Freedom of Information
The NHS is facing unprecedented challenges relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the current time. Understandably our resources have been diverted to support our front-line colleagues who are working tremendously hard to provide care for our patients.
We strive to be transparent and to work with an open culture. But at this time, caring for our patients and the safety of our staff takes precedent and responses to some requests for information will be delayed. We apologise for this in advance, and will endeavour to provide you with as much information as we can, as soon as we are able.
The current situation has been acknowledged by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Please find the link to the ICO’s COVID-19 response
Please consider if your request is necessary to submit at this time or if it can be delayed until the current situation changes.
What is the Freedom of Information Act?
Access to Information includes all the information which the Trust is required to publish under the Information Commissioner’s revised Model Publication Scheme. The Guidance to Information document identifies what information is available through the Scheme.
The Freedom of Information Act and Amendment Act (2003) 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, how much they cost, and how you can make complaints if you wish to. You have the right to know what services are being provided, the targets that are being set, the standards of service that are expected, and the results achieved. Sometimes, we may not be able to provide information requested, but will explain the reasons why.
Requests for information should be made in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer, Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester.
Any questions, comments or complaints about Worcester Hospitals NHS Trust Publication Scheme should be sent to The Chief Executive’s Office at the address above.
Re-use of Trust information
Trust information can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act, however, providing access to information does not give an automatic right to re-use it. 'Re-use' can include publishing information or issuing copies to the public. Examples might be private sector companies wanting to re-publish our documents on their website as part of a commercial service, or wanting to publish images in commercial publications.
The Public Sector Information Regulations provide a framework for public sector organisations to license the re-use of their information, including the possibility of levying charges for re-use.
When we release information to you which you have requested under access to information legislation (such as the Freedom of Information Act), you may ask if you can re-use the information, perhaps for commercial purposes. Without the necessary permission, you can breach our copyright. It is this situation with which the regulations are concerned.
Nothing in the regulations affects rights of access under other legislation, such as Freedom of Information.
We are not obliged under the regulations to make public sector information available for re-use, but if we do so, it must be done in accordance with the regulations. In these circumstances, the regulations place the following obligations on us:
- We have 20 working days in which to respond to a request for re-use. This period may be extended where the request is extensive or complex.
- A license fee can be issued if we do not wish re-use to be free
- A license must not restrict competition
- Exclusive licensing arrangements will not be allowed, except for the provision of a service in the public interest. Such arrangements will be published.
- We should make available to the public our conditions for re-use and any standard charges for re-use.
- Information for re-use should be made available electronically where possible and appropriate.
- We must not discriminate between applicants making requests for re-use for comparable purposes.
The regulations do not affect our copyright. The supply of documents and information to you by us (for example under Freedom of Information and on our website) does not give you a right to re-use them in a way that would infringe that copyright.
Brief extracts of any material may be reproduced without our permission, under the 'fair dealing' provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes; private study; criticism; review and news reporting - all subject to an acknowledgement of ourselves as the copyright owner. Wilder re-use requires our permission. This applies equally to any of the Trust's logos.
We may choose to allow re-use under a license, imposing conditions on the re-use of the information to ensure it is not used in a manner inconsistent with our copyright; and we may also decide to charge a re-use fee.
Under Regulation 15(2) the Trust can charge sums for re-use that covers:
- The cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination of information; and
- A reasonable return on investment
Because of the potential diversity of requests we have taken the view that it is not reasonably practicable to publish standard charges, but in any case the charge will not exceed the total cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination of the requested information together with a reasonable return on investment.
You will be advised of any charge due to be paid and the terms of a specific License for Re-use for Commercial Purposes will be agreed. This license will be in line with the requirements of the Regulations and licensing terms and fees as laid down by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). Some licenses will be free; however the Trust reserves the right, in certain circumstances, to charge a fee for the re-use of information which it deems to be of commercial value.
In calculating a license fee the Trust will take into account the following:
- The Trust's Intellectual property, i.e. information that has a commercial value. A charge for this would be determined on a case by case basis.
- Charges for staff time. An hourly charge of £25 per hour will be made in respect of the staff time in making the information available to the applicant for re-use. However, this may be subject to change dependent upon the seniority of the member of staff required to process the request.
- Charges for materials, photocopying or printing.
- Disbursements i.e. postage and packing.
Applications to Re-use Trust Information
If you wish to submit a request to re-use our information please contact:
Worcestershire Royal Hospital
Charles Hastings Way
Further information on re-using information
Guidance and more information can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website: www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regulations/index.htm