Dentists must make FOI updates

NHS dentists in Scotland must update their publication scheme now to comply with freedom of information laws.

A notice has been sent out reminding practitioners in Scotland that they have to renew their current 2010 scheme by June 1.

Under FOI rules, dentists must adopt and maintain a publication scheme detailing the information they proactively make available, whether on their website or via hard copies issued on request. They must also draw up a guide listing the information published and how it can be accessed.

They should adopt the Scottish Information Commissioner’s single Model Publication Scheme 2014 which is approved until May 31, 2018.

The ICO has reassured dentists that renewal “should be fairly straightforward – especially if you have already adopted the 2010 Model Publication Scheme.”

All NHS dentists are subject to Scotland’s FOI laws obliging them to respond to freedom of information requests from the public. They must tell the public how to make FOI requests and whether information is available free of charge or for a fee.

Under FOI laws, requests for information can be made to NHS dental surgeries only in relation to the provision of NHS dental services.

The ICO is advising dentists to visit its website at www.itspublicknowledge.info/MPS for detailed guidance.