Mr X and Our Lady's Children's Hospital

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeStephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator
Judgment Date04 November 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator found that the Hospital was justified in its decision to refuse access to the records sought by the applicant under section 15(1)(a) of the FOI Act. He affirmed the decision of the Hospital.
Record Number150215
RespondentOur Lady's Children's Hospital
Whether the Hospital was justified in its decision to refuse access to records relating to the applicant's stay in the Hospital in 1968 on the ground that they no longer exist. Conducted in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act by Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review Background

On 19 January 2015 the applicant submitted a request to the Hospital for the medical records of his stay in the Hospital in April 1968. The Hospital issued a decision in respect of the applicant's request on 5 February 2015, releasing a copy of his healthcare record index card to him, and refusing access to any further records on the ground that they no longer exist. On 18 February 2015 the applicant submitted a request for internal review to the Hospital. On 23 March 2015, the Hospital issued its internal review decision, affirming its original decision to refuse access to any further records. The applicant sought a review by this Office of the Hospital's decision on 17 July 2015.

During the course of the review, the applicant sought clarification as to whether the Hospital held any records of the medical procedure carried out on him. The Hospital stated that it performed a search for theatre records relating to the applicant's surgery and while no such records were located, the Admissions Log Book was located and the relevant extract was provided to him on 21 May 2015. Mr Art Foley of this Office wrote to the applicant and provided details of the searches the Hospital had carried out for records within the scope of his request and of its record management practices. He informed the applicant of his view that the Hospital was justified in its decision to refuse his request for further relevant records. In subsequent correspondence, the applicant indicated that he did not accept the explanation given by the Hospital as to why his records were not available. Therefore, I consider that this review should now be brought to a close by issue of a formal, binding decision.

In conducting this review, I have had regard to correspondence between the Hospital and the applicant as set out above. I have also had regard to the communications between this Office and both the applicant and the Hospital.

Scope of Review

This review is concerned solely with whether the Hospital was justified in refusing the applicant's request for further records relating to his stay in the Hospital in 1968 under section...

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