Freedom of Information
Right to know
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give the public the right to request information held by the Trust. This legislation does not apply to requests for personal information in Medical (Health) or Personnel Records.
If you would like to request access to your personal health records, please see our Access to health and staff records page.
The Right to know allows the public access recorded corporate information held by the Trust, including information in minutes of meetings, reports, policies and procedures. The Environmental Information Regulations apply specifically to information related to the environment.
The legislation gives two related rights:
- The right to be told if information exists, and
- The right to receive the information (where possible in the format requested), subject to certain exemptions.
The Freedom of Information Act also puts obligations on the Trust with regards to datasets. Under the Right to Know, the public may request that a dataset is released in a format that can be re-used.
A dataset is a collection of factual information in electronic form to do with the services and functions of the [public] authority that is neither the product of analysis or interpretation, nor an official statistic and has not been materially altered.
Once a dataset has been released, the Trust has an obligation to publish the dataset in its Publication Scheme and keep it updated, unless we believe it is inappropriate to do so (e.g. publication is resource intensive).
Requests for Re-Use
The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations allow the public to ask the Trust for permission to re-use its information. This information could have been released in response to a Freedom of Information request or it could be available in a leaflet, on the website or be produced as part of the Trust’s public task.
How to make a request
The Trust has an obligation to publish certain information. Before submitting a request you may want to check if the information is already available in our Publication Scheme
Requests under the Right to Know, for Datasets or Re-use can be made in the following ways:
By Email: FOI.LG@nhs.net
FAO: Freedom of Information Officer
Information Governance Department
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
First Floor, Estates and Facilities Building
London SE13 6LH
What to provide when making a request:
- Make it clear if you are making a re-use request;
- Make your request as clear as possible, providing as much detail as you can to enable us to understand and identify the information you are looking for and to respond promptly;
- Tell us your preferred format for receiving information – electronic or hardcopy.
How we process your request (in brief)
The Trust will:
- Log your request with a unique reference number which should be quoted if you have any queries about your request;
- Send you an acknowledgement;
- Assess your request and contact you for clarification on any points that are too vague or which are likely to cause difficulities, eg you have asked for a large volume of information which may mean we cannot provide it all;
- Process your request and respond fully within 20 working days, unless we need more time to consider exemptions.
- A re-use request can only be considered once it has been assessed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Complaints and appeals
If you are unhappy with how we deal with your request you may:
- Send us a complaint about how we have dealt with your request.
- Ask us to carry out an internal review of our decision about what information has been released, or because we have refused a request to re-use.
All requests for internal review must be received within 3 months of you receiving our response.
If you remain unhappy with the response to your complaint or internal review decision you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113
Information Commissioner's Office