Release of Information

People have a right to apply for access to documents held by Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS). The right to apply for access is not affected by the reasons why or the health service's belief as to what the reasons are for applying. However the reason why the documents are required may assist us in identifying the documents.

Access to health information may be provided by way of Administrative Release or Freedom of Information. Alternatively your general practitioner may request access to information directly from our Health Information Administrative Services (HIAS).

What is Freedom of Information (FOI)?

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1992 (PDF 355KB) gives you the right to apply for access to documents held by Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS)

How to request information

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1992, applications must:
  • be in writing (email is acceptable and preferred) or
  • be lodged at CAHS (please ask at the main PCH information desk for assistance), with any application fee payable (if applicable)
  • give enough information to enable the requested documents to be identified
  • give an address in Australia where notices under this Act can be sent.

Lodging your application

CAHS requires your application to:
  • be accompanied by certified consent (photo identification) that is dated within 12 months of the request for information
  • be completed on the CAHS Application for Access to Health Information form:
  • identify which agency you are seeking information from: Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH), Community Health (CH) or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) 
  • identify if the information you seek is personal or non-personal
  • give enough information to enable the requested documents to be identified (eg. date of attendance, service area attended and name of the document such as discharge summary)
  • identify the patient clearly (e.g. full patient name including previous names or any alias’ if applicable and date of birth)
  • provide details of what the request is about (optional but may assist in identifying documents).

The completed documents should be provided to:

  • or Release of Information, Child and Adolescent Health Service, Perth Children’s Hospital, Locked Bag 2010, Nedlands WA 6909

Administrative release

An Administrative Release of Information (AR) application follows the same principals as an FOI application, however is not governed by the FOI Act. 

Information that may be managed by way of AR would be information that is considered not sensitive. Information that may be considered of a sensitive nature would include mental health or child protection matters and would not normally be released through an AR.

Frequently asked questions

How can I request information for someone else?

In addition to providing a valid application, additional consent and/or supporting documentation is required when requesting information on behalf of others, or about others.
  • If you are requesting information on behalf of someone else, you must provide documentation which clearly shows that you are entitled to the information e.g. written consent, court orders, birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate.
  • If you are applying for information about someone who has died, you must provide your identification, and supporting documentation that clearly shows you are the closest relative to that person e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate or death certificate.
  • If you are not the closest relative, you must provide written authorisation from the closest relative permitting you to access the information.

What information can’t be released?

Some documents fall under exemptions and cannot be released, e.g. if they compromise someone else’s privacy or commercial or business affairs. Access may be provided to an edited copy of a document if it contains information considered to be exempt.

Can I be refused access to information?

Release of Information will review your application and assist you with addressing the documents you require. If after assistance has been provided it is felt that your application is too large and would divert an unreasonable amount of resources from the departments other workload then access may be refused.

How much does it cost?

There are no fees or charges if the application is for your own personal information.

Applications for other documents (i.e. which are non-personal in nature) will incur a $30.00 application fee to be paid when the application is lodged.

Additional charges for dealing with the request (e.g. photocopying costs, staff time etc.) may apply as per the Freedom of Information Act 1992, however you will be notified of these charges.

When will I get a decision?

Upon receipt of a valid application (correct certified consent and identification of documents), Release of Information has a maximum of 45 calendar days to make a decision regarding access. The notice of decision will include details such as:
  • the date when the decision was made
  • the name and the title of the person who made the decision
  • the reasons for claiming the document is exempt if access is refused
  • information on the rights of review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

What happens when access is granted?

The Release of Information will forward your documents to you at the Australian address provided. Alternatively you are able to collect copies of the documents from Release of Information based at PCH.

How do I request to have medical information changed?

If you believe your personal information held by CAHS is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading, you may apply to have that information amended.

You can find out more about changing a name, address or contact details of a patient here. 

To change the content of a medical record, you must provide a written request to Release of Information with as much information as possible to demonstrate how or why the records are considered to be inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading. The onus to prove this lies with the applicant, not CAHS.

If your request for amendment is refused you will be informed of the reasons for the decision and also the process to request an internal review.

Can I apply from overseas?

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 does not apply to requests received from outside Australia.

Contact us

Phone: 6456 4354