What should I do if I cannot find what I want?
If you are unable to find the information you want within our publication scheme, you can request the information under the Freedom of Information Act by putting your request in writing to:
Information Governance Team
Greets Green Road
You should make sure that you include your name, contact details, and a description of the information you want. You should try to describe the information you want in as much detail as possible.
Who can request information?
Everyone has the right to request information held by public sector organisations. You can ask for any information at all, but some information might be withheld to protect various interests which are allowed for by the Act. If this is case we have to tell you why we've withheld the information.
Can someone ask for my information under Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act does not affect someone’s legal right to patient confidentiality in accordance with Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, the Data Protection Act, and common law. Protecting a patient’s legal right to confidentiality continues to be a responsibility we take very seriously. This is why we’ve appointed a member of the Trust Board to make sure that protection of patient confidentiality is maintained throughout the Trust, in accordance with people’s legal rights.
The Trust routinely receives requests from companies and individuals asking for information linked to patients who may have died without a will or where there is no known next of kin.
In line with published guidance the Trust will not release the names of the deceased in accordance with section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act, “information provided in confidence”.
The Trust’s explanation of the use of the FOIA exemption at section 41 is as follows:
The information that has been requested is held within each individual’s Health Record. The identity of the individual was provided by the individual for the purpose of their health care (in this case mental health) in the belief that it would be held in confidence, even after death. Disclosing this information and other information directly relating to the deceased individual that forms part of their Health Record could result in an actionable breach of confidence by any representative of the person or any relative, should one exist, who was unknown at the time of being passed to the Treasury Solicitor.
In addition, it is Department of Health and General Medical Council policy that records relating to deceased people should be treated with the same level of confidentiality as those relating to living people. Access to the health records of a deceased person is governed by the Access to Health Records Act 1990. Under this legislation when a patient has died, only their personal representative or executor or administrator or anyone having a claim resulting from the death (this could be a relative or another person), has the right to apply for access to the deceased’s health records.
Reference is made to the case of Bluck and Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, where the Information Tribunal found that doctors have a duty of confidence even after a patient has deceased because this is necessary to ensure that patients feel confident in sharing all relevant information when alive and thereby obtain appropriate medical care. Were any information to be disclosed about the patient after death, this will deter patients from sharing information and therefore frustrate the purpose of the duty of confidence.
Can I access my records under Freedom of Information?
No, the Freedom of Information Act does not allow you to access your records. However the Data Protection Act 1998 does provide you the right to access your information. If you would like to access any information that the Trust may hold about you, you can request this by writing to:
Or by sending a letter to:
Information Governance Team
Greets Green Road
You should make sure that you include your name, contact details, NHS number (if known) and a description of the information you want.
What is a Publication Scheme?
The Publication Scheme is a guide to the information routinely published by Black Country Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust. It holds readily accessible information, and we will review the Scheme at regular intervals.
What is a Disclosure Log?
The Disclosure Log provides an overview of previous freedom of information requests and the information that has been released.