Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

Welcome to the Publication Scheme for Skye Optometrists as required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Introduction
This Publication scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely made available to the public by Skye Optometrists. It is a description of the information about our NHS services that 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. Where information is provided at cost, the charges will be calculated as set out in Class 7.

How the information is made available?
The information within each Class is available in hard copy from:

1 Bowers Parade Harpenden Hertfordshire AL5 2SH or can be printed from this website.

Your Rights to Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is designed to promote openness and accountability amongst all organisations that receive public money.

From January 1st 2005 it will oblige opticians' and optometrists' practices to respond to requests about the NHS related information that it holds, and it will create a right of access to that information. These rights are subject to some exemptions that have to be taken into consideration before releasing information.

In addition to accessing the information identified in the publication scheme, you are entitled to request information about our NHS services under the NHS Openness Code 1995.

New environmental information regulations may be introduced as early as 2003. These will enable similar access to environmental information as under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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 any practice where your records are held to do this.

Feedback
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: Mrs S Warnes, 1 Bowers Parade, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2SH

Classes of Information
All NHS information at Skye Optometrists is held, retained and destroyed within NHS guidelines. Our commitment to publish information excludes any information that can be legitimately withheld under the exemptions set out in the NHS Openness Code or Freedom of Information Act 2000. From 2005, individual Classes are subject to exemptions, the main reasons being the protection of commercial interests and personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998. This Scheme had been written in accordance with those exemptions. The information on this Scheme is grouped into the following categories:

Who we are
We are an Independent firm of Optometrists and opticians owned by Mrs R J Barnard & Mrs S E Warnes. Our contact telephone number is 01582 712845.

Details of all the Opticians and Optometrists employed in our practice may vary from time to time and can be obtained by contacting us directly. Alternatively, details of all opticians and optometrists registered in the UK are available from the General Optical Council Tel: 020 7580 3898.

Our services
Skye Optometrists provide NHS eye tests for those who are eligible. You may also be entitled to vouchers that can be used against the purchase of glasses or contact lenses if you require them. To find out if you are eligible for assistance please contact us.

Appointments for eye tests can be booked over the phone, or by dropping into the practice.

Opening times are 9.00am to 5.30pm on Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Fridays, 9.00am to 8.00pm on Thursdays and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. Times may vary occasionally due to public holidays or for staff training etc. so please call to confirm before making a journey. Please note that consultations are by appointment only and that a charge is payable for appointments that are missed or cancelled without 48 hours' notice. Some times are reserved for private patients only and NHS services may not be available at all times and days during our opening hours.

Financial and funding information
For every eye test performed on behalf of the NHS the opticians practice receives a set fee of £21.10. This includes a contribution towards optometrists and staff salaries, equipment costs and other overheads. Due to the nature of optometrist's contract with the NHS, not all types of examinations and tests are covered by the NHS. Some additional procedures attract charges which are not met by the NHS. If this applies, this will be explained at the time of the examination and you will be given the option to accept or decline the test. A copy of our supplementary private fees and charges are displayed on the wall in our reception area.

If you are not eligible for the NHS eye test, please contact us for details of our current charges.

Regular publications and information for the public
A complete set of information about optical and ocular conditions, eye tests, glasses, and contact lenses, can be found on a number of websites including www.college-optometrists.org

Some of this information is also available in patient leaflets. These are freely available from all our practice. To request a set of leaflets by post, please write to us at the address given above.

Complaints
If you have a complaint about any of our products or services, we recommended that you first discuss any problems with the practice administrator.

If the matter cannot be resolved in this way or you are unsatisfied with the response you receive please contact Mrs Barnard & Mrs Warnes. A full copy of our complaints policy is available on request.

Our policies and procedures

Complaints
Please ask to see a copy of our complaint procedure.

Data protection
All data is held under the terms of our registration under the data protection legislation. It will not be sold or divulged to any third party unless they are acting on our behalf (such as sending contact lenses direct to you).

Health and safety
The practice has a health and safety policy and regularly conducts risk assessments as required by law.

This 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 generally in practice. We will also publish any proposed changes or additions to publications already available.

Cost of Information
For the most part, we will only charge for hard copies, or copies onto media. Charges are as follows and will be reviewed regularly. Accessed from our website – free of charge

Single hard copies – free of charge

Multiple hard copies or archived copies will attract a charge for photocopying, retrieval and postage. We will inform you of the cost of these charges that will have to be paid in advance.

E-mail will be free of charge.

Part 3. Useful Resources

Websites:

Information Commissioner www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Lord Chancellors Department www.lcd.gov.uk

NHS Freedom of Information www.foi.nhs.uk

Publications:

NHS Openness Code http://www.cfoi.org.uk/nhscoptext.html

Freedom of Information Act 2000 http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/20000036.htm

Copyright:
Material available through this publication scheme is 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 that 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 notes see www.hmso.gov.uk/guides.htm