Guidance notes

Requesting information

Our Freedom of Information staff can advise and assist you in your request for information. If we cannot find the information you want we will offer you advice and assistance to help you clarify or redefine your request.

The more detail you can provide in your request, the quicker and easier it will be for us to try to identify, prepare and send it to you. For instance it would be useful if you could tell us:

  • if the information you want is likely to be found in a specific document.
  • if you know of any references or document titles associated with the information.
  • if the information you want is available or listed in our publication scheme website. If so the name of the document or web address would be useful.
  • if it has been previously supplied to you as this will help us to locate the information once more.

Format of information

Unfortunately we cannot always supply the information in the format requested.

If this is the case we will try to suggest alternative ways of providing you with the information you want.

If we discover that the information is freely available elsewhere, for example in our publication scheme website, or through a third party, we will inform you of this fact and guide you to where you can find it.

Refusal of requests for information

Our CCG will always try to provide the information you want but we may refuse your request for information (either party or wholly) for a number of reasons:

  • we may refuse your request if the information is covered by an exemption specified in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or an exception contained within the Environmental Information Regulations 2000, including but not limited to the protection of personal data as laid down by the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • your request may be refused after careful consideration if it would be against the public interest to disclose the information.
  • we may refuse your request if it would take longer than 18 hours to find, which is the cost limit defined in section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • we may also reject your request if the request is for information we have recently given you and the information has not changed, or if the request appears to be designed to cause inconvenience with no visible benefits, as defined in section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • certain requests for information may be answered by providing redacted, summarised or extracted information. Redacted information is where specific sentences have been blacked out or removed from a document because the information is exempted under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (or excepted under the Environmental Information Regulations 2000) or in order to protect someone’s personal data as required under the Data Protection Act 1998.

If we refuse part (or all) of your request, or supply you with a redacted, summarised or extracted document (unless you requested a summary or extract) then we will send you an explanation of why we have done this.

Even if we refuse your request, we have a duty to let you know if we have the information, subject to certain exemptions specified in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will also send you details of our internal review proceudre and how to appeal to the Information Commissioner in case you feel our decision was unfounded.

If we do not hold the information we will let you know and try to recommend alternative sources for that information.

Please send the completed form to eMBED.FOI@nhs.net or complete our online form.

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