The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a right of access to a wide range of information held by public authorities, including the NHS. The purpose is to promote greater openness and accountability.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 requires us to:
Check whether the information you seek is already available. NHS England publishes information on this website and you may well find the answer to your question is already here. We have a publication scheme setting out what information we currently release or expect to release.
If you request information from NHS England that is already published, we will simply refer you to the published source.
Anyone, anywhere in the world, can make a FOI request to NHS England.
You can seek any recorded information that you think NHS England may hold.
If the information is environmental, we will respond according to the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004. You do not have to know whether the information you want is covered by the EIR or the FOI Act. When you make a request, we will decide which law applies.
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. See below for how to make DPA requests.
Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed to NHS England.
For postal requests, please send to the following address:
PO Box 16738
Email requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please write “Freedom of Information” in the subject line.
The FOI Act requires certain information to be supplied before NHS England can respond to your request:
Comprehensive guidance on submitting effective requests for information is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office. However, to frame an effective request for the information you need:
NHS England has a legal obligation to reply to your FOI request and must do so within 20 working days of receipt. We will do one of the following:
You can ask NHS England for an internal review of your FOI request. When you write to us requesting an internal review, we will acknowledge your letter and tell you how long we think the review will take. We aim to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, although more cases that are complex may take longer. Where internal reviews go over 20 working days, we will keep you informed of progress.
If, after an internal review, you are still not satisfied you can then complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO). Details of how to do this are available at the ICO website.
Full details of how to ask NHS England for an internal review will be included in our initial reply to your FOI request. Details of how to complain further to the Information Commissioner will be included in our response to your internal review request.
The Data Protection Act allows you to find out what information we hold about you on computer and in some paper records. This is known as the ‘right of subject access’. We have provided a sample request letter with a further information form that should also be completed. All requests for access to your personal data held by NHS England should be made in writing to:
PO Box 16738
See a template of a Sample FOI data request and form.