This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/Patients-and-Visitors/access-to-records/FOI/freedom-of-information.htm
Date: 18 September 2021
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of information Act 2000 provides everyone with the right to obtain information held by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, subject to certain exemptions. Under the Act, we are required to maintain a publication scheme listing all of the information which we routinely publish, and to respond to requests for information in a timely manner.
Environmental Information Regulations
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provides the right to obtain information which we hold about the environment.
Can I request a copy of my own health record?
If you are or have previously been a patient at this Trust, you have the right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to request a copy of your own health record.
If you'd like to make a request for information we hold about you, please read our Fair Processing Notice for further information, or see our information about how to make a Subject Access Request.
Further information on the Freedom of Information Act including guidance on how to submit a request, can be found by visiting the Information Commissioners Office website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can make a request?
Under the Freedom of Information Act, any individual can make a request to a public authority for information. An applicant is entitled to be informed in writing as to whether the information is held and to have the information communicated to them, subject to a number of exemptions.
What information can I request?
You can request any information that we might hold - including e-mails, minutes of meetings, research or reports, subject to certain exemptions. However, before making a request, you should check to make sure the information you need isn't already published on our website.
How do I make a request?
You may make a request by email to email@example.com Requests must fully describe the information you need, and must include your name and address for correspondence.
Will I always get the information I want?
Not always. In some circumstances it may be that the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure. If we decide to refuse your request, we will provide you with an explanation. We will also explain how you may appeal against our decision.
Is there a cost limit for each request?
In many cases the information will be provided free of charge.
However, we may refuse a request if we estimate that it will cost us in excess of the “appropriate limit” to fulfil. The Freedom of Information Act defines this limit for NHS organisations as 18 hours, or £450.
Provided your request does not exceed that limit, the only charges we may pass to you are those we incur for the physical provision of information - such as photocopying, and postage and packaging. These are known as 'disbursements'. If we decide to charge you for disbursements, we will let you know within 20 working days of receipt of your request. If we do not receive payment within three months of the notice, we shall no longer be obliged to comply with the request.
Can I choose how to receive the information?
You can state whether you have preference as to how we should communicate the information to you. You can specify whether you want a hard copy or a response by e-mail.
We are required to support such requests so far as is reasonably practicable - and will explain why if we are unable to comply.
How quickly will I receive a response?
We will inform you in writing whether or not we hold the information you have requested and, if we do, will communicate it to you within 20 working days of receipt of the valid request.
In some circumstances, a request for information may be refused. If this is the case, we will write to you explaining the basis for refusal. This will normally be communicated to you within the same 20 working day time period. Sometimes we need to carry out an extra internal process called a “Public Interest Test”. This is necessary when we think certain exemptions may apply. When this occurs, it will take longer to respond to you. We will do our best to keep you informed if it will take longer than usual to respond.
Does the Freedom of Information Act apply to my personal data?
The Freedom of Information Act gives people the right to request information held by public authorities. If you want to access any request personal data held by us about you, this will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998 rather than as a Freedom of Information request.
Personal data held by us about other people is not likely to be available under the Freedom of Information legislation, unless we are satisfied that releasing that information would not contravene our obligations under the Data Protection Act.