The Freedom of Information Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives members of the public general right of access to all types of information held by public authorities. Full right of access commenced in January 2005 and replaced the Government's Code of Openness which had been in operation since 1994.
Under the terms of the Act the Trust has two main obligations:
- To maintain a publication scheme, outlining the information which is routinely published by the Trust
- To respond to requests for information from members of the public
Full details of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 can be found on the Government website.
The Trust wishes to be an open and welcoming organisation, providing accurate information for our service users, anyone can make a request and by law we must respond to you. Information should only be kept private if there is good reason to do so and if it is permitted by the Act.
What does this mean for the NHS and its users?
- The Act covers most recorded information held by the Trust and is designed to increase transparency within public authorities such as the NHS.
- The Trust has a statutory duty to implement the Act.
- Members of the public should be able to access and request information which is created and held by the Trust unless there is good reason to keep it private.
- It requires the Trust to be open by publishing and making information available related to our services and organisation if it is of public interest and safe to disclose.
- Patients continue to have a right to confidentiality
- There are certain types of data which are exempt from being disclosed by the Trust through the Freedom of Information Act, for example, personal data. Anyone wishing to gain access to personal data that the Trust holds about them can, of course, make a subject access request through the Data Protection Act 1998. If other information is withheld we will advise you of the reasons as to why.
- Requests for information should be responded to within 20 days of submitting your request.
- There is a system of appeal if requests are not met within the specified time or if you are unhappy with your response
- Any additional information can be requested by contacting Ann Filby, with queries to be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Most of the Trust’s published information can be found in our Publication Scheme.