HARTSHILL MEDICAL CENTRE
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION POLICY
The following policy sets out the approach to the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by this practice.
- The practice will comply with the FoI Act and sees it as an opportunity to enhance public trust and confidence in the practice.
- The practice will maintain a comprehensive “Publication Scheme” that provides information which is readily accessible without the need for a formal FoI Request.
- The practice will seek to satisfy all FoI requests promptly and within 20 working days. However, if necessary we will extend this timescale to give full consideration to a Public Interest test. If we do not expect to meet the deadline, we will inform the requester as soon as possible of the reasons for the delay and when we expect to have made a decision.
- The practice will continue to protect the personal date 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 the 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 NHS Stoke-on-Trent and other bodies with whom we work to ensure that we can meet our FoI 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 the FoI Act Fees 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