The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities, and obliges public authorities to publish information about their activities, and entitles members of the public to request information from public authorities

Whilst the FOI Act applies to health providers including General Practice, it does not entitle patients to access personal data held about themselves.  Such information can be accessed by making a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998.

There are two main obligations under the FOI act

1.  Produce information proactively
To comply with this obligation, you should adopt the Model Publication Scheme.  Download the template form and complete each section with the relevant information about your practice.  The information should be published on your practice website wherever possible.

2.  Respond to requests
Anyone has the right to request information.  For the request to be valid, it must be in writing.
You have a duty to
– tell the applicant whether you hold the information that they have requested
– provide the information
– respond to the request within 20 working days

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