FOI requests

Freedom of Information requests

Before you make a request

The information you need may already be published. Before making a request please check our Publication Scheme.

How to make a request?

If the information you seek is not already published on our website, you can request it by writing to us by e-mail at or by post to:

Information Governance
Trust Headquarters, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Sheriff Hill
Gateshead Health 

Your request must:

  • be made in writing*;
  • clearly describe the information your require; and
  • include your name and either a postal or email address for correspondence.
*This requirement does not apply to requests for environmental information.

You can specify the manner and format in which you wish to receive the information (e.g. a copy, summary, table, by email or letter). We will attempt to meet your wishes.

How long does it take?

Our response should be sent to you within 20 working days of receipt of your request, unless we need to contact you to clarify your request, or the public interest test needs to be considered. 

Is there a charge for access to information?

We do not normally charge for providing information. However, we may ask you to pay a fee, for example if you request multiple hard copies or copying onto media such as a CD-ROM.

Can we refuse to provide information?

We disclose most of the information we are asked for. However, your request (or part of it) can be refused if:

  • We do not hold the information you ask for

If we do not hold the information you asked for but have a reason to believe that another public authority does, we will inform you how to contact that authority to ask for the information.

  • It is not clear what information you need

If your request is not clear, we will ask you to clarify it. Once we receive your clarification, we will send you a response within 20 working days.

  • Your request exceeds the appropriate cost limit

We do not have to provide the information to you if it would cost in excess of the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit is set in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether we hold the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting it.

If we are unable to provide the information to you within the appropriate cost limit, we will inform you. We may also ask you to narrow down your request to bring it within the appropriate cost limit.

  • The information is exempt from disclosure

The right to access information is subject to a number of statutory exemptions, which we have to take into consideration before deciding what information can be released.

Where information cannot be released, we will inform you which exemption applies and why.

Guidance on exemptions is available on the Information Commissioner's Office website.


If you are not happy with our decision

If you are not happy with our response or with our handling of your request, please let us know, and we will try to resolve any issues informally. If you are not satisfied with the informal resolution, you may request an internal review by writing to us at or by post to:

Information Governance
Trust Headquarters, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Sheriff Hill
Gateshead Health 

Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of our response.

The review will be conducted by a person who was not involved in the handling of the original response. The reviewer will examine the decision that was made in the original response and decide if the legislation was applied correctly. You will be informed of the reviewer's decision in writing. This may support the original decision or overturn it. Any information that we feel able to provide will accompany the reviewer’s response.

If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted by email at, or post to:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Disclosure log

FoI requests received in 2015/16.

Useful links

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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