Freedom of Information (FOI)
What is the Freedom of Information Act?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject. Anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights and it regulates public body compliance with the FOI Act.
If you ask for information about yourself, then your request will be handled under Data Protection Legislation.
If your request is wholly or partly for “environmental information” the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) will treat that part of your request as a request under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).
The ICB’s full FOI and EIR Policy will be published here.
The following sections will assist you in finding the information you are looking for
- A Guide to Information Held by the ICB – Our Publication Scheme
- Information held by other organisations – Who might hold the information you are requesting
- How to make a FOI or EIR Request
- Your rights under the FOI Act
- When our FOI Act obligations do not apply
- How to make a complaint about the FOI service
A Guide to Information held by the ICB – Our Publication Scheme
The ICB places great importance on transparency and proactively publishes as much information as possible on its website. This information is linked to through the Publication Scheme.
What is the Publication Scheme
The ICB is committed to meeting the statutory requirements of the FOI Act and has adopted the ICO’s Model Publication Scheme. The ICB will produce information as it becomes available in line with the ICO’s Definition Document for Health Bodies in England.
The Publication Scheme:
- Specifies the classes of information we have committed to publish
- Says how we will make that information available
- Says whether the information is available free of charge or on payment
Most of the information covered by our publication scheme will be made available on this website. If you need information in an alternative format, we will do all we reasonably can to help.
This Publication Scheme is divided into classes as defined by the ICO and has been designed to give you a complete guide to the information routinely published by the ICB.
The scheme is not an exhaustive list of all the types of information that we publish – our policy is to publish proactively as much information as we can where the information would have a wider public interest.
The scheme does not include information that we consider to be sensitive, such as certain types of commercial or personal information.
We review the Scheme at regular intervals and monitor how it is operating.
Publication Scheme classes
The ICO identifies seven classes of information which should be published by public bodies and describes the type of information that should be provided under these classes in Health Bodies Definition Document.
Click on the links below to find information relating to each of the classes for the ICB.
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What are our priorities and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- List and registers
- The services we offer
The information the ICB provides to you is copyrighted to the ICB and provided to you free of charge for your personal use or for other specific uses permitted in the Copyright Act.
If you wish to use the information we provide for any commercial purposes including the sale of the information to a third party then, under the Regulations on the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, you must ask us for permission to do so in respect of each specific piece of such information.
If we do grant such permission this may involve a licensing arrangement which may attract a fee. Should you wish to apply for permission for commercial re-use under the Regulations you should write to the Freedom of Information Team at email@example.com.
Charges for Information
The majority of information can be accessed from this website free of charge. In certain cases, charges may apply.
If you do not have access to the internet, a printed copy of the web page(s) can be sent to you free of charge.
The following may incur a charge:
- Requests for multiple copies
- Where the cost of photocopying, postage and packing exceed £50.
Any charges made will be to cover the costs of photocopying, postage and packing. You will be told in advance of supplying the information if there will be a charge, and how much it will be.
Information not already published
If you cannot find what you want through this scheme, or otherwise on our website, you may wish to make a request to us under the FOI Act or EIR.
Please contact the Freedom of Information Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback and complaints about the scheme
If you would like to provide feedback – good or bad – about the Publication Scheme, please contact the Freedom of Information Team at email@example.com.
Information held by other organisations
ICBs are responsible for the commissioning of some health and social care services. However, there are other organisations who also have responsibility for commissioning these services.
Listed below are organisations who have a responsibility for commissioning and providing health and social care services for residents of Humber and North Yorkshire and the services they are responsible for. Please note, these lists are not exhaustive.
Humber and North Yorkshire ICB
- Urgent and emergency care – including NHS 111, A&E, Ambulance Services Out of Hours
- Elective Hospital Care
- Community health services – including speech and language therapy and wheelchair services
- Rehabilitation services
- Maternity and newborn services
- Children’s healthcare services
- Services for people with learning difficulties
- Mental health services including CAMHs
- NHS Continuing healthcare
- Infertility services
- Primary care services (GP contracts)
- Children’s Public Health (5-19) – including Healthy Child Programme and school nursing
- Sexual health advice, prevention and promotion
- Mental health promotion, mental illness prevention and suicide prevention
- Physical activity programmes promotion
- Obesity programmes
- Drug and alcohol misuse services, prevention and treatment
- Smoking cessation
- NHS Health Check Programme
You can request information from the following Local Authorities across Humber and North Yorkshire:
- East Riding of Yorkshire Council
- Hull City Council
- North East Lincolnshire Council
- North Lincolnshire Council
- North Yorkshire County Council
- City of York Council
- Pharmaceutical services
- Ophthalmic services including NHS sight tests
- Dental services
- Health services and public health services for people in prisons/other custodial settings
- Health services for members of the armed forces
- Specialised and highly specialised services – further details on what these are can be found here
- Immunisation programmes
- National Screening Programmes
- Sexual assault referral services
You can request information from NHS England here.
Public Health England
- Prevention and early presentation – supporting local authorities
- Infectious disease – Public oversight of prevention and control, including co-ordination of outbreak management
- Emergency preparedness and response including pandemic influenza preparedness
- Health intelligence and information
You can request information from Public Health England here.
How to make an FOI Request
How should I word my request?
Comprehensive guidance on submitting effective requests for information is available from the ICO Website.
If the information you are interested in has not already been published on our website, please make an FOI or EIR request to us considering the following advice.
- Clearly explain what you want to find out about. We may need to seek further clarification
- Be as specific as you can; if you want a particular piece of information please say so in your request, especially if your request relates to a specific geographical area within the ICB; for example, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire or York.
- Say whether the information you want relates to a specific timescale
- Ask questions such as ‘what’ or ‘how much’ as this is much more likely to result in a useful response; and
- Use open-ended questions such as ‘why’. We do not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded
- Mix your request with complaints or comments.
Please also remember that we are only required under FOI to provide recorded information.
Valid ways to make your request
Requests under the FOI Act must be made in writing (letter or email)
Requests under the EIR can also be made verbally, e.g., over the phone.
You should include the following with both types of request:
- Your name and address (physical or electronic) for correspondence
- A clear statement of the information you are requesting
- A contact telephone number is useful in case we need to discuss your request
- The format in which you wish to receive the information
If you have are unable to make a request in writing, please contact the FOI team on 01482 672191.
Format in which the information may be disclosed
Most of the information the ICB holds is stored electronically and will be disclosed to you in PDF (portable document format). If you need information to be supplied in a different format, and it is reasonable to release the information in that way, the ICB will do its best to meet your request.
What you can request
You may request any information held by or on behalf of the ICB and recorded in any form.
You are entitled to the information contained in documents, not to the documents themselves. However, where appropriate and convenient we may choose to provide a copy of the document rather than extracting the information from it.
Please note that the FOI Act and the EIR do not require public authorities to create new information or give an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.
The ICB is not required to provide information that is already reasonably accessible to you from elsewhere. That applies whether the information is on our own website or somewhere else in the public domain.
Are you asking for too much?
If you are asking for a lot of material, it may be more than we can manage without it significantly impacting on our other work.
Our policy, along with all other government departments, is to release as much information as possible without charging a fee. But if it will cost the department more than £450 to deal with an FOI request, which is the equivalent of 18 hours’ work, or if we consider under the EIRs that it would be “manifestly unreasonable” to do so, we do not have to respond to it.
Factors we are allowed to take into account in deciding whether a request exceeds the cost limit are:
- Checking whether the information is held
- Locating the information or documents containing the information
- Retrieving such information or documents
- Extracting information from documents
If your request is refused on cost grounds, we will try to advise you where possible how best to make a fresh narrower request that can be met within the cost limit.
For requests that are less than the £450, we may still charge the full costs of disbursements (photocopying, printing and postage) where it exceeds £50. If we intend to do this we will inform you, and we do not have to provide the information if you fail to pay within three months.
Where to send your request
You can submit an FOI request via the ICB’s FOI Enquiry Form
Alternatively, FOI requests can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What the ICB will do when we receive your request
We will acknowledge your request as soon as we can.
We will let you know if your request will be dealt with under the EIR or Data Protection Legislation instead of, or as well as, the FOI Act. Where you are asking for information that we routinely give out (such as leaflets, contact details etc), we may, in the interests of efficiency, just send you the information and not treat your request as a formal FOI or EIR request.
The law obliges us to answer your request promptly and at most within 20 working days from receiving it. If, in the limited circumstances where we are permitted to do so, we need to extend the timescale to give proper consideration to your request, we will let you know.
If it is not clear to us what information you want, we will need to contact you. We will do this by telephone, email or letter depending on the contact details that you supplied when you sent us your request. Our aim is to be helpful and to fulfil your request as completely as we can. The 20 working day deadline will only start when it is clear to us what you require.
If your request relates to third party information we hold, where disclosure of the information requested could affect the interests of another person/third party, we may need to consult the third party before responding to your request.
We will follow the guidance in section four (“Consultation with third parties”) of the FOI Code of Practice.
If the ICB does not hold the information requested, and we think it may be held by another public authority, we will advise you and provide the contact details to enable you to redirect your request to them.
Your rights under the FOI Act
On receipt of a valid request for information the ICB must:
- Inform you in writing whether it holds the information requested (known as the ‘duty to confirm or deny’) and if so
- Communicate that information to you
Any individual or company may make a request, and you do not need to be a UK citizen or living in the UK to do so.
The ICB does not need to know why you are making the request or what you intend to do with the information, unless you wish to use it for commercial purposes as mentioned above (see Copyright).
When our FOI Act obligations do not apply
The ICB is not required to comply with the above obligations where one or more exemptions apply.
If your request is refused, the response will identify which exemption (or exemptions) we are relying on. Where applicable, we will explain why we have decided that the public interest in withholding the information (or in neither confirming nor denying that we hold it) outweighs the public interest in disclosing it (or in confirming or denying that we hold it).
We are not obliged to comply with repeated or vexatious requests.
Information Commissioner’s guidance on vexatious or repeated requests
We are also not obliged to comply with requests that exceed the costs limit.
The EIR also contains a number of exceptions to providing information:
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004: Part 3 exceptions to the duty to disclose environmental information
Your right to complain
Should you be unhappy with the outcome of an FOI or EIR request, you have the right to complain and we will conduct an internal review in accordance with the FOI Code of Practice.
We will give you more details of your right to complain when we respond to your request. If you are dissatisfied with the results of ICB’s internal review, you may appeal to the ICO.
- Guide to Freedom of Information
- How to access information from a public body
- When can the ICB refuse a FOI request?
- What Exemptions can be applied under the FOI Act?
- When can the ICB refuse an EIR request?
- How do you complain to the ICO?
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- The Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- Freedom of Information Code of Practice