FOI requests relating to Covid-19
We count Covid-19 deaths as per the national guidance. The figure, and a description of the definition we are using, is published daily and can be found via the link below:
The link to the Trust level data is available in the daily spreadsheet in the section titled ‘COVID-19 all announced deaths’.
We have also received advice from NHS England who have provided the link below:
Please note that we are providing these links under Section 21 of the FOI Act – ‘Information reasonably accessible to the applicant via other means’.
Repeated FOI requests
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MKUH) sometimes receives several identical requests regarding Covid-19 deaths that are believed to be made by the same person, in which case we may ask the requestor for proof of identity.
The FOI Act clearly states that if we suspect that the request has come from a pseudonym, we are entitled to request proof of the person’s identity, as provision of a pseudonym invalidates a request. We may ask you to provide a photocopy of your driver’s licence or other official document that validates your identity.
MKUH’s request for identification is in compliance with the Information Commissioner guidance “Recognising a request made under the Freedom of Information Act (section 8) Version 1.2”. We would draw attention to paragraphs 14, 15, 16, 20, 21 22 and 35 of this guidance. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/receiving-a-request/ and “What makes a valid request?”
FOI requests on behalf of a company/corporate body as an employee should be declared under that company / corporate body’s name, and this will enable us to consider the request’s validity.
MKUH needs to be assured that time spent on requests within a 60-working day period does not exceed the appropriate limit for each applicant, be that a person, group or company. In this way we promote fair use of the Act and best use of our resources.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) states: The Act recognises that freedom of information requests are not the only demand on the resources of a public authority. They should not be allowed to cause a drain on your time, energy and finances to the extent that they negatively affect your normal public functions.
There is no right of appeal with the ICO, if the real name is not used (see ICO guidance).
Any requests will be paused until we receive the information requested. We will continue to process requests when we have been supplied with this. If we do not hear back within two months we will close the request.
Last Modified: 8:31am 31/12/2020