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Freedom of Information Policy


As providers of NHS services, Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd receive public funding. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is designed to promote openness and accountability amongst all organisations that receive public money.  This policy is the guide to the information routinely made available to the public about our NHS services.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 requires us to:

  • Provide information to service users about NHS Services the Company provides. 
  • Provide a guide to this information.
  • Respond appropriately to requests for information.

This document complies with the requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Model Publication Scheme for Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and fulfils the obligations on opticians practices under the Act.

All NHS information at Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd 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 NHS Openness Code or Freedom of Information Act 2000, the main reasons being the protection of commercial interests and personal information under the Data Protection Act 2018.  This scheme has been written in accordance with those exemptions.

What information can I request?

You can seek any recorded information regarding NHS services that you think Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd may hold.

If the information is your own personal data, then you should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act  (DPA) 2018, and not under the FOI Act. See below for how to make DPA requests.

How do I request information?

Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed to Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd.

For postal requests, please send to the following address:

Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd

37 Lavant Street



GU32 3EL


Email requests should be sent to 

Please write “Freedom of Information” in the subject line.

If you would have difficulty making a written request, please telephone us on 01730 264258

What information must I include in my request?

The FOI 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 e.g. electronic or hard copy. We will endeavour to meet your preferences but cannot guarantee that we will be able to.


What happens when my request is received?

NHS England has 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 will exceed the cost limit specified in the Fees Regulations 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 or vexatious.
  • Inform you that we need more time to consider the public interest test in relation to your request and let you know when to expect a further response. This should not be later than 40 working days after receipt of your request.


How much will you charge to complete my request?

At present, all the information we proactively release is available free of charge on our website. If, in the future, we make information available but do not publish it on our website we will update this publication scheme to explain how you can access it. We will also explain any charges that may be necessary.

Charges made by NHS England for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum. Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified by Parliament. Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as: photocopying, postage and packaging or the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information.


What can I do if I am unhappy with the reply I receive or the way my request was handled?

You can ask Coates & Grute Optometrists Ltd for an internal review of your FOI request. When you write to us requesting an internal review, we will acknowledge your letter and tell you how long we think the review will take. We aim to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, although cases that are more complex may take longer. Where internal reviews go over 20 working days, we will keep you informed of progress.

If, after an internal review, you are still not satisfied you can then complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO).  Details of how to do this are available at the ICO website.