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Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 came into force on 1 January 2005. It gives the public a right to ask for information held by public sector organisations including the NHS. The FOI Act is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and more information about the Act and the ICO is available on their website.

Requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act

The FOI Act requires that every public authority has a publication scheme where information is made available to the public routinely. You can visit our publication scheme to see if the information you require is already on our website.

If the information you require is not in our publication scheme you can make a FOI request to see if the information is available. FOI requests must be made in writing and must include the following details:

  • Your name and address
  • Daytime telephone (optional)
  • Email address if you would like information sent to you in this way
  • The information or documents you would like to access
  • The way you would like the information sent to you (eg by post or email)

You can apply by email to foi@wsh.nhs.uk or in writing to:

Information Governance Manager
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Hardwick Lane
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 2QZ 

What happens when I make a request? 

We will make every effort to provide you with the information you have requested. We may need to ask you a few questions to make sure we know exactly what you want. We will then check to see if we hold the information you have requested.

If we have the information you will normally be given a copy within 20 working days. We will try to provide the information in the way you prefer, for example on paper or electronically.

If we do not have the information you have requested we will tell you as soon as possible. If we can, we will suggest where else you may be able to get it. 

Patient confidentiality

The FOI Act does not change the right of patients to protection of their patient confidentiality in accordance with the Data Protection Act, common law and Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention.

Maintaining the legal right to the patient confidentiality continues to be an important commitment on our part. The Trust Caldicott Guardian, Dr Nick Jenkins (medical director), has the responsibility to ensure the protection of patient confidentiality throughout the Trust in accordance with your legal rights.

The Caldicott Guardian can be contacted in writing using the following address:

Dr Nick Jenkins, Caldicott Guardian
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Hardwick Lane
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 2QZ