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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives you the right to obtain information held by public authorities unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential.

All FOI requests and data subject access requests should be submitted by email

From Wednesday 25 March 2020, the information governance team who deal with FOI requests are unable to collect or send post. Following government guidance around social distancing we are unable to access our offices.

If you have recently sent a request in the post please resubmit by email. We thank you for your patience and hope to resume normal service as soon as possible, in line with government guidelines.

What the FOI Act covers

The FOI Act 2000 covers:

  • a general right of access to information held by NHS Digital (and Health and Care Information Centre) subject to certain conditions and exemptions
  • a duty on us to inform any person who requests information whether we hold the information, and to communicate that information to the applicant unless one or more exemptions apply

You can seek any recorded information that you think NHS Digital may hold. If the information is environmental, we will respond according to the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004.

You do not have to know if the information you want is covered by the EIR or the FOI Act. When you make a request, we will decide which law applies.


Our duty to you

The FOI Act requires us to:

  • provide information to you about NHS England through a publication scheme
  • provide a guide to this information
  • respond appropriately to requests for information

Our obligations

As a public authority we are obliged under the FOI Act to provide details of our routinely available information.

The Information Commissioner's Office defines how this information should be published in the Model Publication Scheme.

If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it you may ask us to review any decision we make. If you wish us to carry out a review you should write to us as soon as possible and within 2 months of receiving the response.


Before you make a request

You might not need to make an FOI request if we have:

  • previously responded to a FOI request
  • already published the information

Previous Freedom of Information requests

Existing published data and information

About NHS Digital

Publication scheme


Make a request

If you cannot find the information you require, you can make an FOI request.

Email: enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk

What to include

Provide:

  • your name
  • an email address
  • the information you want

Please be as concise as possible about the information you want as this will help to answer your request.

Your own personal data

If the information you require is your own personal data you will need to make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 2018, and not under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Subject access request

Copies of your medical records

If you want to see copies of your medical records, you should ask your GP or the health setting that provided your care or treatment.

We do not hold medical records in the same format as a GP or hospital, for example GP notes, X-rays or scans.

How to access your health records


Freedom of Information compliance statistics


Environmental Information Regulation requests

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 allow you to request access to environmental information held by public authorities such as NHS Digital.

The regulations allow access in a similar way to the FOI Act although you can also request information verbally.

You should provide the same type of details as for an FOI request and contact us using the same details.

Last edited: 1 June 2021 2:27 pm