Data and Information used by the English Infected Blood Support Scheme used to calculate a balance of probability decision.

Roger Pitcher made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Awdurdod Gwasanaethau Busnes y GIG

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear NHS Business Services Authority,
Under the Freedom of Information Act I would like to know what data and information is used by the English Infected Blood Support Scheme to calculate a "balance of probability" decision that a person had been infected with hepatitis C by intravenous drug use? Also, what statistical tools are used to arrive at the "balance of probability" decision in such a case?

Yours faithfully,
Roger I Pitcher

FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY), Awdurdod Gwasanaethau Busnes y GIG

2 Atodiad

Dear Roger Pitcher

 

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act, which I
received on 8 November 2019 for information about the following:

 

‘Dear NHS Business Services Authority, Under the Freedom of Information
Act I would like to know what data and information is used by the English
Infected Blood Support Scheme to calculate a "balance of probability"
decision that a person had been infected with hepatitis C by intravenous
drug use? Also, what statistical tools are used to arrive at the "balance
of probability" decision in such a case?’

 

Response

 

I am writing to advise you that following a search of our paper and
electronic records, I have established that the information you requested
is not held by the NHS Business Services Authority.

 

EIBSS does not use any statistical method in determining the balance of
probabilities. EIBSS considers all the information and evidence provided
and determines that it is more likely than not that the facts support a
claim. The applicant bears the burden of providing all of the information
and evidence to prove, what they claim is more likely, than not, to be
true. EIBSS Medical Assessors use their experience and judgment in
determining the credibility of each piece of evidence and how much weight
to assign to each piece of evidence. The resulting decision will be that
it is more than 50% likely or above, that certain events took place in
order for that case to be proven on the balance of probabilities.

 

Please note that this response will be published on our Freedom of
Information disclosure log at:

 

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Your personal details will be removed from the published response.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of my decision,
please write within 40 working days of the date of this response to:

 

Chris Gooday

Information Governance Manager

NHS Business Services Authority

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Newcastle upon Tyne

NE15 8NY

 

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY),

Dear Chris Gooday,
You replied to the above FOI request on 5th December 2019. It seems you have not even read my request and I find the answer you did give both evasive and equivocate and certainly not the legitimate answer to my request you are legally required to provide by the Freedom of Information Act.

In reply to the above FOI request you said, ‘EIBSS does not use any statistical method in determining the balance of probabilities’. This is disingenuous of you as my question was, ‘what DATA AND INFORMATION is used by EIBSS to calculate a balance of probability decision that a person has been infected with hepatitis C by intravenous drug use?’ My question about statistics was secondary, as well you know. You failed to answer that part specifically about infection with HCV by intravenous drug use by completely ignoring the essential core of my request, which I find to be an act of gross negligence on your part.

You go on to say, ‘EIBSS considers all the information and determines if it is more likely than not that the facts support a claim’, i.e. is greater than 50% of the event having taken place. And, ‘EIBSS Medical Assessors use their experience and judgement in determining the credibility of each piece of evidence and how much weight to assign to each piece of evidence.’

If the EIBSS, ‘considers all the information and evidence provided to determine that it is more likely than not the facts support a claim’, then it follows that the EIBSS must interrogate the data, information and medical knowledge they have access to against the data and information given by the claimant to arrive at a decision. I put it to you that the experience and judgement of the Medical Assessors must be based on that data and information that they have access to in order to arrive at their ‘balance of probability’ decision, which is by medical definition, an expression of statistics.

Additionally, how do the Medical Assessors ‘weigh’ each piece of evidence? They must use a statistical tool to do so or the statement is nonsensical. If a claimant makes a statement that they had not been infected with hepatitis C by intravenous drug use, then what data and information do you use to arrive at the decision that, on the ‘balance of probabilities’, they had been infected by IDU? What epidemiological studies and statistics do the Medical Assessors use to arrive at their decision? To interrogate such data and information must be the case but you refuse to give a legitimate answer to my FOI request as you are required to do by law.

You have failed absolutely to answer my request for information specifically about HCV infection via IDU and have given me just a perfunctory answer about, ‘balance of probability’ decisions in general. Consequently I am asking for an internal review of your response to this FOI request.

Sincerely,
Roger I Pitcher

FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY), Awdurdod Gwasanaethau Busnes y GIG

3 Atodiad

Dear Mr Pitcher

 

Please find attached an acknowledgement of your recent request for an
internal review.

 

Regards,

Chris

 

Chris Gooday LLM

Information Governance Manager

Corporate Governance

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GOODAY, Chris (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY), Awdurdod Gwasanaethau Busnes y GIG

3 Atodiad

Dear Mr Pitcher,

 

Please find attached the result of my review.  The revised response will
be published on our FOI disclosure log.

 

Regards

 

Chris Gooday LLM

Information Governance Manager

Security and Information Governance

[1]www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk

 

 

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improve our services. You can give us
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