Patient Experience

Patient Experience

The Access to Information Office processes requests made under the:

  • Freedom of Information Act
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) / Irish Data Protection Legislation
  • Routine and administrative access requests from patients relating to healthcare records
  • European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations.
  • The FOI Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:

    • the right to access official records held by all public bodies that conform to the provisions of Section 6 of the Act
    • the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
    • the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.

    These rights mean that from a certain date (21 October 1999, for St James’s Hospital), members of the public can seek access to personal information held on them no matter when the information was created, and to non-personal records created since 21 October 1999.

    The Act requires public bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within four weeks of receiving it.

  • Requests can be made to the Access to Information Office by writing or by completing and returning one of the following request forms:

    FOI General request Form

    FOI Patient Record Request Form

    FOI Request for Deceased Patient Records

     Your request should include the following:

    • A statement that the request is being made under the FOI Act
    • As much information as possible about the records being sought
    • In what format you wish to receive any records released (for example, photocopies)

    If you require any help the staff in the FOI Unit will be happy to assist you in the formulation of your request. Please email or call on (01) 410 3010 or (01) 410 3807.


  • The following records come within the scope of the FOI Acts:

    • all records relating to personal information held by St James’s Hospital irrespective of when they were created
    • all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act (21 October 1999)
    • any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21 October 1999
    • personnel records of serving staff created from 21 October 1996 and those created prior to that date where being used or proposed to be used in a way which adversely affects or may affect the person involved.

    However, in order to protect patient confidentiality and the ongoing business being conducted by the hospital, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information in some circumstances. These are set out in the Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:

    • confidential and commercially sensitive information
    • personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)

    Requests may also be refused if they are deemed too large or unclear, however, the hospital is obliged to assist in trying to overcome this.

  • There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by the hospital in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). 

     Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is

    • less than €101, no fee is charged
    • greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies
    • greater than €700, the hospital can refuse to process the request.  

    Details of charges relating to your request will be notified to you in writing. The preference for payment of fees is by way of Electronic Funds Transfer. Please contact the FOI Office for bank details.  A list of relevant fees is set out below.

    • There is no charge for submitting a request
    • Search and retrieval – €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above.
    • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
    • Internal review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders)
    • Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50 (€15 for medical card holders)


    1. There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there are a significant number of records.

    2. If you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number, issuing Health Board name and your consent to the verification of these details with that Health Board.

    3. A full list of fees is available on request.

  • You may appeal any decision issued by the hospital in writing to

    The Internal Reviewer
    Access to Information Office
    CEO Building
    St. James’s Hospital
    Dublin 8

    Your request should state that you are seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

    You should make your appeal within four weeks from the date of response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances).The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the hospital and a decision will be communicated to you within three weeks.

  • You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you make an appeal the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision. All appeals should be addressed to:

    The Information Commissioner
    18 Lower Leeson Street
    Dublin 2

    Phone:  +353 (1) 639 5689
    Locall:   1890 22 30 30
    Fax:      +353 (1) 639 5674

    A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

  • FOI Publications

    Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires FOI bodies to prepare and publish as much information as possible in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis outside of FOI, having regard to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability as set out in Sections 8(5) and 11(3) of the Act. This allows for the publication or giving of records outside of FOI provided that such publication or giving of access is not prohibited by law. The scheme commits FOI bodies to make information available as part of their normal business activities in accordance with this scheme.

    Please find St James’s Hospital FOI Publication Scheme below. Each link in the table leads to a page comprising relevant information in the category or as links to relevant information on the St James’s Hospital website. If the information you require cannot be found here, you may wish to conduct a search on the website, or to contact the St James’s Hospital FOI Office -  or call on (01) 410 3010 or  (01) 416 2485. If the information is not currently made publicly available by St James’s Hospital, you may consider making a Freedom of Information Request.

    General Information about St. James’s Hospital

    • About us
    • Hospital Board
    • Annual Reports
    • History

    Information on Services/Specialties provided.

    • Services/Specialties provided by St James’s Hospital
    • Accessing services and making appointments
    • How much services cost to access
    • Administration of such services
    • Review or appeal rights relating to services
    • Research projects undertaken in respect of these functions/services

    Information on Decision making Procedures

    • Major policy proposals including any public consultation exercises
    • Background information relating to major policy proposals and decisions
    • Reports on the operation of public services by the FOI body
    • Expenditure reviews, policy assessments

    Financial Information

    • Financial information
    • Major plans for capital expenditure
    • Payments or purchase orders for goods and services
    • Governance board member remuneration

    Procurement Information

    • Procurement policies
    • Current tender competitions and public contracts awarded eTenders website

    Other information

    • FOI Disclosure Log

    The Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires Freedom of Information (FOI) bodies such as St James’s Hospital to publish a disclosure log, which contains details of the types of requests received under FOI from May 2016 and the decisions made by the body in response to those requests.

    St James’s FOI Disclosure Log will be available for download from this page in due course.

    Disclosures are listed in order of the date the request was received by the hospital. Please note that, for privacy reasons, identifying information such as the name of the requester is not included in the disclosure log.

    • Reports
    • Information held by the body which is sought regularly
    • Hospital Board minutes EMG minutes Medical Board
  • The Data Protection Acts and the General Data Protection Regulation provide for a right to obtain information about whether your personal information is processed by the hospital and to get access personal information relating to you. This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). More information on data protection can be found here. 

    The Access to Information Office processes SARs. SARs can be submitted by post or email, office contact details listed above. 

    Subject Access Request (SAR) Form

  • Under routine access and administrative access all appropriate information will be made available to the requester having regard to privacy, confidentiality and the public interest.

    As a matter of policy, the hospital supports your right to see what information is held about you within its service. Generally, access to your own health record should be provided administratively (subject to exceptions).

  • You have the right to obtain environmental information under the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 – 2018 (as amended). The AIE Regulations set out the procedures for public access to information relating to the environment held by public bodies.

    To make a request under the AIE Regulations, we ask that you submit your request electronically to the Access to Information Office.

    In your request, we ask that you:
    • Specify that you are making your request under the AIE Regulations and clearly state the environmental information that you are requesting
    • Please try to provide as much detail as possible to enable us to process your request efficiently
    • Include your return address

    You will receive your response within one month from the date on which the request is received.

    Should charges be necessary to process your request, a member of staff will contact you to advise of the charges before proceeding.


    Please be advised that Public bodies may refuse AIE requests on certain mandatory grounds (personal information/third party information) or discretionary grounds (commercial confidentiality).

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

How to find us

Orla Beggs House, 40 James's Street, The Liberties DO8WR52

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