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Freedom of information and data protection

  • Public

You have the right to ask us for the recorded information we have about any subject.

This 'right of access' includes all non-confidential information about our work and also your own personal data.

Much of our information and all our published documents are available online, our publication scheme explains what you can find.

How to ask us for information

If you make a request, try to be as specific as possible so we provide the information you want.

You can request:

  • Official information held by us: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004.
  • Information about you: Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This aims to protect the information held about you by setting out how organisations find, keep and share that information. It also gives you certain rights to see that information.
  • Information about other people: These requests may come under several acts, such as the Access to Health Records Act.

How to ask us about official information held by us (FOI)


You must write to us, by letter or email, and include:

  • your full name.
  • your home or email address.
  • a description of the information you want - make sure your request is clear and specific or it may be delayed.

We will respond to requests made via Twitter, where it is possible and practicable to do so. But if you request information on Twitter and are unhappy with our response you may not have a right for an ICO/tribunal review. We recommend that you request information by post or email.


We do not charge for FOIA requests.

We may charge for the costs of printing and photocopying information.

What happens next?

After you send us your request, we will write to you either to:

  • tell you we have received and are processing your request
  • ask for more information.

We will reply to you within 20 working days of receiving your request. In our reply, we will tell you whether we hold the information or not and whether there are any legal reasons which may prevent us from sending it to you.

Sometimes we may need more time to think about our response, for example where there is a question of public interest. We will always write to you to tell you about any delay.

What we won’t do

We do not have to create new information to answer your request – the right of access only extends to information held by us at the time you make your request.

How to ask us about information about you (DPA)


You must write to us by letter or email, and include:

  • your name
  • a home or email address
  • two proofs of your identity:
    • one must include your photograph or signature (eg passport or driving licence)
    • the other must include your name and current address (eg utility bill, council tax bill)
      If you cannot give us identification please contact us for advice.
  • any information to help us with the search, including:
    • whether you are registered with us to provide health and social care services
    • whether you are a person who receives care
    • the names of any registered providers, services and/or organisations that you are associated with
    • the time period your request relates to.


There may be a charge of £10, depending on the nature of your request. If this applies we will contact you.

What happens next?

We will tell you when we receive your request - this will usually be within three working days.

We will reply to your request within 40 calendar days of receiving your identification and, if required, payment.

How to ask us for information about other people


If you wish to ask for personal information about another person, you must write to us, by letter or email, and include:

  • two forms of proof of the person’s identification.
  • a statement, signed by the person, stating that they allow you to act on their behalf.

Or, if you have a power of attorney we will need a copy of that and two forms of identification for you instead.

There may be a charge of £10, depending on the nature of your request. If this applies we will contact you.

Non-confidential information about a person who has died

You can ask for non-confidential information about a person who has died.

What happens next

We will tell you when we receive your request - this will usually be within three working days.

We may ask you for proof of identity. Usually we ask for copies of two forms of identification - one must have a photograph or signature, and the other proof of your address.

We will also tell you how long it will take us to reply, which will depend upon the type of information you asked for.

Confidential information about a person who has died

We can only give confidential information to and authorised representative of the person who has died and we will require evidence (such as a grant of probate). It is our decision whether to provide the information or not.

Health records of a person who has died

To see the health records of a person who has died, contact the health and social care provider first.

It is very unlikely that we would hold health or social care records of person who has died. We have no legal powers to ask providers for these records except, rarely, as part of our regulatory role.

Unhappy with our answer?

If you are not satisfied you may:

Ask for an internal review

Contact us at Legal Services and Information Rights, email:

Contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

If we refuse your request, and you feel we have not complied with the law, you can ask the ICO to assess our response.

ICO contact details

Comment or complain about us

Contact us if you need to make a complaint or comment about us.


Last updated:
8 September 2017


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