Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject you choose. Unless there’s a good reason, the public body must provide the information within 20 working days. You can also ask for all the personal information they hold on you. Everyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality, or where you live.
You can ask for any information at all – but some information might be withheld to protect various interests which are allowed for by the Act. If this is case, the public authority must tell you why they have withheld information. If you ask for information about yourself, then your request will be handled under the Data Protection Act.
As an independent provider of health services (defined as an NHS Business Partner), however, FDS Consultants is not a public authority and therefore does not need to comply with all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act (2000). However, for those services that we operate on behalf of the NHS we are required to respond under the FOI Act.
If you would like to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please contact the NHS Local Area Team in your area. When asked for information by the LATs who commission us to provide services on their behalf, FDS Consultants will comply with all requests that are not commercially confidential or in breach of the guiding principles of the Data Protection Act (1998). You may also contact us directly, stating that you are making an FOI request, if you believe that your request relates to our services.
More information on the Freedom of Information act can be found on the DirectGov website. You can link to it here.
Can I access my personal information?
You have the right to get a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as a subject access request. This right of subject access means that you can make a request under the Data Protection Act to any organisation, including ours, processing your personal data. Under the Act FDS Consultants are ‘data controllers’.
You can ask us, to supply you with copies of both paper and computer records and related information. We may charge a fee of up to £10 for this information. There are special rules that apply to fees for paper based health records (the maximum fee is currently £50). However it is important to remember that not all personal information is covered and there are ‘exemptions’ within the Act which may allow an organisation to refuse to comply with your subject access request in certain circumstances.
How do I make a request?
To make a subject access request, follow these steps:
When requesting your personal information from us, you should include the following information:
- your full name, address and contact telephone number;
- the URN number of the referral or referrals you are interested in
- details of the specific information you require and any relevant dates, for example:
- referral from Dentist X to Hospital Y
- copies of x-rays from Dentist Z
You also have the right to ask about any logic involved in any automated decisions made about you.
Please email this information to us using our secure email – firstname.lastname@example.org and make it clear that this is a request under the Data Protection Act.