Freedom of information 

Freedom of information (FOI) requests about our organisation can be made by anyone, anywhere in the world. The Act is one of the ways to make sure that all public bodies are open and accountable. 

Our duty to you: 

  • Provide information to you about our organisation through a publication scheme
  • Provide a guide to this information
  • Respond appropriately to requests for information

How to make an FOI request

Before making a request, look at our FOI publication scheme to see if the information is already there. 

You can make an FOI request in writing by:

FOI publication scheme

See what information we already publish. You might find what you are looking for here.

How we will deal with your request

We will send you written acknowledgement of your request by email or post within 2 working days.

You will be given a unique reference number that you should use in any correspondence concerning your request.

  • We will let you know if we do not hold the information requested as soon as we can
  • We may need to contact you to ask you to clarify what information you are requesting if it is not clear enough
  • We will try to provide you with the information that you have requested within 20 working days
  • Occasionally, it may take longer than this because we need to consider if the information you are asking for is exempt from disclosure
  • If some or all of the information that you have requested is exempt from disclosure we will let you know why it is not available, with a reference to the relevant sections of the Act

Our FOI policy

Read our policy for handling FOI requests. Section 46 of the FOI Code of Practice details what recorded information we have a duty to provide when we receive a request. We will always try to provide the details that you ask for but sometimes this will not be possible because the Act says the information is ‘exempt’.

When and why we need to charge for FOIs

Most of the information we provide is free. However, if we need to make a charge we will notify you as soon as possible and issue you with a fee note and how to pay if you want to go ahead.

We will charge a fee when the information you are requesting takes longer to gather than the ‘appropriate limit’. There may be ways to get the information you need without incurring a cost by changing your initial request and we will help you to try and do that.

The appropriate limit is set out in the FOI Fee Regulations as being £450 for an NHS body. This means that we have to consider if it would take staff more than 18 hours to:

  • Determine
  • Locate
  • Retrieve and extract the information

A CCG can also make an appropriate charge for:

  • Photocopying
  • Putting into a different format for instance where requested to transfer to CD
  • Providing a reasonable opportunity to inspect the information
  • Postage and packaging

How to make an FOI complaint

If you would like to make a complaint regarding our Publication Scheme or any aspect of the way that we have dealt with your request – such as our decision to apply an exemption to some or all of the information that you have requested – please email southseftonccg.foi@nhs.net 

If you are still not happy following a formal internal review you have the right to ask for a review by the Information Commissioner. You can contact the Information Commissioners Office at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints/getting

Confidentiality

The Freedom of Information Act does not change your rights and the rights of our staff to confidentiality. Maintaining your legal right to confidentiality continues to be an important commitment on our part.

To help with this, we have appointed someone who is called a Caldicott Guardian, and who has responsibility to ensure the protection of service user confidentiality.

Our Caldicott Guardian is Debbie Fagan, Chief Nurse debbie.fagan@southseftonccg.nhs.uk. You can find out more about the role of the Caldicott Guardian on the Department of Health website.