SIR, — Your readers should be aware that, contrary to their statutory responsibilities, the West Herts Hospitals Trust have failed to respond to legitimate information requests. In January I sent them two separate sets of requests for information in an at
SIR, - Your readers should be aware that, contrary to their statutory responsibilities, the West Herts Hospitals Trust have failed to respond to legitimate information requests.
In January I sent them two separate sets of requests for information in an attempt to understand the basis for deeply-damaging and unpopular decisions about local hospital and related provision.
Under the Freedom of Information Act they are required to reply within 20 working days. Despite several reminders I have had no reply at all - not even an acknowledgement - to one set of requests in over five months.
On the other set, they sent a very short and completely-uninformative reply after two months. They only did even this following the intervention of the Information Commissioner's Office. Both cases are now being examined by the Information Commissioner.
This behaviour by a public body is shocking and completely unacceptable, though sadly it is in line with their history of repeatedly ignoring the public in their decision-making processes. And they have form in this area.
Just a few weeks ago the BBC surveyed all hospital trusts under the Freedom of Information Act in connection with their powerful and disturbing Panorama investigation of hospital safety. Only a very few trusts failed to reply - ours was one of them.
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PROFESSOR RON GLATTER,
Gravel Lane, Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead.