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Freedom of Information (FOI)

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into full power in January 2005. It ensures that all public sector organisations are publicly accountable and gives any person the right to request information about a public authority. As a member of the public you have a right to know what your local NHS are doing for you, what money we receive and how we spend it, what services we offer, what targets we are set and how we are working towards achieving them.

The Freedom of Information Act applies to England, Scotland and Wales and is monitored by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

The Publication Scheme

ICO has set out a model publication scheme for all health bodies to follow and this allows us break down the information we routinely publish into seven classes. These information classes are listed down the left hand side. Any questions comments or complaints about this Scheme should be sent in writing to the Information Governance Manager at:

Information Governance
Healthcare Records Centre
Colchester General Hospital
Turner Road
Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JL

How do I make a request?

If you wish to make an enquiry about Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust under the Freedom of Information Act, then please check our publication scheme first. If you can't find the information you require then please write to the Freedom of Information Manager at:

Information Governance
Healthcare Records Centre
Colchester General Hospital
Turner Road
Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JL

or email us at foi.requests@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

We will acknowledge your request and then get to work on finding the information you requested. Under the Act we have twenty working days to find that information and pass it to you, although there are certain exemptions to this.

How much will it cost me?

Requests under the Freedom of Information Act are free unless they exceed the 'appropriate limit' of eighteen hours work or £450. If your request is likely to incur charges we will inform you before going ahead.

Please note that the Act does not enable you to make requests about medical records. These are covered by the Data Protection Act, see this page for information about gaining access to health records

I didn't get the information I wanted...

If you feel that the Trust has not answered your query to your satisfaction then please write to:

Director of Finance (Senior Information Risk Owner)
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
Trust Headquarters
Colchester General Hospital
Turner Road
Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JL

If you are still not happy with the response then you can take it further with the Information Commissioners Office

The Act encourages a policy of openness and we will do our best to provide you with the information you requested. Although there are some exemptions that mean we do not have to provide you with information, we will explain these if the situations arise.

If you have submitted an FOI request to the Trust and have any ideas on how to improve things or changes that you'd like to see, then please submit a Feedback Form. These can be completely anonymous and will help us to provide a better service in the future.