What is the FOI Act and what can you ask for?
The Freedom of Information Act (2000) promotes greater openness by public bodies; this includes NHS organisations such as Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH). Specifically, this means you have the right to ask for any recorded information held by OUH.
The Freedom of Information Act does not change your other rights granted under other laws such as the Human Rights Convention, the Data Protection Act (1998) or Common Law.
As a public body, the NHS is paid by and operates for the benefit of the public. This means that you have the right to know any recorded information about your NHS unless an exemption applies. The types of information you may be interested in and could request information about are as follows.
- Who we are and what we do
Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.
- What we spend and how we spend it
Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.
- How we make decisions
Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.
- Our policies and procedures
Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.
- Lists and registers
Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.
- The services we offer
Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases. A description of the services offered.
The NHS will try and proactively release as much of this information as it can as part of our Publication Scheme:
If it is not available there, you should request it by making a Freedom of Information request.
All requests for information should be made via email to:
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Environmental Information Regulations were introduced in 2005. These enable similar access to environmental information, as under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
You must note that health records are exempt under the Freedom of Information Act.
Now you know what the Freedom of Information Act is all about, how do you make a request?
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