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Right to Information

​​
​​Understanding your right to information

We maintain health and medical records of people who access public health services in our district, including hospital records.

This page details your right to information access for such records, as well as our record of government information already released by the Western NSW Local Health District for such information (Disclosure Log).

You can also access Frequently Asked Questions or, for more information, download the Western NSW Local Health District Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 Annual Report 2015/2016.


Right to Information Access

Access to health and medical records

Your personal information held by Western NSW Local Health District is protected by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.

The Health Records Information and Privacy Act protects a specific type of personal information – referred to as personal health information – including information about your physical or mental health, disability, provision of health services or genetic information.

You are entitled to request access (subject to some limited exceptions) to all personal information including your own health records. You may apply for access to your personal information under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, Information Protection Principle 7.

To apply to view or obtain copies of your personal health information (Medical Record) you will need to complete a Release of Information Form and send it to the Health Information Department at your hospital.

You may apply for access under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). However, the first step is to make a request for your information to the relevant health facility. We will make every effort to release your personal or health information.


Information held by Western NSW Local Health District

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act or GIPAA) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) from 1 July 2010, introducing new right to information reforms that focus on making government information more readily available. This means that all government agencies, including Western NSW Local Health District, must release information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

In addition, the Government Information (Public Access) Amendment Regulation 2010 under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 was made on 18 June 2010.

There are four ways in which information held by Western NSW Local Health District will be available:


1. Mandatory release of open access information

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) website
Here you will find information about our goals, purpose and values, hospitals and health services information, employment opportunities, as well as our contact details.

Policy Documents
A list of Western NSW Local Health District policy documents is available.

Disclosure Log
The Disclosure Log is available below, which lists all formal determinations made by Western NSW Local Health District under the GIPA Act, along with the document released.

Information tabled in Parliament
Information about Western NSW Local Health District contained in any document tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of Western NSW Local Health District (other than any document tabled by order of either House of Parliament).

Government Contracts
Western NSW Local Health District contracts continue to be made publicly available on the Government Tenders website.

Record of information not made publicly available - Western NSW Local Health District’s record of the open access information that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure. This record indicates the general nature of the information concerned.


2. Proactive release

You can ask Western NSW Local Health District what information it will make available to the public, in addition to the information contained on its website. Under the GIPA Act, Western NSW Local Health District is encouraged to release as much information as possible, in an appropriate way and free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost).


3. Informal request

You can request specific information from Western NSW Local Health District. Western NSW Local Health District will release information without the need for a formal application, unless there are good reasons to require one. Your first point of contact should be the Right to Information Unit on (02) 6809 8656, during business hours.


4. Formal access application

This is the last resort, if you haven’t been able to get the information you need in any other way. You can formally request specific information from Western NSW Local Health District. In limited circumstances, access to information will require a formal access application.

A copy of the GIPA application form that you may use to request information held by the Western NSW Local Health District is available.

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Disclosure Log

A disclosure log is a record containing details of government information already released under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). A disclosure log is part of the open access information that agencies are required to make available and is a requirement under S25 of the GIPA Act. Requests for personal information are not included in the disclosure log. Some information that has been released under the GIPA Act is provided in summary format only in this disclosure log. If the information is not provided electronically below, interested parties may access copies of the information listed by contacting Western NSW Local Health District Right to Information Unit on (02) 6809 8656 or by mail at PO Box 4061 Dubbo NSW 2830.

You may also wish to access the Ministry of Health’s Disclosure Log​

WNSWLHD Disclosure Log

Please note that this disclosure log lists the information requested at the time and may not be the most up to date version of the information.

Log ID Internal Reference Number Date of decision Description of information provided Type of release- full release or release with deletions Information available to the public and how it can be accessed
1 F10/97 16/08/2010 The number of separate occasions at emergency departments, broken down by hospital, where there was no medical officer on duty and physically present. Information not held.
2 F10/103 25/10/2010 A copy of documents, including any report by individuals named Browbank or Sidhu, relating to the investigation of nursing staffing at hospitals in the AHS’. No report by Browbank or Sidhu held. Information released on reasonable workloads for nurses. Contact the Right to Information Unit on

 

(02) 6809 8656
3 F10/126 15/11/10 New employment of all non-frontline staff Application withdrawn
4 F10/133 3/12/10 Information on hospital acquired malnutrition. Application withdrawn
5 F12/43 27/08/12
  1. .List of mental health facilities and bed capacities;
  2. List of youth mental health facilities and bed capacities;
  3. Planned, new mental health hospitals(adult) and bed capacity;
  4. Total admissions to adult psychiatric hospitals due to drug dependence in 2011;
  5. List of youth and adolescent hospitals being planned and bed capacity;
  6. Total admissions to psychiatric hospitals in 2011;
  7. Total number of 16 and 17 year olds admitted to adult psychiatric wards in 2011;
  8. Suicide of consumers known to the service in 2011 by age and if available within a timeframe as measured by your LHD;
  9. Suicide by a 16 and 17 year old 9.person known to the service with previous admission to an Adult facility; and
  10. Admissions of children with mental illness or health admitted to no psychiatric hospitals in 2011
Full Release All released information available. For access please contact the Right to Information Officer (02) 6809 8656
6 F12/110 15/01/13 Any existing contracts for the outsourcing of Radiology services:
Hospital, name and location
Scope of outsourced services currently contracted (e.g. onsite/off site/teleradiology etc.
Term of contract
Date of commencement and completion dates of contract (to include details of any options)
Value of contract
Current provider.”
Invalid application
7 F13/15 26/06/13 1. Service Agreement for Board and the Finance and Performance Report for the 11/12 and 12/13 financial years.
2. Facility budget allocation (document indicating budget for each hospital in the district) for the financial years 11/12, 12/13, and 13/13 (or draft if unavailable).
3. Asset management plan for the district.”
Full Release All released information available. For access please contact the Right to Information Officer
(02) 6809 8656
8 F15/1 25/03/15 Copies of any correspondence or documents evidencing a present or proposed arrangement for the accommodation of Bathurst Base Hospital employees, WNSWLHD employees or other persons associated with Bathurst Base Hospital (including but not limited to persons providing services to or engaged in activities related to Bathurst Base Hospital) at 10 Daly Street West Bathurst NSW 2795 Partial Access All released information available on request
9 F15/14 24/09/15
  1. For each of the financial years 12/13, 13/14 and 14/15 could you please tell me:
  2. How many beds were allocated at this facility for the treatment of adolescents with mental health and related conditions
  3. The occupancy rate of these beds (average or a range)
  4. If the occupancy rate was less at times, the range of reasons for this
  5. The average number of young people on the facility’s waiting list
  6. The amount of time a person is on the waiting list before being admitted (average or a range)
  7. The number of people on the waiting list who are not admitted and the reasons why
  8. The number of funded FTE staff positions
  9. The number of staff vacancies (average or a range) and the reasons for the vacancies
  10. For FY15/16 could you please tell me
  11. How many beds are allocated at this facility and whether this number is planned to increase or decrease
  12. The number of funded FTE staff positions
  13. Whether there are currently, or are expected to be, vacancies and the reasons for these vacancies (for example, staff unable to be replaced when they are on long service leave)
  14. Could you also please tell me
  15. The correct name and definition of a planned admission (i.e. the young person requests admission)
  16. The correct name and definition of a forced admission (i.e. the young person does not request admission)
  17. The process for determining who is admitted and when
  18. How often the waiting list is reviewed and who is involved (positions rather that individual names will suffice)
  19. Whether or not someone’s position on the ‘waiting list’ is static and why or why not
  20. Whether a ‘planned’ admission is given lower priority over other avenues of admission
  21. At today’s date, how many young people are on the waiting list
  22. The geographic area serviced by the facility
  23. Whether protocols are in place to have the young person admitted to another suitable facility in the state if they cannot be accommodated at Orange, and an explanation of the process
  24. The names and locations of these other facilities’
Full Release All information available on request
10 F15/19 23/02/16
  1. The decision to advertise for two VMO anaesthetists for appointment at Orange Health Service in the period December 2014 to February 2015:
  2. The advertisement of two VMO anaesthetist positions in January 2015 including but not limited to advertisements:
  3. The shortlist of candidates for two VMO anaesthetist positions
  4. The interview of candidates for two VMO anaesthetist positons on or around 27 February 2015;
  5. The appointment of two VMO anaesthetists at Orange Health Service in or around March 2015;
  6. The appointment of two VMO anaesthetists at Orange Health Service on ‘zero hour’ VMO contracts in or around March 2015;
  7. The appointment of two VMOs at Orange Health Service in the Intensive Care Unit;
  8. The roster arrangements for the Anaesthetics Department and Intensive Care Unit from 1 March 2015 to the present date.
Full Release All information available on request
11 F16/7 17/05/16 Financial and operating budgets of the Medium Secure Forensic Unit, Macquarie Unit, Bloomfield Hospital.
I request for the last Financial Year’s 2014 and 2015 operating budget (budgeted and actual) figures for the Macquarie Unit. Could you also provide the associated capital works program budget.  As the majority of the operating budget equates to staffing could the associated staffing numbers by professional designation be provided as full time equivalents: nursing (CNC, RN, AIN etc.), medical (staff specialists, VMO) and Allied Health (Physiotherapy, Psychology, Social Work, Welfare, Occupational Health).
Full Release All information available on request
12 F16/19 29/06/16 Covering letters sent by Mr. Ron Dunham to the Cardiac Society and the Medical Council/Board of NSW (or HCCC) with the Freedman Report as referenced in his letter D12/7979. These letters would mention me either by name or as ‘the Orange reviewers’ Full Release All information available on request

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Contacting Western NSW Local Health District

Contact Details

Julie Dunn
Right to Information Practitioner
julie.dunn @health.nsw.gov.au
(02) 6809 8656 ​

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Information guide

Information about the Western NSW Local Health District is readily available here on our website or by dowloading the Western NSW Local Health District Agency Information Guide​. 

If you require further information not already listed please contact us on (02) 6809 8656 or by email julie.dunn@health.nsw.gov.au.

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How to make a formal access application

An access application may be made for all other information held by the Western NSW Local Health District (other than certain 'information not disclosed', set out below).

Applications for access to information under the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 should be in writing, accompanied by the $30 application fee and certified proof of identification if you are seeking access to personal information.

You may be asked to pay a processing charge. Processing costs $30 per hour and covers time needed to deal efficiently with the application.

Agencies may ask an applicant to pay up to 50 per cent of the expected processing charge in advance. This request must be in writing and the applicant must be given at least four weeks to pay.

Applicants may be entitled to a 50 per cent reduction of processing charges on financial hardship grounds, or if the information requested is of special benefit to the public generally

If you seek access to your own personal information, the first 20 hours of processing time are free of charge.

Government Information Access Application Form

Formal and Informal applications should be directed to:

Contact Details

Right to Information Practitioner
Western NSW Local Health District
P.O. Box 4061
DUBBO NSW 2830

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Information not disclosed

Open access information not released by the Western NSW Local Health District due to an overriding public interest against disclosure.

As the Western NSW Local Health District makes decisions about open access information that may not be disclosed due to an overriding public interest, it will publish this information on this website. This will detail the information requested and the reasons behind the Western NSW Local Health District deciding not to release the information.

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Review process

What if I disagree with a decision regarding my formal access application?

You have a right to request a review of a decision regarding the release of information if you disagree with any of the specified agency decisions as set out under the GIPA Act, s80.

For further information refer to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) Fact Sheet on your Review Rights under the GIPA Act or call 1800 472 679.

There are three options to have a decision reviewed:


Internal review

You can apply to Western NSW Local Health District for an internal review. The review is undertaken by someone more senior to the original decision maker and there is a $40 fee (except if there is a 'deemed refusal' because the Local Health District did not process your application in time). You have twenty working days from the time you received the notice of decision to ask for an internal review. A request for an internal review should be made using the Western NSW Local Health District Internal Review Form or in a letter.


External review by the Information and Privacy Commission

If you are not satisfied with the internal review or do not want one to be conducted by the Local Health District you can ask for a review by the Information and Privacy Commission. You have eight weeks from being notified of the decision to ask for this review.


External review by the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

If you disagree with any of the agency decisions, as listed under Your Review Rights on the GIPA Act Fact Sheet, you can ask for an external review by the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). You do not have to have the decision reviewed internally, or by the Information and Privacy Commission, before applying for a review by the NCAT.

You have within 40 working days after the notice of decision has been given to you to apply to the NCAT for review. However, if you have applied for review by the Information and Privacy Commission, you have up to 20 working days from being notified of the Information and Privacy Commission's review outcome.

NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

Contact Details

Level 9
John Maddison Tower
86-90 Goulburn Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 1300 006 228 or 1300 00NCAT

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