Access to Information
Freedom of Information (FOI) & Right of Access (Subject Access Request)
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 or FOI Act gives members of the public a right to request access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, promoting a culture of openness and accountability across the public sector.
At NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, we are committed to being open and transparent with you. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 or FOI Act gives members of the public a right to request access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, promoting a culture of openness and accountability across the public sector.
What should I do before I request information from West Essex CCG?
Check whether the information you seek is already available. NHS West Essex CCG publishes information on this website and you may well find the answer to your question is already here. If you request information from NHS West Essex CCG that is already published, we will simply refer you to the published source.
Who can request information?
Anyone, anywhere in the world, can make a freedom of information request to NHS West Essex CCG.
What can I request?
You can seek any recorded information that you think NHS West Essex CCG may hold. If the information is environmental, we will respond according to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). You do not have to know whether the information you want is covered by the EIR or the FOI Act. When you make a request, we will decide which law applies.
If the information is your own personal data, then you should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), and not under the FOI Act.
For more information or to make a request, please contact:
Christopher Martin Road,
You will receive an acknowledgement by email shortly and a full reply within twenty working days.
How do I request information About Me?
Please see below Right of Access (Subject Access Request) where your rights under Data Protection Act 2018 are explained
Right of Access (Subject Access Request)
The Data Protection Act 2018 provides individuals with a number of rights with regards to information held about them by organisations.
A full list of the rights available to a data subject is available here:
One of the rights available to data subjects is the Right of Access. This allows you to view or obtain a copy of the personal information held about you. Specific information with regards to the right of access is available here:
How to Gain Access
In order to gain access to records held regarding an individual, a request needs to be made to the relevant organisation. Request can be made either in writing, or verbally (where the receiver has the ability to write this down), however, in order to be deal with more efficiently and safely, we would prefer to receive a request in writing.
There is no requirement to fill in a particular form, but the CCG will need certain information from a data subject (or their authorised representative) in order to deal with a request.
We will need the name of the individual whose records are required – we will also need copies of identification (a copy of photographic ID, i.e. driving license or passport, in addition to proof of address, such as a utility bill), so that we can assure ourselves that the person requesting records is the data subject.
If a request is being made on behalf of the data subject, we will still need copies of identification of the data subject (as per description above), but will also need signed consent from the data subject for the requester to act on their behalf, and copies of identification of the requester (as per description above).
Should the data subject lack capacity to provide consent then we will need to see a copy of Power of Attorney for Health and Wellbeing, which will allow those listed within the document to act on behalf of the data subject without their consent being provided at that time, in addition to copied of identification of both the data subject and the requester.
Please send your request to the following address:
Please detail as specifically as possible the information you require, whether this be all the information held, or only that covering a certain time period or within a certain department.
Once we have received your request, and subsequently satisfied ourselves as to identification and consent (where necessary), we will respond within 30 days to provide the information you have requested.
Very occasionally it may not be possible to comply within this time frame, we will keep data subject, or their representatives, informed if this is the case.
Sending the Information
You can choose to have the information requested sent to you by recorded delivery, you can collect the records personally or you can choose to come in to view the records with an appropriate health professional.
We can also provide information electronically, usually via email, however there are security considerations when using this option and these will be discussed at the time should that option. Please choose which method you would like on the application form.
Requests made on behalf of Children and Young People
Those with parental responsibility have a statutory right to apply for access to their children's health records although if the child is of an age capable of giving consent, he or she must consent to the access. We may require sight of a child's birth certificate, or a certified copy, in order to establish parental responsibility.
Current legislation allows for access to be limited in certain cases. For example:
- If it is believed that the requester would be harmed by the access, the request may be refused in part or whole.
- Third person involvement - where a third party has divulged information in confidence, and the information was given on the basis that it would not be shared, these parts of the record may not be released.
- The subject has requested that information is not disclosed to any third party.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, there are no longer charges associated with the right of access to information held about data subjects.
If you are dissatisfied with the way we have dealt with your subject access request, please contact us via the following methods: