Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives the public a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including General Practice surgeries. The purpose is to promote greater openness and accountability.

The Act recognises that as a member of the public, you have the right to know how public services are organised 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 standard of services that are expected and the results achieved.

Before you make a request, please check that the information you would like is not already available; we publish information on this website and other websites, including the individual practice websites, and you may well find the answer to your question is already there.

We have Publication Scheme which sets out the information we currently publish; where this information is held on a different website, we will include links to where you can find it. If you request information that is already published, we will simply refer you to that information.

Making a request

Requests must be in writing to the Practice Manager and can be either posted or emailed to the Practice:

What information must I include in my request?

The FOI Act requires certain information to be supplied before NHS England can respond to your request:

  • your real name – we do not have to respond to requests submitted under a pseudonym.
  • your address (email addresses are acceptable)
  • a description of the information you wish to obtain.
  • any preferences for the format in which you wish to receive the information e.g., electronic, or hard copy – we will endeavour to meet your preferences but cannot guarantee that we will be able to

All requests and responses will, where possible, be published as part of our Publication scheme, however these will be anonymised; your personal details will not be included in published requests and will only be used to provide you with a response to your request.

How should I word my request?

The Information Commissioner’s Office ICO website provides guidance on submitting effective requests for information. However, we recommend the following:


  • clearly identify the information you want. Be clear about date ranges or timescales. If it is not clear what you are requesting, we may need to seek further clarification.
  • be as specific as possible. If your request is too general, it may be refused on the grounds that replying would exceed the cost limit laid down in the Fees Regulations.
  • do ask questions such as “what” or “how much” as this is much more likely to result in a useful response.
  • do use straightforward, polite language.


  • use open-ended questions such as “why”. We do not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.
  • base your request on assumptions or opinions.
  • mix your request with complaints or comments.

What happens when my request is received?

We have a legal obligation to reply to your FOI request and must do so within 20 working days of receipt. We will do one of the following:

  • supply you with the information you requested.
  • inform you that we don’t hold the information and, if we are able, advise you who does.
  • inform you that your request will exceed the cost limit specified in the Fees Regulations; we may invite you to submit a narrower request.
  • inform you that we hold the information requested but refuse to provide all or part of it and explain why, citing one or more of the exemptions from the FOI Act
  • inform you that we are refusing your request on the basis it is repeated or vexatious.
  • inform you that we need more time to process your request and let you know when to expect a further response.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the way my request was handled?

You can ask the practice for an internal review of your FOI request. You should write to or email the Practice Manager:

Please make sure that you clearly state:

  • what specific aspects of the response to your request you are unhappy with
  • why you consider that this was not handled correctly; please include any evidence in support of your concerns.

Upon receiving a request for an internal review, we will acknowledge your request. We aim to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, although cases that are complicated may take longer. If we feel that in internal review is going to go over 20 working days, we will notify you.

If, after an internal review, you are still not satisfied you can then complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO). Details of how to do this are available at the ICO website.