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Freedom of Information Act

Welcome to the VSM Pharmacy “pharmacists” publication scheme. This is the publication scheme for the registered pharmacist(s) (who practice together at) within the practice at VSM Pharmacy Camberley; it is about the NHS services, which the Pharmacists provide, 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. It is a description of the information about our pharmacists and pharmacy, which we make publicly available. It will be reviewed as regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.

How much does it cost?
The publications are all free unless otherwise indicated.

How is the information made available?
The information within each class is either downloadable from the pharmacy website or available in hard copy from The Pharmacy.

Your rights to information
In addition to accessing the information identified in the Publication Scheme, you are entitled to request information about VSM Pharmacy under the Code of Practice on Openness in the NHS issued by the Welsh Office in 1995.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises everyone has the right to know how public services are organised and run, how much they cost and how the decisions are made.

From January 1st 2005 it will require all pharmacies to respond to requests about information that it holds about NHS Pharmaceutical Services and it will create a right of access to that information. These rights are subject to some exemptions, which have to be taken into consideration before deciding what information it can release.

New environmental information regulations will be introduced in 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 medication records or any other personal information held about you and you can contact The Pharmacy to do this.

Classes of information
All information at the VSM Pharmacy 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 are primarily the protection of commercial interests 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 pharmacy, organisational structures, key personnel and how we fit into the NHS structure

The LHB has made arrangements with the VSM Pharmacy for the provision of pharmaceutical services under section 41 of the National Health Act 1977. The Pharmacy is contracted to provide a range of NHS services. (A full list of these appears in Class 2.)

Key Personnel:
Vijay Mithani, Proprietor Pharmacist.

The Pharmacy Superintendent/owner is Vijay Mithani. The pharmacy may also employ locum pharmacists.

Some information may be withheld, including personal, confidential information about individuals that is protected by the Data Protection Act.

Local Pharmaceutical Services Scheme:
Under the Health and Social Care Act, which amends the NHS Act, a Local Health Board (LHB) has made arrangements for the establishment of Local Pharmaceutical Services Scheme. Regulations are in place. The VSM Pharmacy or the registered pharmacists are/will be providing Local Pharmaceutical Services under a Local Pharmaceutical Services Scheme established by the Local Health Board.

2. Our services:
The range of services we provide under contract and free of charge to NHS.

The range of services that we provide under contract includes:
Funded:

  • dispensing of human medicines and Drug Tariff listed appliances
  • patient medication records
  • disposal of unwanted medicines
  • repeat dispensing schemes
  • services under Patient Group Direction

We also provide the following services without NHS remuneration:
Non-funded:

  • advice from the pharmacist
  • prescription ordering and collection service
  • emergency supplies
  • smoking cessation support
  • dispensing of private and veterinary prescriptions
  • provision of emergency hormonal contraception
  • Service to Care Homes

It is a requirement of the practice allowance that we receive from the LHB that we have a practice leaflet available detailing all our services. This is available from VSM Pharmacy.

Our inclusion on the List of the LHB is subject to Terms of Service. The Terms of Service for Chemists can be obtained from LHB.

The pharmacy keeps computerised patient medication records and is registered under the Data Protection Act.

The address of the pharmacy premises from which the VSM Pharmacy has undertaken to provide NHS services is:

124 Frimley Road, Camberley. Surrey GU15 2QN

Our opening hours are available on request from The Pharmacy.

3. Financial and funding information

Funding details and charging policies
The prescription charge is in accordance with DoH guidelines and may change every year from 1st April. Some patients can get free prescriptions under certain circumstances – please ask for leaflet HC11 (www.dh.gov.uk). Anyone who has to pay and gets more than 5 prescription items in 4 months, or 14 in 12 months, could save money with a pre-payment certificate (PPC). You can call 0845 850 0030 to buy one over the phone or to get more details. You can also apply by post – please ask for application form FP95 (or see www.ppa.org.uk)

Current charge for a 4-month or a 12-month prepayment certificate can be obtained from the Pharmacy or you can call 0845 850 0030. These charges are set by DoH.

The prescription charge is a tax paid directly to the NHS. It is not received by the pharmacist and does not form part of any remuneration to the pharmacy for NHS pharmaceutical services. Pharmacy receives a small dispensing fee per item. Further information on the cost of drugs, appliances and current fee structure can be found in the Drug Tariff, available from the Stationery Office. The Prescription Pricing Authority (www.ppa.nhs.uk) produces the Drug Tariff monthly.

Some information in this class may not be released because it is confidential or commercial information or the appropriate officer designated for these purposes under the Act has taken the view that it may be prejudicial to the conduct of the pharmacy’s affairs.

4. Information about Policies, Prescribing and Prescriptions
Protocols in relation to prescribing protocols and standard operating procedures relating to the dispensing of prescriptions and data protection

We have protocols and standard operating procedures relating to dispensing of prescriptions. We are registered under the data Protection Act principles.

5. Regular publications and information for the public
Guidance and Information Leaflets

There is a range of leaflets and books distributed by VSM Pharmacy. As part of the practice allowance we receive from LHB we display a range of leaflets. These are published from a variety of sources mostly from non-public funds. We occasionally receive information from the LHB that needs to be passed on to the public and/or named patients(s).

6. Complaints
Policies, procedures and contacts for complaints

The complaints policy about NHS services provided by the VSM Pharmacy is compliant with the NHS policy for complaints. If you wish to make a complaint, contact The Pharmacy. The complaints policy is in line with the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations and the NHS Complaints Policy. If you cannot resolve the problem or if you prefer not to raise the complaint with the pharmacy directly you may contact LHB.7. 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 the pharmacy. We will also publish any proposed changes or additions to publications already available.

Cost of information
For the most part, we will charge you only for hard copies or copying onto media (eg CD-ROM). Some information is available free, but for others there may be a charge. The charges will vary according to how information is available. Charges are as follows:

(a) Via the pharmacy’s website 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 printout as on the website would be available free by personal application at the pharmacy. However, requests for multiple printouts or for archived copies of documents, which are no longer accessible or available on the web, may attract a change 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


(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 publication lists available from The Pharmacy.

(d) E-mail will be free of charge unless it says otherwise.The charges will be reviewed regularly and will be in line with other NHS organisations.

USEFUL RESOURCES

Web sites:

www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk
This is the Information Commissioner’s website.
www.dca.gov.uk
This is the Lord Chancellor’s Department website.
www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/foi
This is the NHS Freedom of Information website.Publications

Copyright

Material available through this publication scheme is subject to the pharmacy’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 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. For HMSO Guidance Notes see www.opsi.gov.uk or contact HMSO Licensing Division, St Clements House, 2-16 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BQ.