Our guide to FOI

Freedom of Information (FOI) at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) aims to increase openness and transparency for the services we provide.

Information about the Act can be found here.

However, there are some circumstances when information cannot be disclosed and they are detailed below.

Can the Trust refuse to provide information under the Act?

The Act aims to strike a balance between promoting openness, protecting the privacy rights of individuals and maintaining the right to confidentiality.

This balance is achieved through use of the exemptions defined by the Act.

Exclusions in the Act require us to withhold information that is of a personal, confidential nature or that which may have a negative effect on the conduct of public affairs.

If we decide not to disclose information to you, we will advise you of the reason(s) why we cannot fulfil your request.

Publication Scheme

The Information Commissioner’s Office has introduced a model publication scheme that all public sector organisations must adopt from 1 January 2009

Guide to FOI at Great Ormond Street Hospital

The guide information details the specific information we hold and which is contained within any of the publication scheme’s seven classes

Can information be released about patients or staff?

The FOI Act does not allow people to obtain personal information about patients or our staff.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you./p>

If you wish to obtain information from Great Ormond Street Hospital under the Data Protection Act 1998, please contact:

Subject Access Request team 
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust 
Great Ormond Street 
London 
WC1N 3JH 
E-mail:  RecordsSAR@gosh.nhs.uk
Fax: 020 7813 8441 

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

All requests for information must be made in writing in one of the following ways: 

Post: 
FOI Co-ordinator
Executive Office
Paul O'Gorman Building
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust 
London 
WC1N 3JH 

E-mail: foiteam@gosh.nhs.uk

Fax: 020 7813 8218

Please ensure that you provide a contact name and address 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. 

All requests for information will be handled centrally by the Trust’s FOI team. 

When will I receive a response?

In compliance with the Act, we will endeavour to respond to your request within 20 working days from the date we receive your written 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 request for information because of a refusal, a failure to respond or failure to give proper advice, you can make a complaint to the Trust. 

The Trust will deal with any complaints related to Freedom of Information using the Trust's complaints procedure. 

Please quote your FOI reference number on any correspondence. 
You can write to the Patient Safety & Complaints Manager at the following address: 

Quality and Safety team 
Level 6, Paul O'Gorman Building 
Great Ormond Street Hospital 
LONDON 
WC1N 3JH 

If you believe the Trust has not dealt with your complaint properly, you also have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner within two months of receiving our response. 

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 

Where can I find out more?

If you should have any other general questions or concerns, you can contact the FOI team co-ordinator for further assistance at foiteam@gosh.nhs.uk

Cost of Information

This guide to our publication scheme details what information is provided free of charge and what information we will charge for.

Some information is available free, but for others there may be a charge. The charges will vary according to how information is available. Charges are as follows:

Information available on the Trust’s website

Any information that is available on the Trust website at www.gosh.nhs.uk is free of charge. However, the user will have to meet any charges by their Internet service provider and personal printing costs etc. 

For those without internet access, a single print-out as on the website is available by post, or by personal application to the FOI Coordinator, Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital NHS Trust, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH

Requests for multiple copies or for archived copies of documents

Any requests for multiple print-outs or for archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the Trust’s website may attract a fee for the cost of retrieval, photocopying or postage. 

The cost of photocopying will be charged at 20 pence per page. Retrieval and postage may attract additional fees. The charge will be payable in advance. 

You will be advised in writing by means of a fees notification if any fee applies, before we release any information. The 20 working day timeframe will freeze if a fees notification is sent to you, until your payment has been received. If we don’t receive your payment within three months from the date of our notification, we will assume that you no longer require the information and your request will become void. 

Where information is accessible on other organisation’s website, we will not provide print-outs of this information, but will direct you to the relevant site. 

Copyright

Material available through this publication scheme is subject to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s 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. 

We reserve the right to make a charge for any information that falls within the remit of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

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)

When will I receive a response?

In compliance with the Act, we will endeavour to respond to your request within 20 working days from the date we receive your written 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. 

Certain information may, in limited circumstances be restricted, for example where it relates to national security or protection of the environment etc. 

Where there is a stronger public interest in withholding the information than releasing it, the reason for withholding the information will be explained.

What if I'm not happy with my response?

If you are not satisfied with the response to your request for information because of a refusal, you can make a complaint to the Trust. This complaint should be made in writing within 40 working days of receipt of the refusal notice.

The Trust will review the decision within 40 working days of receipt of the complaint. If, following the review, the decision is to release information previously withheld, the information will be released, at the latest within 40 working days of the decision.

If you not satisfied with the response, a complaint can be made to the Information Commissioner's Office at the following address: 

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