The Freedom of Information Act was passed in November 2000 and grants the right of access to all types of information held by public bodies, including all NHS organisations. It came into force in January 2005 and places a legal requirement on public organisations to be more open with the information that they collect and hold.

The Act allows anyone to find out whether information is held by the organisation and if it is, and subject to certain exemptions, to have access to it. The Act does not change the right to protection of personal confidentiality (for example, patient records) in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, article 8 of the Human Rights convention and common law.

This is a printable version of