Freedom of Information

Your medical record includes any health information collected during your period of care with North Western Mental Health.

Your record includes community, inpatient, residential, and outpatient services. The information collected is used to assist in your ongoing care, treatment and recovery. Your record may contain details about your health conditions and the treatments you were given.

Obtaining copies of your medical record

Applications to obtain a copy of your medical record must be made in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer for your area, either on the a Freedom of Information request form or by letter.

At NorthWestern Mental Health, we have six Freedom of Information Officers:

  • Orygen Youth Health
  • Mid West Area Mental Health Service
  • Inner West Area Mental Health Service
  • Northern Area Mental Health Service
  • North West Area Mental Health Service
  • Aged Person’s Mental Health

Each area has its own form. Postal addresses are provided on each form.

Your request to either view the record or obtain a copy must be clear. Applications must be accompanied by the application fee. Additional processing fees will apply and have been set by the Freedom of Information Commissioner.

See the current application fees on the Melbourne Health website.

Records will only be provided to another person if written authority from the consumer is given, or if the person applying:

  • can provide evidence that they have been named as Power of Attorney by the consumer for all their affairs
  • has been appointed Legal Guardian
  • is the direct Next of Kin in the case of a deceased person

Records may also be made available in accordance with due legal process, such as a subpoena for evidence in a legal action before a court.

How long will it take for the request to be processed?

When one of our services receives a request for information, the Freedom of Information Officer will respond in writing to the person making the request, confirming that the request has been received.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, we have 45 days from receiving a request to make a decision about granting access.

The Freedom of Information Officer will respond in writing within this timeframe to communicate whether access has been granted, and will advise any applicable fees (which must be paid before documents can be dispatched).