The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises the need for openness and accountability in the public sector and provides the public with a general right of access to information held by public bodies, including the NHS.
Anyone can ask for any recorded information held by us. You do not have to provide a reason for your request. We will tell you whether we hold the information you require and disclose it unless a statutory exemption applies.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 are an alternative way of requesting information from public authorities when the information being requested relates to the environment. The Regulations will be applied instead of the Freedom of Information Act if we consider this to be the case.
Before you make a request
The information you need may already be published. Before making a request please check our publication scheme.
The publication scheme contains a range of information:
- Who we are and what we do
- Our priorities and how are we doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- The services we offer
How to make a request
If the information you require is not already published on our website, you can request it by writing to us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Your request must:
- be made in writing (not applicable to requests for environmental information);
- clearly describe the information you require; and
- include your name and either a postal or email address for correspondence.
You can specify the manner and format in which you wish to receive the information (e.g. a copy, summary, table, by email or letter). We will attempt to meet your wishes.
How long does it take?
Our response should be sent to you within 20 working days of receipt of your request unless we need to contact you to clarify your request, or the public interest test needs to be considered.
Is there a charge for access to the information?
We do not normally charge for providing information. However, we may ask you to pay a fee, for example, if you request multiple hard copies or copying onto media such as a CD-ROM.
Will I get the information I have requested?
We disclose most of the information we are asked for. However, your request (or part of it) can be refused if:
If we do not hold the information you asked for but have a reason to believe that another public authority does, we will inform you how to contact that authority to ask for the information.
If your request is not clear, we will ask you to clarify it. Once we receive your clarification, we will send you a response within 20 working days.
We do not have to provide the information to you if it would cost in excess of the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit is set in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether we hold the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting it.
If we are unable to provide the information to you within the appropriate cost limit, we will inform you. We may also ask you to narrow down your request to bring it within the appropriate cost limit.
The right to access information is subject to a number of statutory exemptions, which we have to take into consideration before deciding what information can be released.
Where information cannot be released, we will inform you which exemption applies and why.
Guidance on exemptions is available on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.
If you are not happy with our decision
If you are not happy with our response or with our handling of your request, please let us know, and we will try to resolve any issues informally. If you are not satisfied with the informal resolution, you may request an internal review by:
Contact the Information Governance team
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of our response.
The review will be conducted by a person who was not involved in the handling of the original response. The reviewer will examine the decision that was made in the original response and decide if the legislation was applied correctly. You will be informed of the reviewer’s decision in writing. This may support the original decision or overturn it. Any information that we feel able to provide will accompany the reviewer’s response.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Further information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website