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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) reflects the Government’s commitment to promote greater openness by public authorities.  The Act's purpose is to ensure that all areas of public bodies, including the NHS are open and transparent, ensuring that more information about public services is made readily available.  
 
The Aneurin Bevan Health Board (the Health Board) recognises that the public have the right to know how the services of the Health Board are organised and run.  The public has the right to know which services are being provided, the standards of services that are expected, the targets that are being set and the results achieved, together with how much it costs to provide the services it offers.  
 
 
To assist the public in accessing such information and in compliance with the Act, Aneurin Bevan Health Board has produced a Publication Scheme.  This is a complete guide to the information which we routinely publish, in compliance with the Model Publication Scheme produced by the Information Commissioner. The Guide to our Classes of Information follows the format of the seven broad classes of information referred to in the Model Publication Scheme and in the Definition Document for Health Bodies in Wales.  

Freedom of Information Requests
 
Aneurin Bevan Health Board also provides the public with a right of access to information which is not covered in the Publication Scheme.  Briefly outlined below are details of how members of the public can make requests for information to Aneurin Bevan Health Board and the type of information available to them.
 
Information can be provided to anybody who asks for it as long as it is suitable for the general public to see.  The Health Board does not take into account who is asking for the information or why they want it. 
 
Members of the public can ask for any information that they think Aneurin Bevan Health Board may hold, although some information may be exempt.  For example, we would not reveal personal details about somebody else.
 
Requests for information must be made in writing, for example in a letter or an email, providing your name and a postal or email address to enable Aneurin Bevan Health Board to respond.  Our Contact Us page provides correspondence details and our e-mail contact details.
 
How should you word your request?
 
When making a request for information, be as clear as possible about what information you want and also confirm in what format you would prefer to receive the information, for example, electronically or as a hard copy: 
  • You have a right to request the information regardless of how it is recorded.  You don’t have to specify particular documents.
  • Be as clear as possible.  If the Health Board isn’t sure what you want, we will have to ask you for clarification and explanation.
  • Try to pinpoint what you really want. 
  • In some cases your request may be refused if it would be too expensive or time consuming for the Health Board to deal with.  The Health Board may also charge you for some expenses such as photocopying.  If necessary, start by asking for a list of the information available about the topic you are interested in.
  • Where possible ask for specific information rather than using open-ended questions.  ‘What’ or ’how much’ questions are more likely to get a useful response than ‘why’ questions.
  • Use straightforward, polite language; avoid basing your request or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints or comments.
Aneurin Bevan Health Board will reply to requests within 20 working days from receipt.  The Health Board may:
  • provide the information asked for;
  • notify you if the information is not held;
  • notify you if another public body holds the information;
  • issue a ‘Fees Notice’ informing you that Charges apply to that particular information request;
  • refuse to provide the information, and explain the reasons why;
  • notify you that the Health Board requires more time to consider the public interest test;
  • and confirm when a response should be expected.
The Information Commissioner's office has issued a Charter for Responsible Freedom of Information Requests.   This charter may assist you in making information requests to Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
 
If you are not happy with the response
 
If you are not happy with the way your request has been handled you are entitled to make a complaint by contacting us.
 
All complaints will be dealt with in accordance with Aneurin Bevan Health Board’s ‘Freedom of Information Policy’.  Should you not be satisfied with the response to your complaint, you then have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office

Disclosure Log
 
Aneurin Bevan Health Board has produced a Disclosure Log to assist the public.  The Disclosure Log briefly outlines the previous requests received by the organisation, together with the relevant responses issued under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
If you cannot find the information you require in this Scheme or on our Web site, please Contact Us.  If we hold the information, we will provide it to you as quickly as possible.   
 
LINKS:
 
Freedom of Information Act
 
Aneurin Bevan Health Board's Publication Scheme
 
Model Publication Scheme
 
Information Commissioner
 
Definition document for Health bodies in Wales
 
Contact us
 
Charter for Responsible Freedom of Information Requests
 
Charges 
  
“The Health Board is able to charge you a fee of up to £10 for providing the information you have requested; however this fee is not routinely applied.  Nevertheless you may have to pay a fee for every request so you need to specify all the information you have asked for in your first letter otherwise you may have to pay another fee to get information you have asked for on different occasions.”
 
 

Last updated: 28 October 2013