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Freedom of Information

The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is to promote greater openness by public authorities. The right to access recorded information held by the Trust may be exercised by anyone worldwide. This dates back to 1st January 2005.

Anyone may ask general or specific questions about any aspect of Trust business and its decision making processes.


Does this conflict with the Data Protection Act?

No, there are exemptions to the Freedom of Information obligations that protect personal information from being released. No member of the public may apply to receive your personal and confidential patient or staff information.

Contact us

Rebecca Pascoe, FOI Manager

Email: foi@meht.nhs.uk

Tel: 01245 514536 

Write: FAO

Rebecca Pascoe, FOI Manager at  Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust, Court Road, Broomfield Hospital, Essex, CM1 7ET

Requesting personal records

In the event that it is your personal healthcare or your personal staff records that you require then you need to contact the Access to Records department. Please visit their pages here.


Are there exemptions from the Act?

Whilst the Trust and other public bodies will be as open as possible there are 23 exemptions under the Act. Some of these relate to national security, international relations or the justice system - the main exemptions that will apply to the NHS are:

  • personal data (except where staff names are mentioned in viewable documents such as Trust Board Minutes or on the Trust website)

  • Commercially sensitive information or trade secrets

  • Information that is already in the public domain


How do I appeal against a decision not to disclose?

If the Trust decides not to disclose Information the requester will be informed of the basis for the refusal together with a right of appeal and how to exercise it. The first level of appeal will normally be to the Trust. 

The final level of appeal will be to the Information Commissioner.


More information

Simply visit, www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk - this is the Information Commission is responsible for the Freedom of Information Act, the Environmental Information Regulations and the Data Protection Act and there is much advice on how individuals can exercise their legal rights.

National Data Opt Out

The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care.

You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.

How do I opt out or find more information?