The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOI Act) came in to force in 2005 and provides members of the public the right to access information held by public authorities. This reflects the commitment of the Trust to be transparent and allows the public to determine whether services are delivered efficiently.
The main features of the FOI Act are:
- The public has a general right of access to recorded information held by public authorities, subject to certain conditions
- Public authorities have a duty to disclose information requested by members of the public unless this information is exempted under the Act
- Public authorities have a duty to publish and maintain a publication scheme
Applicants must make requests in writing (including via email and social media) which should be legible and include a name (not a pseudonym e.g. Mickey Mouse), a method of contact, a description of the nature of the information requested and a time period for requested information (if applicable). If the Trust requires clarification from the requester before we are able to respond, this will be sought as soon as possible. The request will be placed on hold and re-activated only once sufficient clarification has been received. The amount of working days it has taken the requester to provide clarification will be added to the original response date. If a requester does not provide clarification within 10 working days, the request will be withdrawn.
The Trust will disclose recorded information that we hold to applicants within 20 working days in the format requested, unless the information is exempt from disclosure. Further information regarding exemptions can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.
Environmental Information Regulations
Parallel regulations deal with environmental information and give members of the public the right to access environmental information held by public authorities. The request can be made by letter, email, telephone or in person.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 are an alternative way of requesting information from public authorities when the information being requested relates to the environment. The Regulations will be applied instead of the Freedom of Information Act if we consider this to be the case.
Data Protection Act 2018
Regulations also exist with regard to the Data Protection Act 2018 which gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly.
If you have any queries about data protection, please contact the information governance team on [email protected] who can also provide further information with regard to accessing personal data held by the Trust about you.
Make a request
To make a request, please contact the Trust’s FOI office via details below:
Freedom of information officer
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospital of North Tees
Stockton on Tees
Email: [email protected]
If you have a complaint about how North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has dealt with your request for information under the Act, please contact the Trust’s Freedom of Information Lead in the first instance who will aim to address your concerns informally.
However, in some cases it may be necessary to undertake an Internal Review. This will be completed by an appropriate member of staff who was not involved in the creation of the original response.
If you remain dissatisfied once the Trust’s internal review process has been completed, you have the right to ask the Information Commissioner to undertake a review of the complaint and relevant correspondence. You should do this as soon as possible or, in any case, within two months following our final response.
Information commissioner's office
Information Commissioner’s Office,
Email: [email protected]
Office of the Information Commissioner
For more information on the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. This includes legislation relating to Freedom of Information, Environmental Information Regulations and the Data Protection Act visit the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Freedom of Information legislation
The full Freedom of Information Act legislation can be read on the Government’s legislation website.