Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) was introduced in January 2005 with the aim of giving public access to business information held by public authorities.

The FOI Act is supported by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) which gives public access to environmental information which is held by public authorities.

The act recognises that members of the public have the right to know how public services such as the NHS are organised and run, and how much they cost. The public has the right to know what services the trust provides, the targets that have to be met, the standards of services that are expected, and the results achieved.

Requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act must be:

  • Made in writing – this includes letters, emails or faxes.
  • State the name of the applicant.
  • Give an address where the response can be sent – this can be a postal address or an email address.
  • Details of the information requested.

Sometimes there may be very good reasons why the trust cannot release certain information, but in these situations the trust will refer to the exemptions in the FOI Act and let the applicant know why the information cannot be released. An example of this would be where the information requested was the personal information of another person.

Under section 19 of the act public bodies have a legal duty to adopt and maintain a publication scheme. This is a list of documents containing information about South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust records the name, contact details and subject matter for all requests for information that it receives. This is in order to be able to monitor the trust’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and Data Protection Act 1998 (DP).