Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a way of promoting openness and accountability. Under the Act, people have the right to request information held by public bodies, this includes those providing NHS services in Wales.

What the Freedom of Information Act requires

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 requires that:

  • Information be routinely provided through a publication scheme.
  • A guide to this information be provided.
  • Requests for information are responded to appropriately.

Publication Schemes

All NHS Wales Health Boards and Trusts together with the general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists and opticians providing NHS services are individually required to provide a publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act. These inform the public how and when information will be made available.

Requesting Information

Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed. Your request must include:

  • your real name - we do not have to respond to requests submitted under a pseudonym;
  • your address (email addresses are acceptable);
  • a description of the information you wish to obtain; and
  • any preferences for the format in which you wish to receive the information e.g. electronic or hard copy.

You must receive a reply to your FOI request and, generally, this must be within 20 working days following receipt of the request.

Generally the Freedom of Information Act provides that an individual has

  • The right to be told whether the information exists
  • The right to receive the information (unless an exemption applies)

Request for your own information

If the information is your own personal data, then you should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998, and not under the FOI Act.

Freedom of Information - FAQs