The Freedom of Information Act 2000 aims to produce a culture of openness in public bodies, by providing members of the public with the right to access information held. The main purpose behind this is to show how public money is being used.
GP practices, although not government owned, are considered to be “public bodies” for the purposes of this Act. Therefore members of the public (not necessarily patients) can request information from them. This right came into force in 2005. GP practices are required to make information available via a “publication scheme”. This may be held in paper form or by electronic means. It will include information commonly requested and is available on request.