Freedom of information (FoI)
The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act allows anyone to ask for information held by a public authority, such as King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust will deal with requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice and guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office.
How we provide information
King’s aims to produce and share with our users high-quality information that helps them to understand and access our services.
This is available:
- online, in our Publication Scheme
- online, in our frequently asked questions section
- in printed format, sometimes by request only.
Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is also available to help people obtain the information they need, where possible, even if they do not have access to a phone or the internet.
Requesting information that is not on King’s website
Important: please check our Publication Scheme and our FoI frequently asked questions sections before submitting a request for information. If you cannot find the information you require in these sections or elsewhere on our website, you can submit a request to our FoI team.
You are entitled to ask whether we hold information on a specific area and then request copies of the information itself. Requests for information must be made in writing and include your name and an address to which correspondence can be sent. Requests should include a clear and specific description of the information you are seeking.
The FoI Act provides the right for members of the public to ask for recorded information held by public authorities. If your question(s) ask for opinion on an issue or ask for information to be created that is not already held (such as averages) then these questions will not qualify for a response under the provisions of the Act.
How to submit your request for information
Submitting your request via our Freedom of Information request form ensures that the FoI team receives your request and is able to begin the FoI process straight away.
You can also post your request to:
FoI Lead (FN)
First floor, Unit 2, Business Park
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
London SE5 9RS
Responding to requests
In accordance with the Act, we aim to respond to your request within twenty working days of receipt. If it becomes clear that provision of the information you have asked for is likely to take longer than twenty working days, we will let you know and give you an expected timescale.
Certain categories of information are exempt from the general right of access provided by the Act. Should your request be deemed to relate to any exempt information, we will advise you accordingly.
As a public authority, the Trust may charge a fee for the information requested. Any fees are calculated in accordance with the regulations issued under the Act. If your request generates a fee payment, we will inform you at the earliest opportunity and provide an estimation of costs.
Requests during the COVID-19 pandemic
We are committed to complying to right of access requests under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
However, the NHS is currently facing unprecedented challenges relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Understandably, our resources have been diverted to support our front-line colleagues who are working tremendously hard to provide care for our patients, and to those in need of our services.
The Information Commissioners Office has recognised the current situation in the NHS.
We strive to be transparent and to work within a culture of openness. However, at this time, while care of our patients and the safety of our staff takes precedent, it is likely that responses to some requests for information or records will be delayed. We apologise for this in advance and will endeavour to provide you with as much information as we can when we are able to.
It may therefore take up to the statutory deadline of three months in certain cases to respond to Subject Access Requests.
For Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, we will try to process these as normal. However, it is likely there will be a significant delay.
If your request is not urgent or time-sensitive, please withdraw it by emailing kch-tr.FOI@nhs.net and resubmit it at a future date. Your help with this would be much appreciated.
If you have a complaint about how we are dealing with requests, please email the Trust Data Protection Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
How we process an FoI request
|Request for information submitted. FoI team logs request and starts the Trust process||1-5 working days|
|Relevant departments locate information||10 working days|
|Response to request is finalised.||4-6 working days|
|Response sent to applicant.||Total: up to 20 working days|
Charges and fees for information
We are entitled to charge for copying the documents you have requested. In most cases we waive these charges. If we are considering charging you, we will contact you to find out whether you still wish to continue with the request.
If you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s response, you may appeal to us in the first instance. Our appeals procedure has been prepared in accordance with a Code of Practice issued by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.