Freedom of Information

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) programmes fund valuable independent research for health and social care decision makers. 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which came fully into force on 1 January 2005, gives the public a legal right to obtain information held by public authorities and universities, including the NIHR. The Act places a number of obligations on public authorities, and sets out exemptions to that right.

NIHR fully supports the intentions of the Act and we aim to be as open as possible in informing others about how we conduct our business. The coordinating centre based at the University of Southampton manages a number of research programmes on behalf of the NIHR, which is part of the Department of Health and Social Care. As such the programme’s annual report and research findings are incorporated into the Department of Health and Social Care Freedom of Information publication scheme.

What we routinely make public

In addition NIHR makes information available to the public in electronic form as follows.

  • Full details and full text versions of all the published work of our programmes. These files can be viewed or downloaded free of charge for personal use or private study.
  • Landing pages explaining how each programme works.
  • The project costs and details of all contracts awarded under the various programmes.
  • Updates, bulletins and an Annual Report for each programme, where produced.
  • Full text of all published work of our programmes, where produced.

Information not otherwise available may be requested. Each request is considered separately on a case-by-case basis, and the public interest in releasing or withholding information in every case will be considered.

If you would like to submit a Freedom of Information request, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care.

We will normally have 20 working days to respond. Within this time frame we will confirm or deny in writing whether we hold the requested information and, subject to exemptions, will communicate this information to the enquirer.

Information subject to an exemption in the Act may not be released.

Reviews and appeals

If you do not feel that we have dealt with your request in accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act, you may request a review. Your request for a review should specify in what respect you do not feel that the requirements of Part I have been met. 

The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing rights of access to information and the operation of the publication scheme. You may apply to the Information Commissioner in writing (FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution, Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF) or electronically for a decision whether, in any specified respect, your request for information has been dealt with by NIHR in accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act. The Information Commissioner will not normally take action unless he is satisfied that NIHR's review procedures have been exhausted.