Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 came into force on 1st January 2005.

The FOI Act was introduced so that public authorities, like the NHS are seen to be open and transparent in their business processes and to promote a culture of openness and accountability.  The Act ensures that: 

“Any member of the public has the ability to apply for access to recorded information held by public authorities - this could include policy details, procedures, minutes of meetings, etc”

Please note that this is non patient identifiable information as in the majority of cases requests for patient identifiable information will be made under the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

Therefore, the FOI Act provides people with a legal ‘right to know’ and recognises that, as a member of the public, you have the right to know how public services such as the NHS are organised and run.  The FOI Act gives people a right to obtain official information held by Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) unless the organisation can show there is good reason for the information to be exempt from publication.  The FOI Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities. 

Click here for more information about the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000

Please submit your freedom of information request in writing to:

The Freedom of Information Officer
Hywel Dda University Health Board, Corporate Offices, Ystwyth Building, St David's Park, Job's Well Road
Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, SA31 3BB       

Email: FOI.HywelDda@wales.nhs.uk

Telephone: 01267 239730 

The Information Commissioner who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the FOI Act has drawn up a Model Publication Scheme for all public sector organisations.  It has been adopted without modification and is valid until further notice.  The Information Commissioner has also published a definition document for NHS organisations which sets out, in some detail, what his minimum expectations are as far as the University Health Board is concerned.

Click here to view the Model Publication Scheme (PDF, 294KB)

Click here to view the Definition Document for NHS Organisations (PDF, 162KB)

The University Health Board has developed a guide to our information which sets out the type of information the University Health Board produces and the associated decision making processes which are made publicly available.  Most of the information that the University Health Board holds is routinely available and can be accessed through this website by using the search facility.  This information is regularly updated. 

Generally information available through the Publication Scheme will be free of charge, although the University Health Board may charge if the information is required in a hard copy or to be copied onto a different type of media.  

As an open and transparent organisation, the University Health Board is committed to routinely publishing as much information as possible.  However, if you want information which is not on the University Health Board ’s website or otherwise available through our Publication Scheme, you may ask the University Health Board for it in accordance with further provisions of the FOI Act and of the Environmental Information Regulations 2005. 

If you would like to see information or documents which the University Health Board  does not routinely publish, then you have a right to make a request.  

Write to us:
The Freedom of Information Officer, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Corporate Offices, Ystwyth Building, St David's Park, Job's Well Road, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, SA31 3BB       

Email: FOI.HywelDda@wales.nhs.uk
Telephone: 01267 239730

If you are unsure what information the University Health Board might have about the matter you are interested in, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer who will be able to provide you with advice and assistance.

On receipt of your request, the University Health Board will acknowledge receipt of this and make arrangements to determine whether it holds the information that you have requested.  If the University Health Board does not have any relevant information or if an exemption applies, it will let you know as soon as possible and try and advise you where else you might be able to access the information.  If the University Health Board does have the information you request and provided that no exemptions apply, you will be provided with this within 20 working days.

If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which the University Health Board deals with this, you may ask for a review of any decision that has been made.  If you wish the University Health Board to undertake such a review, you should:

Write to us:
The Board Secretary, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Withybush General Hospital, Fishguard Road
Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 2PZ

Email: Joanne.L.Wilson@wales.nhs.uk

 

All requests for a review will be handled in line with the University Health Board’s Freedom of Information Policy and will be undertaken under the control and direction of the Interim Board Secretary / Senior Information Risk Owner. 

Click here to view the Freedom of Information Policy

If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review, you may complain to the Information Commissioner at the address below.  Generally, the Information Commissioner is unable to make a decision unless you have exhausted the University Health Board's internal review procedure. 

Write to them:
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Fax: 01625 524 510

Visit the website: Information Commissioner's Office Website

The University Health Board will make every effort to provide you with the information you have requested.  However, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act recognises that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may be withheld, such as if its release would prejudice national security or damage commercial interests.

To view the University Health Board’s FOI Policy which includes guidance on exemptions, charges and fees, complaints, appeals process and others.

Click here to view the Freedom of Information Policy (PDF, 526KB)
Click here to view the Reuse of Public Sector Information Policy (PDF, 303KB)

If the University Health Board is unable to release some or all of the information you request, it will explain this to you.

Most of the information we provide in response to Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests will be subject to copyright protection.  In some cases the copyright will be owned by us, in other cases the copyright may be owned by another person or organisation, when someone else owns the information we will tell you on the information we provide.

You can use the information we have published for your own private study or non-commercial research, and research for news reporting, but you cannot use this information for any other reason including publishing it on your social media, website or printing in a publication.  You will need to get our or the other copyright owners permission before you do this. 

To help you understand when you can and cannot re-use our information we have a reuse and copyright of information page.  This page explains the things you have to do to apply to re-use our information in your own way.  Where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation you must ask them for their permission to use it by contacting them direct.

Click here to view information about the Reuse and Copyright of Information

In order to help you further, we have developed a disclosure log which lists the enquiries we have had and the replies we provided.  

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and the associated Fees Regulations stipulate that the University Health Board 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, the University Health Board is allowed to charge for disbursements related to the provision of information and any reformatting requested by the applicant provided it ensures that applicants are aware of any charges which may be made.  

No charges will be made for any information accessed via the University Health Board's website. 

If you want any further information about the provision of information or have any difficulty accessing information provided on the University Health Board’s website, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer.

Click here for contact details for the Freedom of Information Officer

Further guidance on when you can reuse the information you have received can be found in the Reuse and Copyright of Information section. 

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