The Freedom of Information Act 2000, created new rights of public access to information held by public authorities, as defined under the Act. The Act only applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A separate Freedom of Information Act applies to Scotland.
The Act specifically defines general practice contractors providing general or personal medical services as public authorities in respect of information relating to the provision of those services; APMS practices are not designated as public authorities. The Information Commissioner, who regulates the Act, has ruled that Practices may act co-operatively within their practice structure to discharge their obligations under the Act.
The Act obliges each practice to respond to requests about the information that they hold and have recorded in any form and creates a right of access to that information.
Practices must: (i) have a publication scheme in place (ii) respond to individuals’ requests for information.
The practice publication scheme is available to download here: Publication Scheme