Tel: 0151 – 228 4811
31st January 2019
JJ Evans email@example.com
Dear Mr Evans, Refusal Notice – FOI [2018 – 4261]
Thank you for your email of 8 January providing the clarification requested of your original
request and for your further email seeking: a) Copies of all correspondence to/from the Infected Blood Inquiry during the period 1st April
2018 to 7th January 2019.
b) Please advise whether or not you have received any notice or instruction regarding the
retention and/or request of documents relevant to the Infected Blood Inquiry?
c) If a request for documentation and/or its retention has been received from the Infected
Blood Inquiry, please supply a copy of any such notices or requests.
Your original request was: I am writing to request under the freedom of information act any/all copies of administrative
correspondence, letters and/or any other documentation including minutes of meetings etc
that mention or relate to: HIV / AIDS or Hepatitis, AND, Haemophilia / Haemophiliacs during the period January 1st 1988 – December 31st 1991. Please note that I am NOT requesting patient medical records which would obviously be
exempt, but administrative correspondence, letters and/or any other documentation
including minutes of meetings etc.
You have clarified your request as follows: In response to you request for clarification:
1. What you mean by the description of correspondence as “administrative” - any letters
to/from other professionals and/or organisations.
2. Whether the reference to letters refers to different types of communication other than the
correspondence referred to in 1 above (that is what you are looking for/hoping to receive) -
3. Whether it is only information regarding HIV and hepatitis in relation to haemophiliacs and
not otherwise. - Only in relation to Haemophiliacs.
We continue with our searches to identify, collate and provide copies of all relevant
information to the infected Blood Inquiry, including those relevant to haemophiliacs. This is an
extensive and ongoing exercise in relation to which we are liaising with the officers of the
Infected Blood Inquiry.
I am of the view that the information you seek falls within the exemption provided for by
section 32(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). This concerns ‘Inquiry
records. The Information Commissioner has provided the following by way of explanation –
“In effect, section 32 ensures that FOIA can’t be used to circumvent existing court access
and discovery regimes. Also, public authorities won’t be obligated to disclose any information
in connection with court, inquiry or arbitration proceedings outside those proceedings.”
In reaching the decision that the request is for information covered by section 32, I am very
much aware that we are not privy to all the information received by the Inquiry, and are
unable to attach specific weight or overall context to the information which we are
providing. We are therefore concerned that any release might the in some way adversely
affect the work of the Inquiry,
It is therefore my view that it is for the Inquiry Chair and his officers in conjunction with those
affected by those matters being examined by the Inquiry, to determine what information is
released, when it is released and in what sequence, into the public domain.
It is for these reasons that I am applying section 32 ‘Court Records’, in respect of the
information you seek.
Section 32 of the Act provides an ‘absolute exemption’ and therefore there is no requirement
to consider whether it is in the ‘public interest’ for disclosure to take place or not.
Retention of documents
Sinc e 2015, when Dam e Lowell Goddard as c hair of t he I ndependent I nquir y
into Child Sex ual Abuse (II CSA) r equest ed r etent ion of doc um ents, we hav e
not destr oyed any rec ords hel d c ent rally by t he Tr ust. Following t he Risk
Ass essm ent sent v ia II CSA f rom NHS England t his dec ision was reinf orc ed
and c ascaded t hr oughout the Tr ust not t o destr oy but t o hold all r ec or ds in
their original f orm at until f urther instr uct ions are r ec eiv ed.
Howev er, we m ov ed into new purpose built prem ises in 2015 and at t hat point
all inf orm at ion and doc um ent s the r etention of whic h was no longer r equired
under t he r elev ant polic ies and prot oc ols w er e destr oyed.
The appr oach of the Chair to the I nf ected Blood Inquiry is publicly av ailable
and clearly set out on t he web - site including t he request s m ade t o t he NHS in
relation t o the retention and non -destruction of doc um ent s relev ant to the
Term s of Ref erence of the Inquiry: https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2018-07-
I hope that this sets out as helpful y as possible the Trust’s position and how we have reached
You have the right to make representations to the Trust in respect of this Refusal Notice. If
you wish to do so you should write, within 40 working days of receipt of this Refusal Notice, to
Information Governance Team, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eaton
Road, Liverpool L12 2AP. Alternatively you can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
It would assist if any such request for a review were clearly marked as such and specifically
referred to this Refusal Notice.
If you are not content with the outcome of any review you have the right under section 50 of
the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request
for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act. The
Information Commissioner’s website is at www.ico.org.uk
and gives more information about
the role and duties of the Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
Information Governance Team
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust