Learn about the Freedom of Information Act and how to make requests for information not included in the publication scheme.
What is ‘Freedom of Information’?
Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000, the public have a formal right to access information about the way decisions are made and public money is spent in more than 100,000 public authorities, including Government departments, schools, NHS organisations, police forces and local authorities.
NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a public organisation and as such, we aim to be open and accountable and to share information about our activities whenever it is appropriate for us to do so. As a public body, we are subject to the requirements and obligations of the FOI Act. This sets out a range of information that we must publish as part of a publication scheme and also means that anyone can ask us to disclose information on any subject they wish.
What information can I request access to?
If the information you are seeking is not included within our publication scheme, you can send an FOI request to our Information Governance Department. Certain information is exempt from disclosure under the FOI Act. For example:
- Personal information about patients and staff
- Commercially sensitive information
- Information relating to criminal proceedings
- A full list of these exemptions can be found here
There are also some exceptions that we can apply when responding to FOI requests – for example, if the time it will take to fulfil the request exceeds a certain limit or answering may prejudice commercial negotiations.
Our FOI publication scheme
NHS West Hampshire CCG has adopted the NHS model Publication Scheme developed by the NHS Freedom of Information Project Board and Team, and approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is permissible under section 20 of the FOI Act, and ensures compliance with section 19 of the legislation. The publication scheme includes the following classes or topics of information – please click on the links for more information:
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What are our priorities and how are we doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
How can I make an FOI request?
If the information you are seeking is not included within our publication scheme, you can send an FOI request to our Information Governance Department using the contact details provided below:
Post: NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Omega House, 112 Southampton Road
Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 5PB
We endeavour to provide you with the requested information within 20 working days unless the information is not held or an exemption applies. When you contact us, please confirm:
- Your name and contact information
- A full description of the information that you would like
- What format you would like to receive the information (if applicable/appropriate)
- To help us find the information, please give as much detail as possible. For example, say ‘minutes of the meeting where the decision to do X was made’, rather than ‘everything you have about X’.
Confidentiality and requesting personal information
Although the information is made available through our Publication Scheme, the Freedom of Information Act does not override a person’s right to confidentiality. Your rights to confidentiality are protected under Data Protection Legislation.
The Data Protection Act gives you the right to access your own personal records; if you wish to request personal records for yourself, or on behalf of another person such as a relative you can do this by writing or contacting the CCG: NHS West Hampshire CCG, Omega House, 112 Southampton Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 5PB Telephone: 023 8062 7444 Email: WHCCG.YourFeedback@nhs.net
Please refer to the CCG’s Fair Processing Notice for further information.
Cost of information
In this Publication Scheme, all the electronic information which is downloadable from our website is provided free of charge for personal use. Where information is only available in hard copy there may be a charge for the cost of copying and postage, dependent on volume. Any costs and charges that will have to be paid in advance will be advised to the applicant.
The material available through this Publication Scheme is subject to CCG copyright unless otherwise indicated. Unless expressly indicated on the material to the contrary, it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading manner.
Permission to reproduce material does not extend to any material accessed through the Publication Scheme that is the copyright of third parties. You must obtain authorisation to reproduce such material from the copyright-holders concerned. If you wish to re-use information in this Publication Scheme for commercial use please refer to the Re-use of Public Sector Regulations 2005.
You may also find useful:
- Find out about the publication scheme
- Submit a Freedom of Information request
- Let us know your views about local services you have experienced