Our guide to the FOI

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 represents a government commitment to greater openness in the public sector. Alliance for Better Care has fully committed to this and has adopted and embraced a culture of openness.

The Act, which came into effect on 1 January 2005, covers non-personal information that we hold, regardless of its format, and when it was created.

Our compliance with the Act demonstrates our commitment to openness and accountability for the services we provide.

Alliance for Better Care is committed to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Further information can be found at the Information Commissioner’s website.

Our Caldicott Guardian is: Michael Bosch

Our Senior Information risk officer is: Katherine Saunders

Can information be released about patients or staff?

The Freedom of Information Act does not allow people to obtain personal information about patients or our staff. It does not change the right of patients to protection of their patient confidentiality in accordance with Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, the Data Protection Act 2018 and common law. Maintaining the legal right to patient 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 patient confidentiality throughout the organisation in accordance with your legal rights.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you are entitled to access your medical records or any other personal information held about you.

How do I make a request under the Freedom of Information Act?

All requests for information must be made by emailing abccic.informationrequests@nhs.net

Please ensure that you provide your name and an address for correspondence when making your request.

It will be helpful to us and speed up the processing of your request if you could be as specific as possible about the information you require. However, you don’t have to state why you want the information. For example, if you are asking for statistical data please state if you would prefer to receive the data in calendar or financial year format etc.

If we are not clear about what information you are requesting we will contact you to seek clarification. Please respond promptly as it will otherwise delay our response. If we do not hear from you within three months we will assume you no longer require the information and will close the request.

All requests for information will be handled centrally by ABC’s FOI Team.

Before you make a request

Before making a formal request to us, please check if we have already provided the information on this website.

When will I receive a response?

In compliance with the Act, we will endeavour to respond to your request within 20 working days. The ‘clock’ starts the first working day following the receipt of your request.

If we are unable to provide the information requested within 20 working days, we will advise why, and provide a date by when we expect to be able to respond.

What if I’m not happy with my response?

If you are not satisfied with the response to your FOI request you may request an independent internal review by an appropriate senior member of staff at the organisation, who has had no involvement in dealing with your original request. We aim to deal with appeals within 20 working days following receipt.

If you wish to appeal against this decision, please set out your grounds for review in writing to:
abccic.informationrequests@nhs.net

Emails should be clearly marked ‘Information access appeal’.

Please remember to quote your FOI reference number in all correspondence.

Should you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you would have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). However, under section 50(2)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, the ICO is not obliged to consider your appeal unless you have already completed an internal review.


You can write to the Information Commissioner’s Office at the following address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Website: www.ico.org.uk

Copyright

Material available through this publication scheme is subject to Alliance for Better Care CIC copyright unless otherwise indicated.

Unless indicated on the material, it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium, provided it is reproduced accurately and is not used in a misleading manner.

Where any of the copyright items in this scheme are being re-published or copied to others, you must identify the source of the material and acknowledge the copyright status.

Permission to reproduce material does not extend to any material accessed through the publication scheme that is the copyright of third parties. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be sought from the copyright holders concerned.

What are the Environmental Regulations?

The Environmental Information Regulations allows the public to request environmental information from public authorities.

The information covered can be divided into the following six main areas:

1. The state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land, fauna (including human beings)
2. Emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances
3. Policies, plans, and agreements affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment
4. Reports, cost-benefit and economic analyses
5. The state of human health and safety, contamination of the food chain
6. Cultural sites and built structures (to the extent they may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment)