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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides the public with a general right to access information including policies. The FOIA promotes a spirit of openness and information should be disclosed unless it is exempt under the conditions set out in the FOIA.

Response times

Please be aware that requests for information may be delayed as our staff are focused on urgent operational responses required at this time to manage exceptional capacity pressures following on from the Covid-19 pandemic. We remain committed to responding to requests as soon as possible but may not be able to meet the statutory limit. The NHS is facing unprecedented challenges, understandably, our resources have been diverted to support our frontline colleagues who are working tremendously hard to provide care for our patients. Complaints can be made to the Information Commissioner's Office if a response breaches the 20-working day response limit.

Requesting Information – Who to ask about your question

The information that is most frequently requested is covered by different legislation and handled by different teams at the Trust. Please see ‘Who to ask’ below to find out where to direct your query.

Freedom of Information

A request for information must be made in writing, and the requester must give their and address, which can be an email address. The request must be for information that the authority already holds, authorities are not required to create information or give opinions. The authority does not need to supply information that is already available to the public – see Publication Scheme below.

To request information under the Freedom of Information Act - first check the publication scheme which may have the information you require.

If you cannot find it, please email:

View the Trust's Freedom of Information Policy v5

Who to ask

Health Records and Personal Information

Personal information is not part of the FOIA. The legislation relating to personal information is the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) and Access to Health Records.

If you want to request personal information, please email:

Further information and to download the application form

Human Resources – references, etc

If you want to request information from Human Resources about our staff, or former staff members, please email:

For further information about HR click here - Join our team

Patient Advice and Liaison Service

If you want patient information, to give us a compliment, or make a complaint, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service – PALS.

Email: Phone (10am-4pm) 01293 217198.

Publication Scheme

Under Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the trust has a legal duty to create a publication scheme to ensure that certain information is readily available to the public, and this should be kept up-to-date.

The publication scheme includes:

Charges and Copyright

For the most part, we will charge you only for hard copies or copying onto media (e.g. memory stick). Some information is available free, but there may be a charge for some.

The charges, which vary according to how the information is made available, are as follows:

For further details or to order a document, please send a request in writing to:

Freedom of Information Manager
West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Trust Offices
Watford General Hospital
Vicarage Road
WD18 0HB


The material available through the publication scheme is subject to the trust's copyright unless otherwise indicated. Unless expressly indicated on the material to the contrary, it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium, provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading manner.

Where any of the items in this scheme are being re-published or copied to others, you must identify the source of the material and acknowledge the copyright status.

Permission to reproduce material does not extend to any material accessed through this scheme that is the copyright of third parties. You must obtain authorisation to reproduce such material from the copyright holders concerned.

For HMSO Guidance Notes on a range of copyright issues, contact:

HMSO Licensing Division
St Clements House
2-16 Colegate
Tel: 01603 621000 Fax: 01603 723000


Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent in writing to:

Director of Communications
West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Trust Offices
Watford General Hospital
Vicarage Road
WD18 0HB