Freedom of Information – how it may just help you achieve the birth you would really like.

The wonderful women on the VBAC Support Group UK (FB closed groups) shared the following information …

Do you know about Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information law – England and Wales have it, Scotland has it (v similar), USA has it – most countries have it now really. It means that public bodies (hospitals, schools. Universities, governments, etc) must answer questions within a tight time frame. There are quite a lot of exemptions that can be used to decline requests, but on the whole the law is pretty thorough and helps the petitioner (questioner). If you are not happy with the way your question is handled you can also go to the national Information Commissioner.
If the hospital say you can’t go to the MLU and that it doesn’t accept high risk patients you could do a Freedom of Information request asking how many high risk patients have used the MLU. They legally have to tell you because of the FOI act. It may come back with some. You then would have the evidence to show that other high risk women have used it and therefore so could you.

FoI is different from Data Protection, but people mix them up often because an FoI request may feel similar to a DP subject access request- the latter is where you ask an organisation for any info it holds on YOU individually; FoI is where you are asking for non-personal information. Like – have any vbac women used the birth centre since it opened or any women with GBS or Strep B.

Hope this helpful. Going to add it as a Note and a blog piece. Thanks to the @vbac support group uk for letting me pass this info along.
Hugs Cx