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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50101567
  • Date: 3 December 2007
  • Public Authority: East London and The City Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Summary: The complainant made two requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”) to East London and The City Mental Health NHS Trust (the “Trust”). The first request was for a copy of internal reports into the circumstances surrounding the death of a patient of the Trust (“Mr A”). The Trust refused to disclose the information and cited the exemptions at sections 40 and 44. It cited section 44 as it believed that if it were to disclose the reports it would be in breach of its common law duty of confidentiality. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the Trust also stated that it was relying upon section 41 to withhold some of the information contained in the reports. The complainant also made a second request for the details of the solicitors acting on behalf of the family of Mr A. The Trust refused to release this information due to, “issues of confidentiality” – although it did not specify which exemption it was relying upon. In relation to the first request, the Commissioner decided most of the information in these reports was exempt from disclosure under section 41. He also decided that some information in the reports was exempt under section 40. In relation to the second request, the Commissioner decided that this information was exempt from disclosure under section 40. However, the Commissioner also decided that some of the information subject to the first request was not exempt under sections 40 or 41, and therefore he decided that this information should be disclosed. The Commissioner also decided that the Trust had not complied with section 17, as both refusal notices did not contain details of the Trust‘s internal review procedures or the contact details of the Commissioner. Further to this the second refusal notice did not contain details of the exemptions the Trust was relying upon.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]