Freedom of Information Act

Welcome to the Publication Scheme for Castle practice, Carrickfergus Health Centre, Taylors Avenue, Carrickfergus, BT38 7HU

This is a guide to the Publication Scheme for Castle practice in which each of the following practice as a partnership:

Dr I Buchanan
Dr J McAllister
Dr P McDonald
Dr S Hamilton
Dr C Fitzpatrick
Dr S Johnston
Dr L Bolton
Dr C Cassidy
Nurse J McCune
Ms S Bailey


This publication scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely made available to the public by this practice.  It is a description of the information about each of the Partners and the practice itself which we make publicly available.  It will be reviewed at regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.

How much does it cost?

The publications are free unless otherwise indicated within each class [with £].  Where information is provided at a cost the charges will be calculated as set out in class 7.

How is the information made available?

The information within each class is available in hard copy or by request on disc from the practice manager.

Rights of Access to Information

At the present time, in addition to accessing the information identified in the Publication Scheme, you are entitled to request information about General practice under the Code of practice on Openness in the NHS.  The information is available on the Department of Health website .  Sometimes some, or all of the information cannot be provided and we will explain the reasons why when this happens.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises that everyone has the right to know how public services, such as NHS 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 standards of service that are expected, the results achieved and how decisions are made.

From 1st January 2005, the Freedom of Information Act will require all General practices to respond to requests about information they hold, and it will create a right of access to that information.  The rights to request and access this information are subject to some exemptions which a General practice have to take into consideration before deciding what information can be released.

The Environmental Information Regulations which came into force in 1993 set the standard for the release of information about the environment in which we live and work.  These are unlikely to be strengthened within the next eighteen months under a European Union Directive.  Until the new Regulations come into force, information relating to the Environment can be requested using the existing Regulations and the Code of practice on Openness.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you and you can contact the practice manager to do this.


If you have any comments about the operation of the Publication Scheme, or how we have dealt with your request for information from the Scheme, please write to


The Practice Manager, Castle Practice, Carrickfergus Health Centre, Taylors Avenue, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, BT38 7HU


All information at the Castle practice is held, retained and destroyed in accordance with NHS guidelines.  Our commitment to publish information excludes any information which can be legitimately withheld under the exemptions set out in the Code of practice on Openness in the NHS or The Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Where individual classes are subject to exemptions, the main reasons relate to the protection of commercial interest and personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998.  This applies to all classes within the Publication Scheme.

The information on this Scheme is grouped into the following broad categories:

1. Who we are

Details of the practice and Practitioners, organisational structure, key personnel and how we fit into the NHS structure

2. Our Services

The range of services we provide under contract to NHS

3. Financial and Funding information

Funding details and charging policies

4. Regular publications and information for the public

Guidance and information leaflets

5. Complaints

Policies, procedures and contacts for complaints

6. Our policies and procedures

General policies and procedures in use within the practice.  These include, but are not restricted to, data protection, prescribing and prescription, management of Violent Patients and Health and Safety.

7. The Publication Scheme

In this class we will publish any changes we make to this Publication Scheme, the criteria on which our information management policies are made and a referral point for all enquiries regarding information management in General practice.  We will also publish any proposed changes or additions to publications already available and information regarding our policy in relation to charging for information

Cost Information

For the most part, we will charge you only for hard copies.  Some information is available free, but for others there may be a charge.  The charges will vary according to how information is made available.  Charges are as follow:

(a)  Via the General practice/Local Health Board/Trust Web Site – Free of charge, although any charges for Internet Service provider and personal printing costs would have to be met by the individual. 

For those without internet access, a single print-out, would be available by post from the practice manager or by personal application at the Castle practice.

However, requests for multiple printouts, or for archived copies of documents which are no longer accessible or available may attract a charge for the retrieval, photocopy, postage etc.  We will let you know the cost and charges that will have to be paid in advance.  We will not provide printouts of other organisations websites.

(b)  Leaflets and brochures – free of charge on, for example, services we offer to the public.  A list is available from the practice manager.

(c)  “Glossy” or other bound paper copies, or in some cases a CD Rom, video or other mediums, are available for a charge as stated in our publications list(s) available from the practice manager.

(d)  E-mail will be free of charge unless it says otherwise

The charges will be reviewed regularly and be in line with other NHS organisations.

Useful Resources

Web Sites:    - This is the web site of the Information Commissioner   -  This is the web site for the Lord Chancellors Department   -  This is the web site for NHS Freedom of Information


FOI Act 2000

Code of practice under Section 45 FOI Act 2000

Code of practice under Section 46 FOI Act 2000

Statement of Fees and Allowances payable for General medical Practitioners in England and Wales


Material available through this Publication Scheme is subject to the General practice’s copyright unless otherwise indicated.  Unless expressly indicated to the contrary, it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is done so accurately in a manner which will not mislead.  Where items are re-published or copied to others, you must identify the source and acknowledge copyright status.  This permit does not extend to third party material, accessed through the scheme.  For HMSO Guidance Note see or contact HMSO Licensing Division, St Clements House, 2-16 Colegate, Norwich, NR3 1BQ; Tel: 01603 621000


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