Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities.

It does this in two ways:

  • Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities.
  • Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by Scotland’s own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces. However, the Act does not necessarily cover every organisation that receives public money. For example, it does not cover some charities that receive grants and certain private sector organisations that perform public functions.

Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings.

The Act does not give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves) such as their health records or credit reference file. If a member of the public wants to see information that a public authority holds about them, they should make a subject access request under the GDPR/Data Protection Act 2018.

(Extracted from the Information Commissioner’s website)

Our commitments under the scheme

  • To proactively publish – or otherwise make available as a matter of routine – information, including environmental information, which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
  • To specify the information which is held by the authority and falls within the classifications below.
  • To proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information in line with the statements contained within this scheme.
  • To produce and publish the methods by which the specific information is made routinely available so that it can be easily identified and accessed by members of the public.
  • To review and update on a regular basis the information the authority makes available under this scheme.
  • To produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information which is made proactively available.
  • To make this publication scheme available to the public.
  • To publish any dataset held by the authority that has been requested, and any updated versions it holds, unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate to do so; to publish the dataset, where reasonably practicable, in an electronic form that is capable of re-use; and, if any information in the dataset is a relevant copyright work and the public authority is the only owner, to make the information available for re-use under a specified licence. The term ‘dataset’ is defined in section 11(5) of the Freedom of Information Act. The terms ‘relevant copyright work’ and ‘specified licence’ are defined in section 19(8) of that Act.

Where can I get information?

Wherever possible, information will be available through our Publication Scheme and on our website. We are constantly updating and adding to the information on our website.

Where we are currently unable to provide information in this way or when an individual does not wish to access the information by the website, we will indicate how information can be obtained by other means and provide it by those means.

In exceptional circumstances some information may be available only by viewing in person. An appointment to view the information will be arranged within a reasonable timescale.

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Wherever possible, information published on our website will be able to be translated using the translation facility on the site. Where this is not possible and where we are legally required to translate any information, we will do so.

Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with our Publication Scheme.

How to make a request

If you cannot find what you are looking for in this part of our website you can contact us using the details below:

  • Post: Information Governance, Kedhlow Building, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3LJ
  • Email:

Please note that in accordance with the Act we cannot take verbal requests. Please ensure that you provide an email or postal address to which we can reply.

Before making your request, please read the following guidance notes:

  • All requests for information must be in writing and include a contact name and address.
  • If the information you are requesting is available from another source, for example on our publication scheme, we may not have to provide you with it.
  • The information you request may fall under one of the exemptions listed within the Act. If this is the case we will not be able to provide you with it.
  • You may be charged a fee depending on the size and nature of your request.

How we deal with requests

Once we receive a request we will send an email or a letter of acknowledgement.

We will then make sure that we understand what information you are looking for and if there are any exemptions or fees that may apply.

The next stage for us is to find the information you are looking for and then copy and send it to you. Alternatively you may wish to come and view the information or be provided with a summary.

Responding to requests

All requests for information must be responded to within 20 working days. If we need to ask additional questions to be clearer about what you want, this time period could be longer.

The Trust is not obliged to comply with vexatious requests or repeated or substantially similar requests from the same person, other than at reasonable intervals.

What information can’t I get?

The classes of information will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information that has been destroyed in accordance with the provisions of our records management policy and schedule of destruction.

Will I be charged for information?

The purpose of our Publication Scheme is to make the maximum amount of information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Charges made by the Trust for routinely published material will be justified and transparent and kept to a minimum.

Material which is published and accessed on our website will be provided free of charge. Charges may be made for information subject to a charging regime specified by Parliament.

Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as:

  • photocopying
  • postage and packaging
  • the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information

Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by public authorities, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment will be requested prior to provision of the information.

Page last reviewed: 15 May 2023

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