Freedom of Information
The Optometry Scotland Approved Scheme
Welcome to the Publication Scheme for Gibson Opticians as required by the Freedom of Information Act (scotland) 2002.
This Publication scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely made available to the public by Gibson Opticians and describes the General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) we provide. GOS means the sight tests carried out by optometrists for eligible groups of the population paid for by the NHS Scotland. Details of eligibility are available from the practice. This Publication Scheme will be reviewed at regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.
How much does it cost?
The publications are free unless otherwise indicated.
How is the information made available?
The information within each Class is available in hard copy form the practice. Any member of staff will be able to help, but in case of difficulty ask to speak to Michael Gibson.
If you have any queries about this scheme please contact Michael Gibson who has overall responsibility for the scheme and can be contacted at 1-3 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, AB25 INE.
Your Rights to Information
* The Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002 is designed to promote openness and accountability. The obligation is on individual optometrists covered by the Act.
* This scheme uses the model publication scheme prepared by Optometry Scotland and approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner. Optometry Scotland speaks for the optical profession as a whole in Scotland and is actively supported by all the peer group and professional organisations representing optometrists and dispensing opticians in Scotland and throughout the UK. In formulating the model publication scheme Optometry Scotland took into account the views of optometrists with detailed day to day knowledge of the workings of optical practices and about information that is not patient confidential. Their input was central to the development work.
* Section 23 (3) of the Act states that in adopting and reviewing its publication scheme the GOS provider (the authority) must have regard in the public interest in:
(a) allowing public access to information held by it and in particular to information which:
(i) relates to the provision of services by it, the cost to it of providing them or the standards attained by services so provided; or
(ii) consists of facts, or analyses, on the basis of which the decisions of importance to the public have been made by it:
(b) the publication of reasons for decisions made by it.
* From January 1st 2005 the Act will oblige optometrists to respond to requests about the NHS related information that they hold, and it will create a right of access to that information subject to certain exemptions listed in the Act.
* Environmental information regulations enable similar access to environmental information as under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. These regulations also come into effect in January 2005.
* 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 your local practice to do this.
All members of staff who have contact with the customers or patients will be made aware of their responsibilities under the Act, where members of the public can access the publication scheme and the information it may refer to.
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 Michael Gibson, 1-3 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, AB25 1NE.
Classes of Information
All NHS information at Gibson Opticians 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 Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Some 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 has been written in accordance with those exemptions. although a document may be within a class of information, parts of it may fall under an exemption and be withheld. However, information considered to be exempt from the publication scheme can still be requested from January 2005.
The information in this Scheme is grouped in the following classes:
1) Who we are
* Gibson Opticians background which can be obtained by contacting the practice directly.
* Details of all the Opticians and Optometrists employed in our practice can be obtained by contacting the practice directly.
* Alternatively, details of all opticians and optometrists registered in the UK are available from the General Optical Council Tel: 0207 580 3898.
2) Our services
Gibson Opticians provide free 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 ask for details in our practice.
Appointments for eye tests can be booked over the phone, or by dropping into the practice.
Opening times can vary so please call to confirm.
We work within the regulations as laid down by the General Optical Council, the Terms of Service for General Ophthalmic Services, and the requirements of clinical governance. Our optometrists and dispensing opticians are expected to be conversant with the peer group guidance issued by the College of Optometrists and Association of British Dispensing Opticians respectively, and to attain sufficient annual credits to comply with the voluntary scheme for Continuing Education and Training.
3) Financial and funding information
For every eye test performed on behalf of the NHS the opticians practice receives a set fee of £17.82. This contributes to, but does not fully cover expenses such as optometrist and staff salaries, equipment costs and other store overheads.
If you are not eligible for the NHS eye test, please contact your local practice for details of our current charges.
New sight test as of April 1st 2006.
4) Information on eyecare for the public
Information about optical and ocular conditions, eye tests, glasses, and contact lenses, is freely available from our practice. to request a set of leaflets by post, please write to: Mr Gibson, 1-3 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, AB25 1NE.
Additionally the information can be found on a number of web sites including www college optometrists.org.
If you have a complaint about any of our products or services, we recommend that you first discuss any problems with the manager at the practice concerned. If the matter cannot be resolved in this way or you are unsatisfied with the response you receive please contact us on 01224 633177. A full copy of our complaints policy is available on request at 1-3 Rosemount Viaduct Aberdeen AB25 1NE.
If you are still unable to resolve your complaint you have a recourse to:
The Optical Consumer Complaints Service
P.O Box 4685, London SE1 6ZB
Tel: 020 7261 1017
If you think we have failed to provide information, we again recommend that you discuss the problem with the practice concerned. If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Scottish Information Commissioner who oversees the Act and whose contact details are:
Kevin Dunion OBE, Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS
From 1st January 2005, when the general right of access comes into force. there will be a formal appeal mechanism when information is withheld. Further details on this will be available on the Scottish Information Commissioners web site at www.itspublicknowledge.info before this date.
6) Our policies and procedures
* Data protection
* Health and Safety
are available on request form 1-3 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen< AB25 1NE
7) Information management policies
In this class we will publish the criteria on which our information management policies are made and a referral point for all enquires regarding information management general in practice.
Cost of information
There will be no charge for retrieving and locating information under the scheme and, for the most part we will only charge for hard copies, or copies onto media. Charges are as follows and will be reviewed regularly.
* Single-hard copies-free of charge.
* Multiple hard copies, or archived copies will attract a charge for photocopying and postage.
Our charge for multiple archive copies is 50p per page.
* E-mail will be free of charge.
Part 3. Useful Resources
* Scottish Information Commissioner
* Uk information Commissioner
* NHS Scotland via Scottish Executive web site
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 republished 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.