Number and type of cases in healthcare

Dan made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Swyddfa'r Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth

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 Information Commissioner's Office,

I would like to know broken down by year over the last 5 years including 2019 to date (i.e.
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) the number of cases raised, investigated and the outcomes within health relating to NHS services public or private.

For each year
- Number of cases raised
- Classification/categorisation of cases
- Number investigated
- Further broken down by the outcome classification/category.

In terms of case classification, I am specifically interested in (but limiting this request to), cases where the health organisation lost, destroyed, failed to release information or exposed information.

For each classification, I would like to see the classification of the closure /resolution.
e.g. was it upheld and action taken.

I have tried to illustrate the sort of output I would expect below:

2018
---------------------------------------------
Total cases received X
total cases investigated
-X outcome A
-X outcome B
-X outcome C
--------------------------------------------
1) Classification X
-X outcome A
-X outcome B
-X outcome C
-----------------------------------------
2) Classification X
-X outcome A
-X outcome B
-X outcome C
-------------------------------------
etc.

If you require any further clarification please let me know.

Yours faithfully,

Dan

Information Access Inbox, Swyddfa'r Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth

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Swyddfa'r Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth

23 August 2019

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0865205

 

Dear Dan,

Thank you for your request for information submitted to the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO). We received your request on 10 August 2019.
 
We have considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA).

Your request

You requested the following information:

“I would like to know broken down by year over the last 5 years including
2019 to date (i.e. 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) the number of cases
raised, investigated and the outcomes within health relating to NHS
services public or private.

For each year - Number of cases raised - Classification/categorisation of
cases - Number investigated - Further broken down by the outcome
classification/category. In terms of case classification, I am
specifically interested in (but limiting this request to), cases where the
health organisation lost, destroyed, failed to release information or
exposed information.

For each classification, I would like to see the classification of the
closure /resolution. e.g. was it upheld and action taken. I have tried to
illustrate the sort of output I would expect below:

2018 --------------------------------------------- Total cases received X
total cases investigated -X outcome A -X outcome B -X outcome C
-------------------------------------------- 1) Classification X -X
outcome A -X outcome B -X outcome C
----------------------------------------- 2) Classification X -X outcome A
-X outcome B -X outcome C ------------------------------------- etc.”  

Our response

In response, we do hold information within the scope of your request. We
proactively publish casework data sets containing statistical information
about our completed casework online here:

[1]Complaints and concerns data sets

The published casework data sets start in the financial year 2014/15 and
currently end in June 2018. So they cover a significant portion of the
five year timeframe specified in your information request. We have
supplied some explanatory paragraphs below to aid you in effectively
filtering and searching the data set sets for the information you require.

You can filter the data sets using the case type or legislation column to
see how cases have been classified, then you can used the sector column to
filter for ‘health’ related cases. You can then use the submitted about
party column to determine the number of complaints that relate to public
or private healthcare organisations.

The two case nature columns give an overview of the nature of each case,
because of the configuration of our casework management system all case
natures are picked from a predefined list. So the nature ‘security’ would
cover things like ‘lost information’. Whereas the nature ‘disclosure of
data’ would most likely cover ‘exposed information’. Similarly the nature
‘subject access’ might cover a ‘failure to release’ personal information
to a data subject.   

The outcome column lists the outcome of each case at the point of case
closure or resolution. For a brief explanation of our data protection and
freedom of information casework outcomes please refer to the linked
documents below:

[2]Data Protection case outcomes  

[3]Freedom of Information case outcomes  

The ICO periodically publishes its casework data sets, in line with our
commitment to openness and transparency. However, we have not yet
published data sets between July 2018 and August 2019, which covers part
of the timeframe specified in your request wording. This information is
intended for future publication and is exempt from disclosure under
section 22 FOIA, which is explained in detail below.  

The outstanding casework data sets will be published sequentially by
calendar month. Due to the number of cases and the detailed checking
required prior to disclosure, the July 2018 data set will be published
soon, with further data sets being prepared for disclosure thereafter.

Section 21 - FOIA

When information is available online, such as our casework data sets, this
information is considered reasonably accessible to the public by other
means. It is therefore technically exempt from disclosure under section 21
FOIA because it is not necessary to make an information request in order
to access it.  

Section 22 FOIA

Some of the casework information sought is not yet published online and is
exempt under section 22 of FOIA.

Section 22 of the Act states that information is exempt from disclosure in
response to an information request if:
 
“(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its
publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date
(whether determined or not),
(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at
the time when the request for information was made, and
(c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should
be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).”
 
The exemption at section 22 is qualified by the public interest test,
meaning that the information should be disclosed if the public interest in
the maintenance of the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in
disclosure.
 
In this case, the public interest factors in favour of disclosing the
information are:  

* To promote openness and transparency by providing information about
cases that have been submitted to us under the legislation we
regulate.

The factors in favour of maintaining the exemption are:    
 
 

* The ICO has a history of publishing this information on a regular
basis and has committed to publishing relevant casework data sets
which will include the requested information in the future.
* To prepare this information for disclosure earlier than our intended
date of publication in response to individual requests we receive
would not be an efficient use of resources when we intend to publish
this information in due course anyway.
* Earlier disclosure is not necessary to satisfy any pressing public
interest at the present time.

Having considered the public interest arguments, we consider it reasonable
in the circumstances to withhold this information under section 22 of the
FOIA.

That concludes our response to your information request, we hope that it
is helpful.  

Review procedure

If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Access Team at the address below or
email [4][ICO request email]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request received
after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation. To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team, at the address given or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website:  

[5]Review procedure  

Yours sincerely,

Aideen Oakes

Lead Information Access Officer

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Please consider the environment before printing this email

For information requests please use: [6][ICO request email]

For information about what we do with personal data see our [7]privacy
notice

 

References

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2. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...
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4. mailto:[ICO request email]
5. https://ico.org.uk/media/1883/ico-review...
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7. https://ico.org.uk/global/privacy-notice/