Freedom of Information


Before you request information from Coatham Surgery, please check to see if the information you seek is already available.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the practice to produce a Publication Scheme. A Publication Scheme is a guide to the ‘classes’ of information the practice intends to routinely make available.

Our Freedom of Information Publication Scheme is available from our Reception.  It lists all the information that our practice makes publicly available. It will be updated at regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.

How do I request information?

Your request must be in writing and can be either posted, handed in to reception or emailed to Coatham Surgery.

For postal/in person requests:

Coatham Surgery, Coatham Road, Redcar, TS10 1SR

Email requests:

Please write ‘Freedom of Information’ in the subject line and email us at tvccg.a81045@nhs.net

What information must I include in my request?

The Freedom of Information Act requires certain information to be supplied before we can respond to your request:

  • Your real name – we do not have to respond to requests submitted under a pseudonym
  • Your address (email addresses are acceptable)
  • A description of the information you wish to obtain
  • Any preferences for the format in which you wish to receive the information (we will endeavour to meet your preferences, but cannot guarantee that we will be able to)

How should I word my request?

Comprehensive guidance is available from the Information Commissioners Office.  However it would help us if you:

  • Clearly identify the information you want. Be clear about dates or timescales. If it is unclear, we may need to seek further clarification.
  • Be as specific as possible. If you request is too general, we may refuse it on the grounds that responding would exceed the cost limit laid down in the Fees Regulation. If this happens, we will ask you to re-submit a narrower, more specific request.
  • Ask questions such as “what” or “how much” as this is much more likely to result in a useful response.
  • Use straightforward, polite language

Try to avoid asking open-ended questions such as “why”. We do not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgement that is not already recorded.

Don’t base your request on assumptions or opinions.

Don’t mix your request with comments or complaints.

What happens next?

We have a legal obligation to reply to your FOI request and must do so within 20 working days of receipt. We will do one of the following:

  • Supply you with the information you requested
  • Inform you that we don’t hold the information and, if we are able, advise you who does.
  • Inform you that your request is too general and invite you to submit a narrower request.
  • Inform you that we hold the information requested, but refuse to provide all or part of it and explain why, citing one or more of the exemptions from the FOI Act.
  • Inform you that we are refusing your request on the basis it is repeated.
  • Inform you that we require more time to consider the request and when to expect a further response. This should not be later than 40 working days after receipt of your request.

What if I am unhappy with the response?

You can complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). For more information visit – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/complaints