Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 introduced a general right of access to all non-confidential information held by the Trust and gives you the right to request all types of recorded information held by us.

How to request information

Requests under the FOI Act must be made in writing and you can submit your request by email to

What can help us deal with your request quickly

  • Set out the information you want clearly – if your request is unclear and we require further details to establish if we hold the information, we will have to ask for further clarification. The time frame will stop and will not restart until we receive the additional detail(s) from you.
  • Ask us for specific information rather than using open-ended questions – ‘What or ‘how much’ will lead to better and clearer responses.
  • If appropriate, specify a time period.
  • Be precise with what you want – your request may be refused if it is broad enough to be too expensive or time-consuming to deal with.
  • Avoid basing your request on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints, comments or service requests.
  • You don’t have to specify the format of the information – we will send it in the format we hold it in.
  • We can only provide information we hold and we are not required to create new information in order to answer your request.

The request process

Once you have sent us your request, we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your request;
  • respond to your request within 20 working days from the date of receipt either;
  • providing the information requested, or
  • state that the information is not held if that is the case, or
  • issue a refusal notice if an exemption applies;
  • provide you with advice and assistance in relation to your request;
  • tell you if a fee is applicable to your request.

We must supply the information in 20 working days, unless:

  • we need more information from you to find what you have asked for;
  • we need to consider the public interest test to apply an exemption to withhold information;
  • a time extension is necessary;
  • you have not paid the requested fee.

Questions and answers

Will I receive all of the information I request?

Not necessarily. Responses under this legislation are not just made to the requestor, but made to ‘the world at large’. So there are exemptions within FOI Act to ensure a proper balance is achieved between the right to know, the right to personal privacy and the delivery of effective government.

If we apply any exemptions, we will explain which exemption applies and why, and if necessary explain why refusal is in the public interest. We will also explain your right of appeal. Exemptions include information which is:

  • Already publicly available or it is due to be published;
  • Personal information;
  • The cost of providing the requested information is more than £450 (this is equivalent to 18 hours of staff time);
  • Held in confidence
  • Prejudicial to commercial interests
  • Held for investigations and proceedings or law enforcement

The Information Commissioner’s website has more information about exemptions, and can be located using the following Guide to freedom of information | ICO.

What If I am not satisfied with the response I have received?

If you wish to request a review of our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled under FOIA, you should write within 40 days of receipt of your response to:

Information Governance Team
Sir Henry Mitchell House
4 Manchester Road

If having exhausted the review process and you are not content that your request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113