Description of Department/Service

The Department is responsible for processing requests for records, both personal and Non-personal which are made to the Hospital. The Department will assist the requester in his/her request and advise of the most appropriate route for their request. 
Data Protection requests will be processed within 40 days.

Third party, Routine Access and Freedom of Information requests will be processed within 20 working days.

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives each individual legal rights to access both personal and non-personal (corporate) records, to have personal records amended or deleted where the information is incorrect or misleading and the right to seek reasons for decisions that affect him/her.

Why was the Freedom of Information Act Introduced?
The Freedom of Information Act was introduced to:

  • Increase openness
  • Improve accountability
  • Increase public appreciation of issues involved in policy decisions
  • Give stronger public ownership and acceptance of decisions made
  • Permit people access to their records and allow them to amend records if incorrect

The Act sets out three new legal rights

  • A legal right for each person to access information held by public bodies
  • A legal right to have official information relating to him/herself amended where it its incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • A legal right to be given reasons for decisions affecting them

What records can accessed under FOI?

  • All records created after the Act commenced
  • All personal records of clients, whenever created
  • All records of staff created after 21st October 1995
  • Earlier records if needed to understand later records which are accessed

A person may make a request for access to records. This request must be in writing stating that the request is made under the Act and containing sufficient particulars in relation to the information concerned to enable the record to be identified.

A member of the public has the right to request information regarding acts of public bodies affecting them. A Freedom of Information request is a very formal procedure and the public body is required to respond within four weeks.  The request will be considered in accordance with the Act having regard to the exemptions provided for which include:

  • Personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
  • Information supplied to the Hospital in confidence
  • Law enforcement and public safety
  • Commercially sensitive information
  • Deliberations of public bodies
  • Functions and negotiations of public bodies

While the Hospital will seek to protect the privacy of individuals and information supplied in confidence, in certain circumstances it may be in the public interest to release such information.