The NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Trust is playing our part in this important work and therefore our resources are focused on direct patient care and support. While we remain committed to our responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act, staff ordinarily available to assist with information requests are now supporting our frontline colleagues. Due to this reduced capacity our ability to respond to FOI requests is much more difficult.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has acknowledged the challenges currently facing the NHS and “…will take into account the compelling public interest in the current health emergency.” New guidance that sets out the ICO’s regulatory approach during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website
Where possible we kindly ask that you consider delaying the submission of your FOI request until this situation has improved. We appreciate your understanding and regret any inconvenience caused by these extraordinary circumstances.
The Trust is committed to openness and accountability for the services we provide.