Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) – your right of access to Trust information
The FoIA gives the general public a right of access to official information held by public bodies. You can request information that you think RDaSH may hold. Your right of access is to recorded information, which includes printed or handwritten documents, information held on computers and in emails as well as images, video and audio recordings. The information you are requesting should be identified as clearly as possible; however, please note that we are not legally obliged to create new information if what has been requested is not recorded.
You may request any information that you think RDaSH holds but bear in mind that some or all of it may not be given to you if a legal exemption applies to releasing it. Before making a request it may help to consider the following:
- Is the information you want already available, for example, on RDaSH’s website? Click here to access information that has been released in response to previous requests
- Is the information you want your own personal data, such as your medical records or notes? If so, you should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act
- Is the Trust likely to have the information? We are happy to give advice and assistance to anyone asking for information so check with us if you are unsure
- Is the information you want suitable for general publication? The FoIA is about making information available to the general public: once we release information we have no further control over how it is shared or used so it must be appropriate for anybody to see.
To make a request for information or contact us for advice and assistance before making a request:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Information Governance Officer, Woodfield House, Tickhill Road Site, Weston Road, Doncaster DN4 8QN
- Give your real name and an email or postal address that we should reply to
- Be as specific as possible about the information you are requesting
- If you would like to receive the information by a different method to how you made the request, tell us how you would prefer to receive it
- You do not have to give us a reason why you are requesting the information but please do if you feel it will help us to identify it.
- Be offensive or threatening
- Make accusations about RDaSH or personal attacks against employees
- Attempt to re-open grievances that we have already fully addressed
- Make assumptions about how we organise our information or tell us how to search for it
- Include your request in lengthy correspondence about another matter, such as an underlying complaint
- Use your request as a way of ‘point scoring’ against us
- Make a very broad request, such as “please send me everything you hold about ….”
- Make a silly or trivial request
- Make repeated requests for the same information, unless it is information that will have changed since it was last given to you and it is justifiable to ask for it again
- Use a pseudonym: if you wish to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about the response you receive or the way that your request is handled and it is later established that you made the request using a pseudonym the ICO will invalidate your complaint.
What will happen once we receive your request?
- We will acknowledge receipt of your request
- If we have all the information we need to process your request we will advise you of the date by which you will receive a response, which will be twenty working days commencing on the next working day after we receive the request; we will also confirm if it is being handled under the FoIA or the Environmental Information Regulations
- If we don’t have everything we need to allow us to process your request we will ask for further information: once we receive everything we need we will confirm that your request is being processed and advise you of the date by which you will receive a response, which will be twenty working days commencing on the next working day after we receive sufficient information to allow us to process your request
- Your response will consist of one of more of the following:
- Copies of the information you have requested
- Notification that we don’t hold the information
- Notification that another public body, such as another NHS Trust, holds the information and how to contact them
- A request to refine your request as identifying, locating, retrieving and collating the information requested initially will exceed the Trust’s time limit for compliance
- Notification that a legal exemption has been applied to all or part of the information and, therefore, it cannot be released
What if you are unhappy with the response you have received or with the way that your request has been handled?
- You may make a complaint to us and request an internal review of the handling or the response
- We will notify you of the outcome of our review within twenty working days
- If you are dissatisfied with the outcome you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office: http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints/handling/complain