Freedom of information FAQs

Can I request access to personal information under the Act?

Access to personal information that the Trust may hold about you is not available under the Freedom of Information Act.  Requests for information relating to your care, health records or employment records are processed in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, and are called Subject Access Requests.  Please refer to the Subject Access Request section for further information about how to make this type of request.

Can the Trust refuse to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act?

The Act aims to strike a balance between promoting openness, protecting the privacy rights of individuals and maintaining the right to confidentiality.  This balance is achieved through use of the exemptions defined by the Act.  Further information about Freedom of Information exemptions can be found on the Information Commissioners website

Under the terms of the Act, some or all of the information you request may be exempt from disclosure. If this is the case, we will advise you of the reason(s) why we cannot fulfil your request, including what exemption(s) have been applied.

When will I receive a response?

Once we have processed your request, we will send you the information requested, provided it is held by BSUH NHS Trust and is not exempt from disclosure.  We will supply the information in the format you requested, as far as possible.  If we know that the information is held by another public authority, we will supply you with relevant contact details of the other organisation.

In compliance with the Act, we will endeavour to respond to your request within 20 working days from the date we receive your written request.  If we are unable to provide the information requested within 20 working days, we will advise why, and provide a date by when we expect to be able to respond.

What if I’m not happy with my response?

If you are not satisfied with the response to your request for information because of a refusal, a failure to respond or failure to give proper advice, you can make a complaint to the Trust.  Please quote your FOI reference number on any correspondence.

The address of our FOI review department is:

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
Freedom of Information Office
Headquarters, First Floor
St Mary’s Hall, Eastern Road
Brighton BN2 5JJ

The Trust will then have an additional 20 working days in which to respond to your complaint. Any review will normally be under the control and direction of a senior member of staff who had no involvement in the original decision or process.

If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner within two months of receiving our response.  You can write to the Information Commissioner’s Office at the following address:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Where can I find out more?

If you have any other general questions or concerns about the Freedom of Information process, please contact the Freedom of Information Manager at foi@bsuh.nhs.uk