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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50093255
  • Date: 2 July 2007
  • Public Authority: Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Summary: The complainant and his wife initially requested copies of two incident reports which had been completed by staff members of Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust (the public authority) in 2001, in relation to alleged abusive and aggressive behaviour by the complainant and his wife. The public authority treated this request, and the subsequent request referred to in this Notice, as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”). The incident reports were provided to the complainant and his wife in a form which did not show the names of the staff members who had written these reports. The complainant then contacted the public authority again, and asked specifically for the names of the staff members who had written these reports. The public authority refused to disclose the information, and cited the exemption at section 40. At review stage the public authority stated that the information was exempt under section 36. During the investigation of the complaint the public authority informed the Commissioner that it now sought to rely solely upon section 40(2), as it believed that the disclosure of this information would be in breach of the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). After investigating the complaint and considering the withheld information, the Commissioner was satisfied in the circumstances of this case that the information in question formed part of the personal data of the complainant and his wife, and he therefore decided that the information was exempt from disclosure under section 40(1) of the Act. Additionally the Commissioner found that section 36 was not engaged as the public authority had not sought the reasonable opinion of the qualified person. The Commissioner also concluded that the public authority had breached the requirements of section 17 of the Act by failing to issue an adequate refusal notice.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]