Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. This is done in two ways:

  • Public authorities are required to publish certain information about their activities.
  • Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.

Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs and sound or video recordings.

The Act does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act 2018 and should be requested by a Subject Access Request.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides any person with the right to:

  • Be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request.
  • If that is the case, to have that information communicated to him/her within 20 working days.

St James Medical Practice is committed to complying with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in line with the practice’s overall commitment to transparency.

Who Can Request Information?

Under the Act, any individual has the right to make a written request (including an email request) to see information held at the practice. Any applicant is entitled to be informed by the practice if the information is held by us and if this is the case, have the information disclosed to them. An individual can request information regardless of whether he/she is the subject of the information or affected by its use.

The practice will respond to all Freedom of Information requests within 20 working days. 

What cannot be requested?

Personal data relating to a patient, such as their medical record cannot be requested under the Act and should be requested via a Subject Access Request, covered by the Data Protection Act 2018.

For further information, please visit the Legislation GOV.UK and Information Commissioners Office website.