Freedom of Information

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act 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 need to. You have the right to know which services are being provided, the targets that are being set, the standards of services that are expected and the results achieved.

Since 1 January 2005, the Freedom of Information Act allows anyone to request information held by Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

We are obliged to respond to requests for information. The rights to request and access this information are subject to some exemptions that we will deal in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice and guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office.

I want to find out something about the hospitals

Before making a formal request, please check our website to make sure that the information isn't already available.

Our publication scheme has most of the information routinely asked for by members of the public. If the information you require is not held on our website, you can:

Email our FoI lead 

Write to:

Information governance manager
Royal Brompton Hospital
Sydney Street
London
SW3 6NP

If you have queries that are not covered by the Publication Scheme, please direct them to:

Information governance manager
Royal Brompton Hospital
Sydney Street
London SW3 6NP
Email: 
foi@rbht.nhs.uk 

When will my Freedom of Information (FoI) request be answered?

When we receive your request, we will send you an acknowledgement. We aim to acknowledge all requests within two working days.

We will deal with your request as promptly as possible. We are under a legal obligation to provide a response within 20 working days.

Will there be a charge for my FoI request?

In dealing with any request for information under the Act we are able to charge fees in accordance with the Freedom of Information Fee Regulations.

For the most part, we will charge you only for hard copies or copying onto media (eg CD-ROM). The charges will vary according to how information is made available.

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

  • the prescribed costs – meaning any costs reasonably incurred by our hospitals in determining whether they hold 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 we are obliged to comply with the request for information
  • the disbursements – meaning any costs directly and reasonably incurred by our hospitals in informing the applicant whether it holds information of the description specified in the request and in communicating any such information.

We do not have to comply with a request for information if we estimate that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit, which is £450 (based on the Department of Constitutional Affairs' regulations of a notional cost of 18 hours work at £25.00 per hour).

Where the cost of complying with a request exceeds the appropriate limit, we may still decide to comply with the request. In this case, we shall follow one of the following arrangements:

  • provide the information at no charge
  • charge the full cost
  • charge the difference between the total cost and the appropriate limit.

What if I am unhappy with the response?

In the first instance, you can raise your concerns by writing to the information governance manager at IG@rbht.nhs.uk.

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

What is the Data Protection Act?

Under the Data Protection Act 2018 a person may request access to information (with some exemptions) that is held about them by an organisation. This is known as the Right of Subject Access.

To find out how you can access your information, visit access your medical records

  • Download our Freedom of information leaflet - October 2017 (PDF, 233KB) This leaflet tells you about the Act, what it means to you and the systems and procedures we have put into practice to make sure we comply with the Act.
  • To give feedback and help us improve our responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, please complete and return this FOI feedback questionnaire (DOC, 504KB) within 28 days to: foi@rbht.nhs.uk 

Data Protection Impact Assessments

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA's) are used each time we plan a new or innovative way to legally use our patient's personal information (data). DPIA's allows us to understand and mitigate any risks of personal data collection. We follow guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office - the regulator. Copies of our DPIA's are below: