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 are made readily available.
Powys teaching Health Board (PtHB) recognises that the public have the right to know how the services of the Health Board are organised and run. They have 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.
For further information access the Health Boards Freedom of Information Act Leaflet here FOI information Leaflet Nov 2013.
Should you be dissatisifed with an FOI response, please access the Health Boards Freedom of Information Act Review leaflet here - FOI Review Leaflet Nov 2013.
To assist the public in accessing such information and in compliance with the Act, the Health Board has produced a Publication Scheme. This is a complete guide to information which the Health Board routinely publishes, in compliance with the Model Publication Scheme produced by the Information Commissioner. Our Guide to 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.
General Right of Access
The 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 the Health Board and the type of information available to them.
Information can only be provided that would be given to anybody who asked for it, or that would be suitable for the general public to see. It does not take into account who is asking for the information and why they want it.
Members of the public can ask for any information that they think the Health Board may hold although some information may be exempt, for example, it would be unfair to reveal personal details about somebody else. Should you need to request personal details which is information about yourself or a family member then the appropriate contact details are on our Contact Us page.
All requests for information must be made in writing, for example, in a letter or an email, providing your name, contact telephone number and postal address or email address for the Health Board to respond to. Our Contact Us page provides correspondence details to make such a request.
When making a request for information, please be as clear as possible by pinpointing the specific information required to assist the Health Board in responding to the request as quickly and as efficiently as possible, the more detail you can provide us with in your initial the request the less unlikely we are to write back to you seeking clarification. Confirm what format would be preferential to receive the information in, for example, electronically or as a hard copy.
The Health Board will reply to requests within 20 working days from the day it receives the request. It may:
- provide the information asked for;
- notify the requestor if the information is not held;
- notify the requestor if another public body holds the information;
- issue a 'Fees Notice' informing the requestor that Charges apply to that particular information request;
- refuse to provide the information, and explain the reasons why;
- notify the requester that the Health Board requires more time to consider the public interest test, and confirm when a response should be expected.
There are several categories of information that will be exempt under the Freedom of Information Act. The following list is a selection from these categories, to give you an idea of categories of information that could be exempt within Powys teaching Health Board, however a full list of exemptions, along with clarification and advise, can be found on the website of the Information Commissioners Office
- Section 12 - Cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit
- Section 21 - Information accessible by other means
- Section 22 - Information intended for future publication
- Section 40 (1) - Personal Information
- Section 40 (2) - Personal Information relating to third parties
- Section 41 - Information provided in confidence
- Section 42 - Legal Professional Privilege
Complaint or unhappy about your FOI response?
If you are not happy with the way your request has been dealt with, you are entitled to ask for an Internal Review, this is where the Chief Executive will look at your request and make an independent decision as to whether they agree with the original response or not. The Health Board has 20 working days in which to undertake this review and respond.
If after receiving this response you remain unsatisfied, you are entitled to make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.
The Health Board has produced a Disclosure Log to assist the public, which provides the public with a redacted list of previous requests received by the organisation, together with the relevant responses issued.