Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA 2000) gives members of the public the right to ask for information that is held by public sector organisations such as local councils and the NHS. 

Implications of COVID-19

Southern Health remains committed to meeting its obligations under Freedom of Information and Data Protection Laws and Regulations. 

However, the NHS is facing unprecedented challenges relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the current time. Understandably, our resources have been diverted to support our front-line colleagues who are working tremendously hard to provide care for our patients, and to those in need of our services.

We strive to be transparent and to work with an open culture.  But at this time, whilst care of our patients and the safety of our staff takes precedent, it is likely that responses to some requests for information will be delayed.  We apologise for this position in advance, and will endeavour to provide you with as much information as we can, as soon as we are able.

The Information Commissioners Office has recognised the current situation in the NHS.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA 2000) gives members of the public the right to ask for information that is held by public sector organisations such as local councils and the NHS. 

You can make a request by writing to us, by sending an email to freedom.information@southernhealth.nhs.uk.    

If you'd like any guidance, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer on 023 8087 4662 

Once your request has been received by the Freedom of Information Officer you will be contacted with an estimated completion date. We have 20 working days to respond on receipt of the request.

The FOIA requires public authorities to comply with requests for information within 20 working days following receipt of the request.

Where a public authority is considering the application of an exemption that is subject to a public interest test, the FOIA requires the authority to reach its decision "within such time as is reasonable in the circumstances."

Information that is recorded, i.e. written down or stored electronically. You also have a right to access information that may be held by a third party on behalf of the public authority.

If we decide not to disclose the information that has been requested, you are entitled to know why. We must give notice the information is available but is not being disclosed and must specify the relevant exemption(s) being relied upon. The Trust will also explain why exemptions apply in that particular case.

If you make a request under the FOI Act and you are not satisfied with our response, you are entitled to an internal review where we have made a decision under Part 1 of the Act.

For example, an internal reviewer might review the Trust's decision to withhold information under a particular exemption.  

What to do if you feel you are entitled to a review
If you have made a request and believe you are entitled to an internal review, please either e-mail or write to us at the address below.

Head of Legal and Insurance Services
Southern Health -  Freedom of Information
6 Sterne Road, Tatchbury Mount, 
Calmore Hampshire, 
SO40 2RZ

Email: freedom.information@southernhealth.nhs.uk

Please include:

  • Your name

  • Address

  • Unique reference number that would have been included with all previous correspondence from the Trust.

  • An explanation of what you would like us to review from our original response.

When you can expect a response

We aim to handle the majority of internal reviews within 20 working days. However, if the review involves complex issues that require further investigation, and additional consideration of the public interest test, we aim to handle these within 30 working days.

Complaint to ICO

If your review is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner's Office can be contacted by a letter setting out your concerns, our reference for your request, and information about the Internal Review undertaken addressed to:  Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

The re-use of public sector information

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations give the public and the private sector the right to re-use public sector information which we produce as part of our Public Task.

The new Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 came into force on 18 July 2015 and replace the 2005 Regulations.

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information (RoPSI) regulations govern the re-use of information created and used by Public Authorities in the UK as part of fulfilling their public task. Re-using the information means to use it for a purpose other than the initial public task it was produced for.

Access to the corporate information of Public Authorities is provided under Freedom of Information legislation. The RoPSI regulations do not change the provisions for accessing our information but provide the public and the private sector with a framework to re-use this information once it has been disclosed.

The RoPSI regulations are about encouraging the re-use of public sector information and governing how it is made available.

Further guidance on the RoPSI regulations has been created by the ICO and the National Archives:

Public sector information is information which we produce as part of our public task. Our public task is our core roles and functions as defined by legislation and regulations. Information on our public task, such as the services we provide and our key functions, can be found in the About us section of our website.

Information which is not within the scope of our public task is not covered by RoPSI regulations.

Information is not covered by RoPSI regulations if it would be exempt from disclosure under information access legislation like the Freedom of Information Act or the Data Protection Act.

If you would like to make a request for re-use under the RoPSI regulations you need to contact us in writing (preferably by email), include your name and address for correspondence, specify the information you want to re-use, and specify the purpose you intend to use it for.

You can contact us by email or by post (address can be found at the bottom of this page). 

Please note that where Southern Health permits re-use of information under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 it is licensed under the Open Government Licence.

Southern Health will, as a matter of routine, not charge for the re-use of information beyond reasonable disbursement costs (printing, postage, etc.) as per our Freedom of Information process.

Please note that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust reserves the right to charge for re-use (such as where a small return on investment is reasonable) and to licence more restrictively where appropriate.

If our standard practice of allowing free-of-charge, Open Government Licence governed re-use will not apply to an application for re-use, this will be discussed with and communicated to the applicant as soon as it becomes apparent.

Internal complaints process

If you are dissatisfied with the response you have received to your request for re-use, or the conditions applied, you can make a formal complaint.

Please ensure that you submit any complaints in writing, state the nature of the complaint in detail, and explain what you hope the outcome of your complaint will be. Please ensure you send these to the address below within 60 days of the date of our response to your request. We regret that we will not respond to any complaints outside of the 60 day period.

Head of Legal and Insurance Services
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, 
5-6 Sterne Road, Tatchbury Mount, Calmore
Southampton, SO40 2RZ

Your complaint will be reviewed and a response sent to you within 20 working days of submission.

Complain to the ICO

If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted by way of letter addressed to: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Contact us: 

Email:
freedom.information@southernhealth.nhs.uk
Telephone: 023 8087 4662
Write to: Head of Legal and Insurance Services
Southern Health -  Freedom of Information
6 Sterne Road, 
Tatchbury Mount,
Calmore  SO40 2RZ

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