Freedom of information

View the answers to past Freedom of Information requests

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 introduced important new rights to access information held by public authorities The Scottish Ambulance Service is committed to openness and transparency in the provision of information to the public.

What information does the act cover?

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 covers everything historical and current data that is been recorded in text, audio, visual format within the organisation with very few exceptions. Anyone can request information for any purpose unless it is exempt.

How can a request for information be made?

An individual can request information in any form (including spoken). This could also be in the form of an email, letter, telephone call, answer machine message. You need to include a method of how best to contact you.

  • telephone 0131 314 0000 
  • by online freedom of information form
  • by post to Freedom of Information Officer, National Headquarters, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9EB.

When will I receive the information I requested?

The information must be provided within 20 working days of receipt of the information. If further information is requested the clock stops.

Is any information exempt?

Requests may be exempt if:

  • the information is not held  
  • interim data, unfinalised reports etc  
  • internal communications of a confidential nature  
  • personal data which would be covered under the Data Protection Act  
  • disclosure would harm international relations  
  • disclosure would harm the environment;

What if I wish to see any clinical information held about me including the Electronic Patient Record Form completed by ambulance crews or obtain a transcript of a 999 call?

This data should not be requested as a Freedom of Information request. The Data Protection Act 1998 gives people the right to know what personal information an organisation has about them. To use this right, you can make what is known as a ‘subject access request’.

Only the following people may apply for access to personal information.

  • the person who the information is about
  • someone acting on behalf of the person who the information is about.

Making false or misleading statements to access personal information which you are not entitled to is a criminal offence.
If you want to make a subject access request, you should fill in the relevant form below:

Subject Access Application Form

Application for Health Records of a Deceased Patient

Is there a fee for this information?

The majority of information requests are free. For requests from £100 to £600, 10% is charged. Requests in excess of £600 can be refused. Requesters have to be advised of fees within 20 days of the original request and must pay within three months. Information does not have to be released until payment has been made.

What if I am unhappy with the information received?

A review can be requested within 40 days of the response first being issued.

A review must be undertaken by a representative of the Service providing the information that was not originally involved in the request.

Reviews must be conducted within 20 working days of receipt of the request.

What if I am unhappy with the review?

If the original decision is issued and you are still unhappy, you may contact the Scottish Information Commissioner for advice on how to appeal.

The Information Commissioner then decides whether the information must be:

  • provided
  • original decision is upheld and requester is advised of outcome.

For more information you can contact the Information Commission at the address below.

Scottish Information Commissioner,
Kinburn Castle,
Doubledykes Road,
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9DS
Telephone: 01334 464 610
Fax: 01334 464 611
e-mail: enquiries@itspublicknowledge.info

You can also make your appeal online via the Commissioner’s website at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal.   This link gives you help in real time explaining exactly what is needed so the Commissioner can investigate your case quickly.