Mr Y and Health Service Executive

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date13 Sep 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator annulled the decision of the HSE, on the basis that a number of the records previously released had not been released in full. He directed the HSE to process the request afresh.
RespondentHealth Service Executive
Record NumberOIC-109708-H8B9D1
Whether the HSE was justified in refusing the applicant’s request for access to his medical records under section 15(1)(i) of the FOI Act on the ground that the records sought were previously released to him

13 September 2021

Background

This review has its background in a previous FOI request (FOI/2019/09/04) the applicant made to the HSE in 2019, on foot of which he was provided with his medical file records, some of which were redacted under section 37 of the Act (third party personal information). The applicant sought an internal review of the HSE’s decision on 19 May 2020, but the HSE refused to accept the application as was outside the six-month time-frame set out in the Act.

On 12 April 20212, the applicant submitted a fresh two-part request. At part (a), he sought a copy of his medical records from St Loman’s and St. James’ Hospitals between 7 March 1993 and 22 March 1993. At part (b), he sought copies of “all medical records … from The Central Mental Hospital Dundrum, to St Loman’s Hospital” between 10 August 1994 to 15 September 1994, that included his name and address. In its decision of 12 May 2021, the HSE refused part (a) under section 15(1)(i) of the Act on the ground that the records had already been released to him on foot of request FOI/2019/09/04 and it part-granted part (b) of the request, providing him with two records that included redactions under section 37.

On 17 May 2021, the applicant sought an internal review of that decision, following which the HSE affirmed its decision on respect of part (a) but annulled its decision in respect of part (b) and provided him with full access to the two records that had previously been released in part. On 28 June 2021, the applicant sought a review by this Office the HSE’s decision.

I have now completed my review in this case. In conducting the review, I have had regard to the correspondence between the HSE and the applicant as set out above, and to the correspondence between this Office and both the HSE and the applicant on the matter.

Scope of the Review

In his correspondence with this Office, the applicant gave no indication of what aspects of the HSE’s decision he was not satisfied with. As the HSE’s position is that it has granted part (b) of the request in full and the applicant has identified no issue with same, I do not propose to consider that part further.

Accordingly, this review is solely concerned with whether the HSE was justified in refusing part (a) of the applicant’s request...

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