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About the Freedom of Information Act

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act aims to promote a culture of openness and accountability in the public sector, by providing people with a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities.

Who is covered by the Act?

The Act applies to all public authorities. This includes government departments, local authorities, NHS bodies, schools, colleges and universities, and the police, House of Commons and House of Lords.

What does it mean for Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust?

  • The Act affects everyone in the Trust
  • There is a statutory duty to implement the Act
  • It allows anyone to find out whether information is held, and if it is, to have access to it
  • There are no time limits on how far back someone can gain access to information, it is as far back as we hold the information

You can find out what information we make routinely available under our Publication Scheme.

If you request information from us under the Freedom of Information Act (often called an FOI request), we are required to respond to your request within 20 working days.

You may first wish to search the Trust website to find out if the information you require has already been published before requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act.

How to request information under the Freedom of Information Act

The Trust is committed to providing timely and accessible information to the public and responding to reasonable requests for information.

Your request for information must:

  • be in writing (this can be by email);
  • include a name and address for correspondence (an email address is acceptable); 
  • describe the information that you are requesting, giving us enough detail about the information to allow us to correctly identify and find it.

All requests should be sent to the FOI Office:

By post: FOI Office, Communications Department – Level K,
Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL

By email:

We are required to respond to requests for information in 20 working days. Applicants will be kept informed if any delays appear likely.

We have a duty to provide advice and assistance to applicants who want to make a request for information and need help in doing so. Advice and assistance is available from the FOI Office or from PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).

Limits of disclosure

We will disclose information wherever possible. However, in certain limited circumstances, it will be necessary to withhold some or all of the information requested under one of the exemptions outlined in the Act. In any case where information is refused, the Trust will specify which exemption has been claimed and why. All requests for information will be carefully considered on their own merits and with close regard to the public interest.

Requests for personal data

Maintaining the right of confidentiality is an important commitment for all NHS organisations. The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the processing of personal information (information relating to living individuals). For more information go to: Data Protection

This legislation makes it possible for you to request access to personal data that the Trust may hold about you. A request for disclosure of such information is called a subject access request. Separate arrangements for handling such requests exist, for more information contact

Charges and Fees for information

For information requested under the Freedom of Information Act the following charges will apply:

Where the cost of the Trust responding to your request for information is calculated as being less than £450.00 (this covers the time taken to look for, find and put the information into a format that has been requested) no standard fee will be charged, but we will charge the full costs of disbursements (costs of postage and photocopying) when this exceeds £25.00.

Complying with requests for information which would exceed more than the £450 limit to respond to will be at the discretion of the Trust and may incur a fee.


In the first instance please raise your concern regarding the information provided by writing to:

Freedom of Information Office
Communications Department – Level K
Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL

If you are still not happy once your complaint has been dealt with by the Trust then you have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioners Office

National Data Opt Out

The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care.

You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.

How do I opt out or find more information?

Useful links

safeguardingVisit our safeguarding page

healthwatchClick here for Your one-stop-shop for information about health and care services in your area.

Contact us

  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex  SS16 5NL
    Switchboard: 01268 524900

  • The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex SS16 5NL
    Switchboard: 01268 524900

How to find us

Click here for more information on how to get to our hospitals

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