Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

In line with the Freedom of Information Act legislation, Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust has published key documents that you can download or request from our Freedom of Information Co-ordinator. We have recently updated our publication scheme in line with the latest guidance from the Information Commissioner.


Your Requests

Please send all requests for information by email or letter to:
Our Duty under the Freedom of Information Act

The Trust has a legal obligation under the Act to:
Requests should be made in writing (or by email) and if they can be sent to our Freedom of Information Co-ordinator we can begin the retrieval process as soon as possible for you.

We shall endeavour to do all we can to satisfy your request within the legislation. However, if you are unhappy with our response, you have the right to raise the matter as a complaint against the Trust and we shall perform a thorough internal review to investigate the decision made. You should also seek advice from the Information Commissioner as to your rights and further actions they can undertake on your behalf to resolve the matter.


Personal Information and Accessing Health Records

The Data Protection Act 1998 prevents us from releasing patient and staff identifiable information under the Freedom of Information Act. This information can only be released under strict controls (and with the express permission of the party involved to protect confidentiality and safety. We may decide that a document should be released under FOI but we shall remove any identifiable details from the copy we release.

You have “subject rights of access” to view any information we keep concerning you, whether this is your medical records or on our electronic Patient Administration System. Our Subject Access department will be able to assist you and arrange a suitable viewing time. Please apply in writing to: We will not release health records to any other party than the individual concerned unless there is the appropriate Power of Attorney. A signed release form will be required.

The Trust has produced a leaflet detailing how we collect and may use patient information statistics called "Your Information".


Further Details

There are a number of useful external websites about FOI and the NHS:
If you have any general enquiries regarding your treatment or the hospitals, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) will be able to assist you.

Alternatively, you can contact all the hospital departments through the switchboards for both hospital sites.