Mr X and Tallaght University Hospital

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeStephen Rafferty Senior Investigator
Judgment Date17 May 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the decision of TUH.
RespondentTallaght University Hospital
Record NumberOIC-102826-F2R3R8
Whether Tallaght University Hospital was justified in refusing, under section 15(1)(a) of the FOI Act, access to additional medical records relating to the applicant’s son on the ground that no further relevant records exist or can be found

17 May 2021

Background

In a request dated 3 February 2020, the applicant submitted a request to TUH seeking “all records, notes, reports, lab results, x-rays, medications, scans and surgical procedures pertaining to all A & E, outpatient appointments and hospital admissions from November 2019 to February 2020 for [his] son. He also requested “… a list of each date and which staff was responsible for his diagnoses, treatment and care”. On 21 September 2020, TUH provided the applicant with relevant records.

On 16 October 2020, the applicant requested an internal review of TUH’s decision on the ground that certain specified records had not been released to him. TUH issued its internal review decision on 23 October 2020, wherein it released a number of additional records. On 27 January 2021, the applicant sought a review by this office of TUH’s decision.

During the course of the review, the Investigating Officer provided the applicant with details of the searches undertaken by TUH for relevant records and of its reasons for finding that no further records exist. The applicant made a submission in response.

I have now completed my review in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act. In carrying out my review, I have had regard to the submissions made by TUH and by the applicant. I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal, binding decision.

Scope of Review

This review is concerned solely with whether TUH was justified, under section 15(1)(a) of the FOI Act, in refusing to release any further medical records relating to the applicant's son on the basis that he has been provided with all records and no further records exist or can be found.

Preliminary Matters

Having regard to the applicant’s submissions to this Office, I wish make the following preliminary comment. The remit of this Office does not extend to examining the manner in which public bodies perform their functions generally, to investigate complaints against public bodies, or to act as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism with respect to actions taken by public bodies. As noted above, this review is confined to considering TUH’s decision about access to further medical records sought by the applicant in his FOI request.

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