Scottish Conservatives Winter Recovery Plan: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Copies of any correspondence (briefing, letters, emails, handwritten notes, memos, minutes of calls, minutes of meetings, attachments and/or otherwise) from and/or to civil servants and/or Special Advisers and/or Scottish Government MSPs regarding the Scottish Conservatives Winter Recovery Plan.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

Exemption(s) under section(s) s.25(1) (information otherwise accessible), s.30(b)(i) and (ii) (Free and frank exchange of advice and views), and s.38(1)(b) (personal data relating to third party) of FOISA apply to some of the information.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. Some of the information you have requested is available from news publications as well as the Scottish Parliament website:

Document: Planned Care Contribution 1 - Item 1: ‘The Scotsman’. Article available here: to-introduce-super-saturdays-and-punish-health-boards-who-fail-on-waiting-times-3950624

Document: Planned Care Contribution 1 - Item 1: ‘Nursing Times’. Article available here: 16-12-2022/

Document: Planned Care Contribution 2 - Item 2: ‘Scottish Daily Express’. Article available here: 29606485

Document: Planned Care Contribution 2 - Item 6: ‘The Scottish Parliament’. Publication available here: question?ref=S6W-16481

Section 30(b)(i) and (ii) recognise the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice and views to Ministers before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice and views on this matter will substantially inhibit the provision of such advice and views in the future, particularly where discussions are still ongoing. These exemptions are subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to explore and refine the Government’s response. This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers and officials, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.

Section 38(1)(b) is an exemption that limits the release of third party data if it were to contravene the UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202300361915 - Winter Plan 1-5


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top