Freedom of Information

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

From 1 January 2005 the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act allows anyone to ask for information held by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and request access to it. The Trust handles FOI requests in accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office.

I want to find out something about the Trust

Before formally making a request to the Trust please check our FOI disclosure log to see if it already contains the information you are seeking.

How do I request information that isn't on the website?

If the information you require is not held on our website, you can:

  • Email our FOI Lead
  • Call 020 3315 2558
  • Fax 020 3315 8285
  • Write to:

    Freedom of Information Lead
    Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
    369 Fulham Road
    London
    SW10 9NH

Requests for information must come in writing and include an address to which correspondence can be sent. Requests should include a clear and specific description of the information you are seeking.

When will my request be answered?

Once we have received your request we aim to respond within 20 working days or sooner. When responding we will firstly state whether or not we hold the information you are seeking. If we hold the information we will, in most cases, send this to you.

Can my request be refused?

Some information is subject to exemption under the FOI Act—for example, if the information has commercial interest or relates to personal information. Where an exemption is considered appropriate, we will outline why this is so and what steps you are entitled to take next.

Will there be a charge for my request?

We are entitled to charge for copying the materials that you are seeking. In the majority of cases we will absorb this cost. If we are considering applying a charge we will contact you to establish whether you still wish to proceed with the request.

Where the time involved in us investigating whether we hold the information and then obtaining the information requested exceeds a cost of £450 we are entitled to refuse the request.

In this case we will contact you to establish whether you wish to:

  • Proceed and pay for the request to be undertaken
  • Amend the request so that the cost is reduced to below £450
  • No longer proceed with the request

What is your charging structure?

The costs taken into account by the Trust when determining any fee are:

  • Prescribed costs—meaning any costs reasonably incurred by the Trust in determining whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, in locating and retrieving any such information, and in giving effect to any preference expressed by the applicant as to the means of communication of such information. This includes the cost of associated staff time, but does not include the cost of staff time incurred in determining whether the Trust is obliged to comply with the request for information
  • Disbursements—meaning any costs directly and reasonably incurred by the Trust in informing the applicant whether it holds information of the description specified in the request and in communicating any such information.

The Trust does not have to comply with a request for information if it estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit, which is £450 (based on the DCA's regulations of a notional cost of 18 hours work at £25 per hour).

What if I am dissatisfied with the Trust's response?

In the first instance you can raise your concerns through the Trust's internal complaints procedure by writing to:

Information Governance Manager/Freedom of Information Lead
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
369 Fulham Road
London
SW10 9NH

If you remain dissatisfied following the appeals process, you have the right under §50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the matter.

How do I request my health records?

Enquiries and application for a copy of your own health records fall under Data Protection Act, rather than the Freedom of Information Act. They are called Subject Access Requests.

There is a different procedure for requesting a copy of your own records.

Please complete the Access to Health Records SAR application form to request a copy of your own health records. The form itself has all details about the subject access request procedure.

If you have been a patient at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital only:

If you have been a patient at West Middlesex University Hospital only:

If you have been a patient at both hospitals then you can complete either form and tick both hospitals.

The form can also be requested from our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS).

I have a question, comment or complaint about the scheme

Please contact us:

  • Email our FOI Lead
  • Call 020 3315 2558
  • Write to:

    Freedom of Information Lead
    Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
    369 Fulham Road
    London
    SW10 9NH

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