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Freedom of information requests

Before sending us a new request, please check our disclosure log as we may have already answered it. We have a list of who does what in the NHS system which can help you find out who holds the information you need.

What is the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public bodies, like the NHS. Some exemptions apply which means that you may not be able to access all information. The act lists exemptions to protect personal information and limit the burden on public authorities. However, the intention of the act is to promote openness, transparency and accountability.

The act does not give people access to their own personal data, such as their health records or credit reference file. If you want to see information that we hold about you, please make a subject access request.

Who can use request information?

Anyone has the right to make a request for information held by us. You do not have to say why you want the information and you are free to use it for your own purposes. This includes any non-commercial research you are doing and for news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, requires the permission of the copyright holder.

Information released by NHS Kernow may be reused under the Open Government Licence. For more information, please email our FOI team.

What should I do before I make a request?

Before you make a request, it may help to consider the following.

  • Is the information you want already available on our website or in our disclosure log. We also have a publication scheme that may also assist with your query.
  • Is the information you want your own personal data? If your request is for information about yourself, such as your medical records, you should make a subject access request.
  • Are we likely to hold the information? It may save you time if you check if we have the information you want. For example, you may not be sure whether the information you want is held by your district council or the county council. Public authorities must give reasonable advice and assistance to anyone asking for information, so ask for help when making your request.
  • Is the information you want suitable for general publication? The aim of the Freedom of Information Act is to make information available to the public. You can only obtain information that would be given to anybody who asked for it or would be suitable for the public to see.
  • Some information, such as records about a dead relative, or documents you need for legal purposes, may not always be available. However, you may have a right to see the information you want under other legislation. The public authority holding the information you want should advise you.
What is your request about?

Continuing healthcare

The information you need may already be available on our website, please check our continuing healthcare dashboard where we have a list of the most frequent questions we receive.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust

NHS Kernow was formed on 1 April 2013 and cannot provide information relating to the former primary care trust (2010 to 2013). Contact the Department of Health’s legacy team as they handle all enquiries relating to the former primary care trust.

GPs, dentists, or opticians

NHS Kernow is not responsible for handling requests about GPs, dentists, or opticians. Email NHS England or telephone 0300 311 2233 if you need to make a request about these services.

NHS estates

NHS Kernow is not responsible for handling requests about NHS estates including community hospitals. Email NHS Property Services if you need to make a request about these services.

Public health

NHS Kernow is not responsible for handling requests about public health, such as:

  • health protection
  • drug, alcohol, and tobacco services
  • sexual health

Email Cornwall Council or telephone 0300 1234 100 if you need to make a request about these services.

How to make an FOI request

Requests must be made in writing or email other than in exceptional circumstances. All requests must include the full name and address for correspondence and a description of the information you need. You can say what format you prefer to receive the information in, for example on paper or electronically.

You can email your request or write to us.

Freedom of information officer
NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
Room 210 Cornwall Council offices, 39 Penwinnick Road, St Austell PL25 5DR

We normally acknowledge the request within 3 working days and respond within 20 working days. This is subject to conditions and exemptions.

Will I have to pay for the information?

Where information is available on our disclosure log, publication scheme or website, it will be provided free of charge. If you are accessing documents on our website, the only charge that will apply is those charged by your internet service provider. We will not usually charge for providing hard copies of information but may charge for copying onto other media, such as CDs or hard drives.

If a fee is payable, a fees notice will be issued to you, and you will need to pay before we can deal with your request.

Can my request be declined?

We will provide you with the information requested unless there is a good reason for not doing so. If this is the case, we will tell why we have declined your request. You can ask us to reconsider if you do not agree with our decision. If the request is still declined, you can ask the Information Commission’s Office to review the decision.

We are not obliged to comply with vexatious, repeated, or similar requests from the same person, other than at reasonable intervals.

Further information

If you are unhappy with our refusal, you should complain to NHS Kernow. If you continue to be dissatisfied, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. They will investigate the case and either agree with NHS Kernow’s decision or decide the information must be disclosed.

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone 0303 123 1113

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