoI Act and will include FoI Act education in the induction of all new staff.
 
The Practice will maintain a comprehensive ‘Publication Scheme’ that provides information which is readily accessible without the need for a formal FoI Act request.
 
General Practitioners are legally obliged to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme.  Brunswick Health Centre Publication Scheme shown below is based on the model suggested by the Welsh Assembly Government.
 
 
WELCOME TO THE PUBLICATION SCHEME FOR BRUNSWICK HEALTH CENTRE
 
This is a guide to the Publication Scheme for Brunswick Health Centre in which each of the following practice as a partnership:
Dr C Harry, Dr G Jones, Dr S Craven, Dr H Locking and Dr A Bowen. 
 
INTRODUCTION
 
This Publication Scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely made available to the public by this Practice.  It is a description of the information about each of the General Practitioners and the Practice itself 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.     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 on the website, and is also available in hard copy from the Practice Manager.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises that everyone has the right to know how public services, such as NHS Wales, are organized and run, how much they cost and how you can make complaints if you need to.  You have the right to know which services are being provided, the targets that are being set, the standards of service that are expected, the results achieved and how decisions are made.
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 the Practice Manager to do this.
 
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, Brunswick Health Centre, 139/140 St Helens Road, Swansea, SA1 4DE.
 
CLASSES OF INFORMATION
 
All information at Brunswick Health Centre is held, retained and destroyed in accordance with NHS Wales’s guidelines.  Our commitment to publish information excludes any information which can be legitimately withheld under the exemptions set out in the Welsh Code of Practice on Openness in the NHS or The Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Where individual Classes are subject to exemptions, the main reasons relate to 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:
 
Class 1 – Information
 
Who we are:-        Brunswick Health Centre
                           139/140 St Helens Road
                           Swansea
                           SA1 4DE 
 
The NHS Practice provides General Medical Services for patients living within the practice boundary.  The Practice adheres to the National General Medical Service Contract.
The Health of Wales Information Service is a useful resource of information about NHS Wales.  This site can be accessed at www.wales.nhs.uk.
Alternatively you can contact the Welsh Assembly Government Public Information Service on (029) 2089 8200 (or via their website at www.wales.gov.uk/).
A full list of local General Practices in Swansea can be found on the Local Health Board website www.swansealhb.wales.nhs.uk/
A full list of the services provided will be found at class 2 below.
 
Details of key personnel are published in our Practice Leaflet (available free of charge on request), and also on our Practice Website.
Some information will be withheld including personal, confidential information about individuals that is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998.
 
Class 2 – Our Service
 
Details of all the services that we provide are published in our Practice Leaflet and on our Practice Website.
 
Class 3 – Financial and funding information
 
Brunswick Health Centre receives funding from ABMU LHB Swansea Division according to its contract (as per Class 1) in exchange for services provided for patients.
 
Class 4 – Regular publications and information for the public
 
  • Practice Leaflet
  • Practice Website
 
Class 5 – Complaints
 
This Practice follows the NHS Complaints Procedure and follows a strict protocol when dealing with all complaints.
A copy of the Practice Complaints Leaflet is available from:
Practice Manager, Brunswick Health Centre, 139/140 St Helens Road, Swansea. SA1 4DE.
 
Class 6 – Our Policies and Procedures
 
All policies can be accessed at the surgery.
 
Class 7 – This Publication Scheme
 
In this class we will publish any changes we make to the Publication Scheme, the criteria on which our information management policies are made and a referral point for all enquiries regarding information management in the General Practice. We will also publish any proposed changes or additions to publications already available and information regarding our policy in relation to charging for information.
 
Cost of Information
 

For a copy of your health record, the costs are: 

  • Health records held solely on computer: up to £10
  • Health records held in-part on computer and in-part on paper: up to £50
  • Health records held totally on paper: up to £50. 

To allow you to view your health record (where no copy is required) the costs are:

  • Records held solely on computer: up to £10.
  • Records held in-part on computer and in-part on paper: up to £10.
  • Records held on paper: up to £10 unless the records have been added to in the last 40 days, in which case viewing should be free. 

Once the data controller has all the required information, and fee where relevant, your request should be fulfilled within 21 days (in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to comply within this period you will be informed of the delay and given a timescale for when your request is likely to be met 
 
 
Useful Resources
 
Websites:
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk  This is the website of the Information Commissioner.
www.lcd.gov.uk  This is the website of the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
www.wales.nhs.uk/foi  This is the website for NHS Wales Freedom of Information.
www.foi.nhs.uk  This is the website for NHS Freedom of Information.
 
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 or contact: HMSO Licensing Division, St Clements House, 2-16 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BQ  Tel: 01603 621000.

Last updated: 03.03.2016
 
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