Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 makes it easier for you to get information about us. This law, which came into force on 1 January 2005, means that anyone, anywhere can ask for any information we hold.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust is legally committed to providing timely and accessible information to the public and responding to reasonable requests for information.  There are no time limits on how far back you can gain access to information, as long as we hold it on record.

Publication Scheme

In order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act public sector organisations such as ours routinely publish information whenever possible.

The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, has drawn up a Model Publication Scheme for all public sector organisations which we have adopted.

Please check the publication scheme before making an FOI enquiry, as you may find that the information you require has already been made available online.

Go to the Publication Scheme now

Making an FOI enquiry

All you have to do is submit your request in writing, by letter or email, to any member of staff, stating clearly what information you want.

Alternatively, you can make a request directly to the FOI Team who are responsible for dealing with any FOI enquiries that the Trust receives.

Contact details:

Information Governance Department
Lough House
Ards Hospital
Church Street
BT23 4AS


Do not forget to provide your contact details so we can reply to your request.

Responding to requests

By law we have to deal with such requests within 20 working days. If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it you may ask us to review any decision we make. If you wish us to undertake such a review you should write to the Reviewer, The Information Governance Department at the above address.

Any review will normally be under the control and direction of a senior member of staff who had no involvement in the original decision or process.

If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review you may complain to the Information Commissioner whose address is:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
3rd Floor
14 Cromac Place,

Advice and Assistance

If you would like any advice or assistance about making a request for information, please contact the Information Governance Department at the address above.

Charges and Fees for information

The Freedom of Information Act and the associated Fees Regulations stipulate that we cannot levy a fee for information unless there is a statutory basis for doing so or the amount of time taken to locate the information exceeds 18 hours. However we are allowed to charge for disbursements related to the provision of information and any reformatting requested by the applicant provided we ensure that applicants are aware of any charges which may be made.

If you want any further information about the provision of information or have any difficulty accessing information provided on our website please contact:

Information Governance Department
Lough House
Ards Hospital
Church Street
BT23 4AS

Requests for Personal Information

Maintaining the right of confidentiality is important for all NHS organisations. If you want to ask us for information which we may hold about you personally then this will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act 2018. This would include information relating to health records, employment and training records – anything which is limited to you as a person whether as a patient, employee or partner of any kind.

Fair processing notice leaflet for service users

Fair processing notice leaflet for children

How we use your information poster for children