Freedom of Information (FOI)

What is FOI

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 allows every person the right to:

  • Request access to records held by the public bodies, including Cappagh Hospital, not normally available.
  • Make a correction to personal information relating to them that is incomplete, incorrect or misleading.
  • Be given reasons for decisions taken by the public bodies, including Cappagh Hospital, which directly affect them.

Records in Cappagh Hospital affected by the Acts include:

  • All records relating to personal information including information held in patient and staff records
  • All other records created on or after the 21 April 1998

The Freedom of Information Act can allow the hospital to restrict access to some information in certain circumstances but you will be given a full explanation if this happens.

Access to Patient Information

Our patients do not need to use the Freedom of Information Act to request access to information contained in their medical records. They should be told to make a written request and include in their letter the following details:

  • Family name
  • First name
  • Phone number
  • Current Address
  • Previous Address if applicable
  • Enough information to allow the hospital to find the medical records
  • Details of the exact records requested
  • Reason for the request to enable staff to assign the request to the right section

The patient must also include proof of their identity by means of an original birth certificate, a passport, a driving licence, or other official form of ID. They should send their request with the official documents to:

Routine Access,

The Medical Records Department,

Cappagh National Orthpaedic Hospital,

Finglas,

Dublin 11,

D11 EV29

Tel: 01 814 0372

Access to Staff Information

Staff may ask for a copy of their own staff record without using the Freedom of Information Act. They should make an application in writing to the Human Resources Manager.

 

Director of Human Resources,

Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital,

Finglas,

Dublin 11,

D11 EV29

Phone: (01) 814 0392 /(01) 814 0358

 

Please include proof of your identity by means of a passport, driving licence or other official form of ID.

On receipt of an access request, the Director of Human Resources will acknowledge the request and will furnish the staff member with the information requested within a specified timeframe.

 

Access to Records of the Deceased

When a patient dies, the next of kin, or other family members may request access to the patient’s medical records. These requests are always dealt with by the Freedom of Information Officer who will balance the patient's right to confidentiality with the right of another person to be given the information in the public interest.

If you wish to make a request, please download and complete this form

Application Form for Records of the Deceased

and return the completed form, with proof of yourrelationship to the deceased person, proof of your own identity and a copy of the deceased death certificate to:

The Freedom of Information Officer,

Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital,

Finglas,

Dublin 11,

D11 EV29

Phone: +353 1 814 0319

Email: foi [at] cappagh [dot] ie

 

How Requests are Handled

 

Time-limits for the processing of requests

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 sets down strict time-limits for the processing of requests. These are as follows:

  • Applications will be acknowledged within two weeks of receipt of a request. Applications will be replied to within four weeks of receipt of a request.

The hospital may extend the four week time-limit for replying to requests if:

  • The request relates to a very large number of records.
  • A large number of requests have been received from different applicants for the same records.

In the event of the hospital having to defer its reply on these grounds, applicants will receive notification before the end of the four week period. They will also be given the reasons for the delay.

 

Granting requests / Refusing requests

If a request is granted:

If a request is granted, the applicant will be told in writing :

  • That the request has been granted.
  • The name of the person who granted the request.
  • The day on which the decision was made.
  • The format in which the record will be released.
  • The fee for searches if applicable.

If a request is refused:

If a request is refused, the applicant will be told in writing:

  • That the request has been refused and the reasons for the refusal.
  • The name of the person who decided to refuse the record
  • The rights of review and appeal as set out below.

 

Fees

Note - No fees will be charged for personal records.

Fees may be charged as follows:

  • For non-personal information, fees may be charged for the time spent in efficiently locating and copying records, based on the standard rates in operation at the time of the request. No fee may be levied for the cost of time involved in considering an application under the Act once the records have been retrieved.
  • A deposit of 20% may be payable where the total fee is likely to exceed €40. In these circumstances the hospital must, if requested assist the applicant to amend the request so as to reduce or eliminate the amount of the deposit.

Charges may be waived in the following circumstances:

  • Where the administrative cost of collecting the fee exceeds the amount to be charged.
  • Where the information requested would be of particular assistance to the understanding of an issue of national importance.

 

Rights of Review and Appeal

The Act sets out a series of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may damage interests of third parties or the public good known as the public interest. If the initial decision maker decides to withhold information the requester may submit a request to have the matter reviewed by the hospital's internal reviewer. In addition decisions about, delaying access to records, charges for searches and the form in which access is granted, may also be reviewed.

Internal review

Requests for internal review must be submitted in writing within four weeks of the original decision.  The request should be made to:

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer,

Cappagh National Orthpaedic Hospital,

Finglas,

Dublin 11,

D11 EV29

The hospital must complete its internal review and notify the applicant within three weeks of receiving the request.

Note - An application for an internal review that is not completed within three weeks is deemed to be a refusal. The applicant can then proceed to review by the Information Commissioner without waiting for the hospital to communicate its decision

Review by the Information Commissioner

Following completion of the internal review, an applicant may seek an independent external review from the Information Commissioner.

Appeals To the Information Commissioner

Appeals to the Information Commissioner must be made in writing within six months and sent to the following address: -

Office of the Information Commissioner,

18 Lower Leeson, Dublin 2.

Teleplone: 01 678 5222

Fax: 01 661 0570

Email: foi [at] ombudsman [dot] irlgov [dot] ie

Note - The Information Commissioner will advise an applicant of their decision within four months.

Appeal to the High Court

A person affected by a decision of the Information Commissioner may make appeal to the High Court on a Point of Law only.

Freedom of Information Decision-Makers

The Decision Makers on FOI requests in Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital are:

Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Internal-Reviewer: The Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Human Resource Manager (Staff Information)

Can I get access to any information I seek?

Any official information held by public bodies can be sought under the Act. However, in defined circumstances, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information. These are set out in Section 19-32 of the Act. Some key exemptions are records relating to:

  • Personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
  • Information supplied to the Hospital in confidence
  • Law enforcement and public safety
  • Commercially sensitive information
  • Deliberations of the Hospital
  • Functions and negotiations of the Hospital

Hours of Service

Monday – Wednesday: 9.30am – 1:30pm

FOI Contact Information

For further information and assistance in making a request under FOI, please contact:

The Freedom of Information Officer,

Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital,

Finglas,

Dublin 11,

D11 EV29

Phone: +353 1 814 0319

Email: foi [at] cappagh [dot] ie

 

 

 

Mission Statement

We are inspired by the love of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy.

We strive to Care for all patients with excellence, Cherish the uniqueness of each person and Treat them with compassion, love and integrity.

We are constantly challenged to meet the needs of our times in all aspects of care, through ongoing education and research.