Accessibility and Language

Freedom of information

We would like to thank everyone for your continued patience and understanding during this time. There are still unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, due to this there may be delays to responding to FOI requests. Priority for our service is still at present to support our frontline operations. This has meant many staff and resources have been diverted away or are being asked to prioritise from their usual work.

The Scottish Government passed emergency legislation in April 2020 in response to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. This legislation has now been amended, with changes that took effect from the 27 May 2020.

What does this mean

The timescale was increased from 20 working days to 60 for all Scottish public Authorities. This change has now been removed and timescales have been reinstated to 20 working days, effective for the requests made on and after the 27 May 2020.

Further information can be found here

We continue as a service to aim to action all requests received within the timescales set out and thank you again for your patience and understanding during this time.

Can we please encourage the use of email as the main communication method. The restrictions we are currently operating under may mean that any letters received by the post may not be picked up or acknowledged.
 
Please use the following email addresses, depending on the type of request being sent
 
sas.foi@nhs.scot for requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
sas.feedback@nhs.scot for feedback and enquiries
 
sas.dataprotection@nhs.scot for requests under the Data Protection Act, requesting personal information.
 
Please do not send multiple emails if you do not receive a reply in a timely fashion as this will create repetition and increase the workload on our teams.

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.

What if I wish to see any personal 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 be requested as a Subject Access Request.

Find out more

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;

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.