Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into force in January 2005. It allows anyone to ask for and request access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. We manage FOI requests in accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office (opens in a new window).

I want to find something out about the trust

Before making a FOI request, please check our website to see if it contains the information you require. Our publications scheme contains all the information we routinely publish and is a good place to start your search.

I want to request access to health records

Please see access to health records for information about how to request access to yours or another person’s heath record if you are their authorised representative. This information does not fall under the Freedom of Information Act.

How do I request information that is not on the website?

If you cannot find what you are looking for on our website, you can put in an FOI request for that information to be sent to you. Requests should be made in writing and include an address to which correspondence can be sent.

To make a request:

Email: esth.foi@nhs.net.

or write to:
Head of Corporate Governance
70 East Street
Epsom
Surrey
KT17 1HF

When will my request be answered?

We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days. If we are unable to provide the information within that time, we will contact you and give you an estimate of how much longer the request will take.

Can my request be refused?

There are some exemptions to the Act, for example, if the request relates to personal information or information intended for future publication. When an exemption is considered appropriate, we will explain to you why this decision has been taken, and any further steps you can take.

Requests can also be refused if the time taken to investigate whether we hold the information and can access it, exceeds a cost of £450. In this case, we will contact you to establish whether you wish to:

  • Pay the cost
  • Amend the request so that it costs less than £450
  • No longer proceed with the request.

Is there a charge for my request?

We are entitled to charge for the copying and postage of material, but we will usually absorb these costs. If we do consider charging you, we will let you know first.

Environment Information Regulations (EIR)

The Environment Information Regulations (EIR) came into force in 1992. They were updated in 2004 to ensure that they fell in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

These regulations give you the right to access environmental information held by any public authority.

EIRs cover a wide variety of environmental information including: 

  • The state of the environment: such as air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna and diversity including information on genetically modified organism
  • Emissions and discharges: such as noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances
  • Measures and activities: such as policies, plans and agreements, reports, cost benefit and economic analyses
  • The state of human health and safety: including contamination of the food chain
  • Cultural sites and built structures: as they may be affected by environmental factors.

You can make requests by letter, by email to esth.foi@nhs.net and - unlike Freedom of Information (FOI) requests - you can also request information by telephone 020 8296 4992 or in person.

Requests will be answered within 20 working days; the time limit for EIR requests can be extended to 40 working days if the information requested is complex and voluminous.

There are a number of exemptions for example if the information is likely to prejudice national security. All EIR exemptions are qualified (public interest test applies). You can find out more about EIRs on the Information Commissioner's website (opens in a new window).

 

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