Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 outlines your right to ask any public authority, including the NHS, for all the recorded information they have on any subject.

You can read our FOI policy here.

If your request is wholly, or partly, for “environmental information”, the CCG will manage that part of your request under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) Act 2004. You can read about that here.

If you want to see what information we hold about you, you can ask for it under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Read about that here.

Please also see our Publication Scheme to see what information we routinely publish here.

Details about how to request information under FOI and how we process your request is below. The FOI Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner.

 

How to request information

If you can’t find the information you are interested in on our website or through our publication scheme, you may be able to request it under FOI. Requests must be made in writing eg letter, email or fax.

You should include the following with your request:

  • Your name and physical or electronic addresses for correspondence.
  • A clear statement of the information you are requesting.
  • The format in which you wish to receive the information.
  • A contact telephone is also useful in case we need to discuss your request.

Please send your written requests to:

Email: hullccg.foi@nhs.net Or NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group. 2nd Floor, Wilberforce Court, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, HU1 1UY

For assistance in making a request please contact the Freedom of Information Team on 01482 672171.

 

What can be requested

You may request any information held by or on behalf of the CCG and recorded in any form.

The CCG does not need to know why you are making the request or what you plan to do with the information.

We will not impose conditions on the use or further disclosure of the information we provide. However, you should be aware that that the information may be subject to copyright protection. See information below.

 

Who can request information

Anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.

 

What information is excluded

We are committed to being open however the CCG is not required to comply with these obligations where one or more of the following exemptions apply:

 

  • Where we do not already hold the information. If we don’t hold the information and we think it may be held by another public authority we will tell you. We will normally suggest that you redirect you request to them.
  • If the request is for opinions or judgements which are not already recorded.
  • When the information is already reasonably accessible from elsewhere in the public domain, including our website.
  • If a request is vexatious. See the Information Commissioner’s guidance on vexatious or repeated requests.
  • If we receive repeated requests from the same person for information we have already provided to them.
  • Where sharing personal data is contrary to the Data Protection Act.
  • Where the request exceeds the costs limits. See below.
  • If we plan to publish the information in the future.

We may also not provide certain information based on the harm that may be caused by disclosing it. This may include for example, information related to ongoing criminal investigations, security matters or information which would impact on someone’s commercial interests. In most cases, if you request this type of data and we hold it, we must consider if it is in the public interest to disclose it. If this “public interest test” finds that there is a benefit to the public to disclose the information we must provide it.

However some information, such as national security information may be an “absolute exemption” which means we can automatically withhold the information. In these cases we may not be required to confirm or deny if we hold it.

If your request is refused, we will tell you which exemption is being applied. Where applicable we will explain why we have decided that the public interest in withholding the information or in neither confirming nor denying that we hold it, outweighs the public interest in disclosing it or confirming / denying we hold it.

Freedom of Information Act 2000: Part 2 except information contains further information on the exemptions to the act.

 

The cost of submitting a request

Our policy is to release as much information as possible without charging a fee.

However, if you are asking for a lot of material, it may be more than we can manage without it impacting on our other work. If providing the information will cost us more than £450 (or more than 18.5 hours work) we do not have to provide it. We may also charge for requests that are less than £450 but incur costs of more than £50 for photocopying, printing and posting. We may request that you pay the full cost of these activities.

Factors we are allowed to take into account in deciding whether an FOI request exceeds the cost limit are:

  • Checking whether the information is held.
  • Locating the information or documents containing the information.
  • Retrieving such information or documents.
  • Extracting information from documents.

If your request is refused on cost grounds, we will try to advise you how best to make a fresh, narrower request that can be met within the cost limit.

If we intend to request payment, we will inform you and if you do not pay within three months we do not have to provide the information.

 

Format in which information may be disclosed

Most of the information the CCG holds is stored in electronic form and will be disclosed to you in PDF (portable document format). If you need the information supplied in a different format, and it is reasonable to release the information in that way, the CCG will do it’s best to meet your request.

 

How to word a request

Guidance on submitting effective requests for information is available from the ICO.

It will help us to provide the information you need if you:

  • Clearly explain what you want to find out. If this is unclear we may need to seek further clarification which may delay our response.
  • Are specific: if you want a piece of information please say so in your request.
  • Say whether the information you want relates to a specific timescale.
  • Ask specific questions such as “What” or “How much” as this will help us to give you the information you want.
  • Keep your request for information separate to any complaints or comments. You can see how to make a complaint or comment here.
  • Avoid using open ended questions such as “Why”. If we do not already have a recorded judgement we are not required to create one.

Please remember, FOI requires us to only provide recorded information that we already hold.

 

How long we will take to process a request

The law obliges us to answer your request promptly and at most within 20 working days of receipt. In some limited circumstances we are permitted to extend the timescale to give proper consideration to your request. If this is the case we will inform you as soon as possible.

If it is not clear what information you are requesting, we may contact you. We will do this by telephone, email or letter depending on the contact details you provided. The 20 working day deadline will only start when it is clear to us what you require.

 

How we process a request

Our aim is to be helpful and answer your request as completely and quickly as we can. On receipt of a valid request for information we must:

  • Inform you in writing whether we hold the information requested. This is known as the “Duty to confirm or deny”.
    Where the information requested may be classed an absolute exemption from the act (see what is excluded above) we are not required to do this.
  • Provide the information to you where we have it and it is not excluded from the act.

When we receive your request, we will acknowledge it as soon as possible. We will tell you if your request will be dealt with under the EIR or DPA instead of, or as well as FOI.

 

Where you are asking for information we routinely give out (such as leaflets or contact details) we may send you the information and not treat your request as a formal FOI.

If your request relates to a person or company other than yourself or where disclosure of the information you are requesting could affect the interests of another person, we may need to consult with that third party before responding to your request. When this applies we will follow the guidance in the FOI code of practice “Consultation with third parties”.

 

The right to complain

If you are unhappy with our response to your request, you have the right to complain. We will conduct an internal review in accordance with Section 45 of the FOI Act. If you are unhappy with the results of the CCGs internal review you may appeal to the Information Commissioner.

When we reply to your request we will give you more details about the complaint process.

 

Privacy and Fair Processing

We must process personal data fairly and lawfully. Click here to read more about how we meet this obligation.

 

Copyright

The information we provide to you is copyrighted to NHS Hull CCG and provided to you free of charge for your personal use or for other specific uses permitted in the Copyright, Designs and Patients Act 1988. If however you wish to use the information we have provided for any commercial purposes including the sale of the information to a third party then, under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, you must ask us for permission to do so in respect of each specific piece of such information. If we do grant such permission this may involve a licensing arrangement which may attract a fee. Should you wish to apply for permission for commercial re-use under the Regulations you should write to the Freedom of Information Manager at: hullccg.foi@nhs.net

 

Feedback and complaints

If you would like to provide feedback – good or bad – please contact the Freedom of Information Manager at: hullccg.foi@nhs.net

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