Mr Y and St James's Hospital

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date01 Jul 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the Hospital's decision.
RespondentSt James's Hospital
Record NumberOIC-103739-M9M4L4
Whether the Hospital was justified, under section 37 of the Act, in refusing to provide the applicant with a copy of the CCTV footage for the period between 7.30am and 7.45am on a particular date for a main corridor in a named unit of the Hospital on the ground that the disclosure of the footage sought would involve the disclosure of personal information relating to third parties

1 July 2021

Background

In a request dated 2 November 2020, the applicant sought access to CCTV footage for a particular date from approximately 7.30am to 7.45am from the main corridor in a named unit of the Hospital. He asked that the Hospital link with a named member of staff as he had retained CCTV footage.

As the Hospital failed to make a decision on the request, the applicant sought an internal review of the deemed refusal of his request on 17 December 2020. Following engagements with this Office, the Hospital issued its effective position on the request on 22 January 2021. It refused the request under section 37 of the FOI Act, noting that the applicant was not present in the footage, that there were other identifiable individuals in the footage and that release of the footage would result in release of their personal information. On 15 February 2021, the applicant asked this Office to review the Hospital’s decision.

I have now completed my review in this case. In carrying out my review, I have had regard to the correspondence between the Hospital and the applicant, and to communications between this Office and both the applicant and the Hospital on the matter. I have also had regard to the contents of the CCTV records held by the Hospital. I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal, binding decision.

Scope of the Review

In his correspondence with this Office, the applicant expressed dissatisfaction with the significant delays he has faced in the course of the FOI process with the Hospital, and he also questioned the veracity of the footage this Office was reviewing.

I fully accept that the Hospital did not process the request in a timely fashion in this case and I would urge the Hospital to review its FOI processing procedures with a view to avoiding unnecessary delays in the processing of future requests. However, this review, undertaken under section 22 of the Act, is concerned solely with whether the Hospital was justified in refusing access to the record sought. As to the veracity of the record provided, I have no reason to consider that the footage provided to this Office for the purposes of the review is anything other than the footage sought.

The applicant also contended that he gave a rough approximate time to...

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