Freedom of Information and Our Publication Scheme

Freedom of Information - Introduction

It is important to us that this Scheme meets your needs and we have designed it to be a route map so that you can easily find information about West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Under Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Trust has a legal duty to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme for the publication of Trust information. The purpose of the Act is to promote greater openness by public authorities (of which West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one).

Access to Information

The Trust routinely publishes many types of information about:

  • Who we are and what we do
  • What we spend and how we spend it
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing
  • How we make decisions
  • Our policies and procedures
  • The services we offer

This information can be found on our website.

Information on the website is provided free of charge. Please note that there is a possibility that you may be charged a fee for the information that you request.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, you may make a request in writing to:

Freedom of Information Officer

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust,
Trust Offices,
Watford General Hospital,
Vicarage Road
Watford
Herts WD18 0HB
email:
foi@whht.nhs.uk

The Freedom of Information Act does not change the right of patients to protection of their patient confidentiality in accordance with Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, the Data Protection Act and at common law. Maintaining the legal right to patient confidentiality continues to be an important commitment on our part.

Caldicott Guardian

To help with this, we have appointed a Caldicott Guardian - someone who has responsibility to ensure the protection of patient confidentiality throughout the Trust in accordance with your legal rights. At West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust the Caldicott Guardian position is held by the Medical Director at:

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust,
Trust Offices,
Watford General Hospital,
Vicarage Road
Watford
Herts WD18 0HB
email: communications@whht.nhs.uk

Information Management

Information falling into the Classes will be retained in line with the the Trust retention and disposal policy, which complies with circular HSC1999/53 and Public Record Office Guidance.

Information not required for the business purposes of the Trust is stored at the Trust / at a place of deposit approved by the Lord Chancellor for the purpose of holding public records.

Feedback / Complaints

Any questions, comments or complaints about this Scheme should be sent in writing to:

Director of Communications 
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Trust Offices
Watford General Hospital
Vicarage Road
Watford
Herts WD18 0HB

Rights of Access to Information

At the present time, in addition to accessing the information identified in this Publication Scheme, you are entitled to request information about West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust under the NHS Openness Code 1995. Hard copies are available free of charge from the:

Department of Health Publications Department
PO Box 777
London SE1 6XH
Tel: 0800 555777

Sometimes, some or all of the information cannot be provided and we will explain the reasons why if this happens.

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.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has an obligation to respond to requests about the information which it holds and is recorded in any form and it will create a right of access to that information. These rights are subject to some exemptions which the Trust has to take into account before deciding what information can be released. The Publication Scheme will help you to find all the information which the Trust publishes.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you by the Trust.

To do this you need to contact:

Access to Health Records Administrator
Litigation & Claims Department
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Watford General Hospital
Vicarage Road
Watford
Herts WD18 0HB

email: accesstohealthrecords@whht.nhs.uk

New Environmental Information Regulations may be introduced, which will enable similar access to environmental information, as under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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