Skip to main content

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a way of promoting openness and accountability. Under the Act, people have the right to request information held by public bodies, this includes those providing NHS services in Wales.


What the Freedom of Information Act requires

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 requires that:

  • Information be routinely provided through a publication scheme.
  • A guide to this information be provided.
  • Requests for information are responded to appropriately.


Publication Schemes

All NHS Wales Health Boards and Trusts together with the general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, and opticians providing NHS services are individually required to provide a publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act. These inform the public how and when the information will be made available.


Requesting Information

Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed. Your request must include:

  • your real name - we do not have to respond to requests submitted under a pseudonym;
  • your address (email addresses are acceptable);
  • a description of the information you wish to obtain; and
  • any preferences for the format in which you wish to receive the information e.g. electronic or hard copy.

You must receive a reply to your FOI request and, generally, this must be within 20 working days following receipt of the request.

Generally, the Freedom of Information Act provides that an individual has

  • The right to be told whether the information exists
  • The right to receive the information (unless an exemption applies)


Request for your own information

If the information is your own personal data, then you should make a subject access request under the UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) 2018 and not under the FOI Act.


What to do if you are not satisfied with the response you receive

If you are not satisfied with the health board or trust’s response, you complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO). Details of how to do this are available on the ICO website.


To raise a complaint or concern about your NHS care or treatment

NHS Wales complaints and concerns: Putting Things Right | GOV.WALES


Public Services Ombudsman for Wales 

1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae Pencoed CF35 5LJ

Telephone: 0300 790 0203 (Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh)

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.