Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a right of access to a wide range of information held by public authorities, including the NHS. The purpose is to promote greater openness and accountability.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires us to:
- Provide information to you about the organisation through a publication scheme
- Provide a guide to this information
- Respond appropriately to requests for information
Before submitting a request for information, you should see if the information that you are seeking is already published, for example elsewhere on our website. If you request information from the organisation that is already published, then we will simply refer you to the published source.
Anyone, anywhere in the world can make a Freedom of Information request to NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
You can seek any recorded information that you think the organisation may hold.
If the information you seek is environmental then we will respond according to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). You do not have to know whether the information you want is covered by the EIR or the FOI Act. When you make a request, we will decide which law applies.
If the information you seek is your own personal data or information about yourself then you should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), and not under the FOI Act.
Requests for Information must be made in writing either by sending it to the address below:
NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Countess of Chester Healthpark
or via an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The FOI Act requires certain information to be supplied before the organisation can respond to your request:
- your real name – we do not have to respond to requests submitted under a pseudonym;
- your address (email addresses are acceptable);
- a description of the information you wish to obtain; and
- any preferences for the format in which you wish to receive the information e.g. electronic or hard copy. We will endeavour to meet your preferences but cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
The organisation has a legal obligation to reply to your FOI request and must do so within 20 working days of receipt. In replying we will do one of the following:
- supply you with the information you requested;
- inform you that we don’t hold the information and, if we are able, advise you who does;
- inform you that your request will exceed the cost limit specified in the Fees Regulations and invite you to submit a further narrower request;
- inform you that we hold the information requested but refuse to provide all or part of it and explain why – this will involve citing one or more of the exemptions from the FOI Act;
- inform you that we are refusing your request on the basis it is repeated or vexatious; or
- inform you that we need more time to consider the public interest test in relation to your request and let you know when to expect a further response. This should not be later than 40 working days after receipt of your request.
You can complain.
Your first point of complaint is the organisation. You will need to ask for an internal review of your FOI request.
If, after an internal review, you are still not satisfied you can then complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO). Details of how to do this are available at the ICO website.
Full details of how to complain to the organisation will be included in our initial reply to your FOI request. Details of how to complain further to the Information Commissioner will be included in our response to your internal review request.