Information and engagement
The law gives you the right to ask for information held by us. This is called Freedom of Information or FOI. The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
BEFORE YOU MAKE A REQUEST
You might not need to make an FOI request to get the information you want.
We have a duty to maintain a publication scheme that contains information we regularly make available. You might be able to find the information you want by checking our Publication Scheme.
TIPS FOR REQUESTERS
It can be a good idea to spend a little bit of time thinking about your request to get it right and ensure you receive the information you need. The Scottish Information Commissioner’s website has some simple tips to help you:
MAKING AN FOI REQUEST
You must make your request in writing:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to Freedom of Information Officer, Chief Executive’s Office, Ground North, Mountainhall Treatment Centre, Dumfries DG1 4AP
- Enquiries or advice: telephone: 01387 272752
A valid request for information should:
- include your full name and address (or email address) so we can respond
- clearly describe the information that you want
- focus on the information you really want to see
ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REQUESTS
Any request that you make for information about environmental matters will be dealt with under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. For more information click on the link in the menu.
RE-USE OF PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION
Arrangements for permission to re-use NHS Dumfries and Galloway documents are covered by the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations
WHEN YOU’LL GET A RESPONSE
We aim to get the information to you within 20 working days. We will either provide the information you requested or explain why the information can’t be made available. Some information such as personal data, commercially sensitive or confidential information may be exempt.
IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
Did you know that you can ask for environmental information held by NHS Dumfries and Galloway?
The definition contained in the EIRs (regulation 2(1):
Any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on –
(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements;
(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a);
(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements;
(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;
(e) costs benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in paragraph (c); and
(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c)
How to make a request:
- Your request can be verbal or written
- You do not need to refer to the legislation but it may help us process your request quicker
We have to:
- Respond within 20 working days (this can be extended to 40 working days in complex cases)
- Offer guidance if you need help with your request
Responses to all written requests will be actioned within 20 working days – excluding public holidays.
Yes, information can be excluded or blacked out within documents if the information is exempt usually through data protection.
Anyone can express a preference for receiving information in one or more ways, which may include a summary of the information, a permanent form, e.g. photocopy or printout. We will accommodate all requests where practicable and where it is not practicable will explain why.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway may charge for handling a request, however, requests that would cost up to £100 to deal with will not be charged for. There is no charge for promotional or advisory leaflets and related material, unless they are published for sale, in which case the cover price will be indicated to you. Charges applicable to your request will be requested prior to the release of information.
If we determine that a fee is required, the specified payment must be made before we will action your request for information.
Any requests for information should be described in as much detail as possible. If we are unsure of what information you require, we will need to seek clarification and this may result in a delay to provide the information requested.
Any recorded information that is held by or on behalf of NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
No, we will provide information but not original documents.
All requests for information should be in writing, either by letter or email and include your full name, contact details and a description of the information requested. If information is required in any special format, this should be indicated at the time of the request.
If we refuse your request for application, we will explain clearly why this information is exempt. Where information is already on the public forum or available in the publication scheme, we will advise you where to access this.
The legislation applies to all information, regardless of how old it is, how long it has been held, or for what purpose it was prepared.
If you are unhappy with our decision, you can ask for us to review it. If after further review you remain dissatisfied, you may apply to the Information Commissioner to investigate further. Following investigation, the Commissioner will then determine whether you should receive the information requested either in full or in part.
No, many countries throughout the world have Freedom of Information legislation, including USA, New Zealand and Canada. The first country was Sweden – in 1766!
Anyone can request information. This is not restricted to British citizens.
In July 2015 Scottish Government issued the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Act is made up 12 parts which aims to improve community engagement with public sector organisations.
As a public body, NHS Dumfries and Galloway are asked to adhere to Parts 3 and 5 of the Act, which relates to Participation Requests and Asset Transfer Requests.
PART 3 – PARTICIPATION REQUEST
Participation Requests are a formal process for communities to discuss potential improvements to Health Service outcomes with ourselves. Communities often have great solutions to local issues and it’s important for us to listen to you.
You can submit a Participation Request asking us to work with you on an improvement process if your group thinks they can help improve the service.
We always encourage members of the public to talk to us about anything you would like to see done differently as we might be able to use your ideas to resolve things quicker and more effectively.
The Participation Request process provides a formal way for us to:
- Work with communities in improving services;
- Encourage and promote conversations;
- Tackle inequalities;
- Support the participation of those whose voices are less hear; and
- Support the participation of those who face additional barriers.
Get in touch – Firstly please contact us to talk through your ideas, we will explain more about the process and give you advice on submitting a request.
Tel: 01387 272702
PART 5 – COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER REQUEST
Health Board land and properties could be an ideal resource to help local communities realise their plans and aspirations. We have developed a process to transfer assets to community organisations who want to take them over for the benefit of their community.
Get in touch – Firstly please contact us to talk through your idea, when we will explain more about the process and give you advice on submitting a formal request.
Tel: 01387 244372
The process for handling Asset Transfer requests is currently under review and will be uploaded to website in due course.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
What is the Participation and Engagement Network?
The network is a way for members of the public, patients, carers and community groups to get involved in improving local services.
How does it work?
When you sign up to the network, your details are added to a database. If you are on the database, we know to get in touch with you when we are looking for the public’s input on things we are doing or planning to do.
We might ask you to take part in a survey, a discussion or an event. You don’t need to take part every time, just whenever suits you.
Who can join?
Anyone aged 16 or over who has an interest in the services delivered within Dumfries and Galloway. We want the network to reflect the diversity of our community and we welcome people from all backgrounds.
Who is involved?
The network is managed by NHS Dumfries and Galloway on behalf of the Community Planning Partnership which includes:
– NHS Dumfries and Galloway
– Dumfries and Galloway Council
– Police Scotland
– Scottish Fire and Rescue
– Scottish Ambulance Service
– Scottish Health Council
– Third Sector (Dumfries and Galloway)
– Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership
When one of the partners wants the network’s input in to something they are doing, they will ask NHS Dumfries and Galloway to let you know. You can choose the best way for us to contact you.
You can find out more about the partnership at: www.dumgal.gov.uk/communityplanning
How do I join the network?
You can contact us by telephone or mail to request a registration form or you can return the below by post and we will contact you.
Telephone – 01387 246 246 (ask for Patient Services)
Email – dg.PEN@NHS.net