All NHS organisations are covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
The act became law in November 2000. It gives you the right to obtain information held by public authorities, unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential.
It also sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on the public authorities it affects.
The act does not change the right of patients to protect their confidentiality. We are committed to protecting you and your information.
Freedom of Information and your rights
Anyone can make a request for information, although the request must be made in writing, which includes emails. The request must contain details of the applicant and the information sought.
The Freedom of Information Act gives applicants two related rights:
- To be told whether the information is held by the public authority;
- To receive the information (and where possible, in the manner requested, i.e. as a copy or summary, or the applicant may ask to inspect a record).
Public authorities are obliged to provide information recorded both before and after the act was passed.
Your right to access CCG information
The Freedom of Information Act gives the right to all individuals to request access to information held by the CCG. The aim of the Act is to create a climate of openness in the public services and amongst other things to inform people how public authorities make their operational decisions and how public money is used.
In order to comply with Freedom of Information Act 2000, public sector organisations such as ours have to routinely publish information whenever possible.
The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, has drawn up what is called a ‘Model Publication Scheme’ for all public sector organisations.
The commissioner also published a ‘Definition Document for NHS Organisations’ This sets out in some detail what his minimum expectations are as far as we are concerned. We have reviewed the information we routinely put into the public domain to ensure we are compliant with the Definition Document.
Most of the information we make routinely available can be accessed through our website. Such information is continually updated. If you cannot find information please contact the Freedom of Information Officer, contact details are provided below.
Accessing information which is not included in the Publication Scheme
As an open and transparent organisation we are committed to routinely publishing as much information as possible, however if you want information which is not on our website you may ask us for it in accordance with further provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and of the Environmental Information Regulations 2005.
Fees and Charges
The Freedom of Information Act and the associated Fee Regulations stipulate that we cannot levy a fee for information unless there is a statutory basis for doing so or the amount of time taken to locate the information exceeds 18 hours.
However we are allowed to charge for disbursements related to the provision of information and any reformatting requested by the applicant provided we ensure that applicants are aware of any changes which may be made.
Making a request for information
If you wish to make a request for information it should be in writing (or e-mail) stating the information that is required, your name and organisation if appropriate and a contact address for correspondence. Requests should be sent to the Freedom of Information Officer (contact details below).
In some cases however, information may not be provided. This is where an exemption applies. An example of this is where the required information contains personal information (this will continue to be covered by the conditions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Another is where the requested information is available by other means, for example if it is on our website so you may need to check there first before putting in a request for information.
For postal requests, please send to the following address:
Freedom of Information Officer
Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
Lancashire Business Park
Email requests should be sent to:
Please write “Freedom of Information for NHS West Lancashire CCG” in the subject line.