Freedom of Information Act FAQ
The Act is a law giving people the general right to see recorded
information held by public authorities. It helps people get a
better understanding of how public authorities carry out their
duties, make decisions and spend public money.
When is the FOI Act
All NHS Trust organisations must comply with the Act from 1st
January 2005. The Trust must respond to requests for information it
holds, in any form, as it creates a right of access to that
Can I ask to see
anything I want?
No, there is some information that is exempt from being
released. Exemptions mainly apply where releasing the
information would not be in the public interest, for example,
because it could affect commercial interests or because it would
Can I have access
to my Health records?
Individual health records are not available under the FOI Act.
You can request access to your health records under the Data
Protection Act 1998 and/or the Access to Health Records Act
1990. There may be a charge for this information.
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How do I obtain the
information I require?
All requests for information made under the FOI Act must be made
in writing. This can be in any written form such as a letter
or e-mail. It should include the name of the person asking for the
information, a return address and describe the information
required, giving as much detail as possible. You can also
complete a 'Request for Information' form which can be found on the
Trust website www.southend.nhs.uk, or from information help desks
and wards around the hospital.
Your request should then be sent to the Freedom of Information
Coordinator, who will process it.
FOI Application for Information forms are available by
clicking on the link at the bottom of the page
will it take to get my information?
The Trust must respond to requests for information within 20
working days of receiving them. There may be some exceptions
to this, if so we will explain the reasons.
What information is
The FOIA requires public authorities to publish a Publication
Scheme, which is a guide to all the information which can routinely
be accessed. This includes both paper and electronic records.
The information is grouped into broad categories as follows:
1. Who we are and what we do
2. What we spent and how we spend it
3. What are our priorities and how are we doing
4. How we made decisions
5. Our policies and procedures
6. Lists and registers
7. The services we offer
How will the
information be presented to me?
In the format you would prefer. This can be on either paper or
electronically. Information can be made available in other
formats, if requested, but this may affect the 20 working day
Will there be a
charge for information?
There may be a charge, but the level of charge will vary
depending on the nature of the request and type or volume of
information requested. When a charge is to be made, we will advise
you on receipt of your request.
For further details or to make a request for information please
Mrs Nicola Frost
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Service Reliability and Safety Department
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Essex. SS0 0RY
Telephone: 01702 435555 extension 6455
Freedom of Information Act 2000 Crown Copyright 2000 www.opsi.gov.uk
Data Protection Act 1998 Crown Copyright 1998 www.opsi.gov.uk
The Environmental Regulations 2004 www.opsi.gov.uk
Freedom of Information website: www.foi.gov.uk
Information Commissioner website: www.ico.gov.uk
The Ministry of Justice
For a translated, large print or audiotape version of this
document please contact The Freedom of Information Coordinator at
the above address.