Silent response

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.


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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.

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