XMAS FOI On NHS Whistleblowing

Paul Gaffney made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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 The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

I have done some research and found there are a number of pieces of guidance on how best to ‘whistleblow ‘in the NHS.
Examples include:
1) Each trust is expected to have a’ whistleblowing’ policy modelled on 2003 Department of Health Guidance.
2)Other ‘whistleblowing’ guidance that is issued to general practitioners by NHS employers after the Shipman Inquiry and a Code of Practice published in 2008 by the British Standards and Public Concern at Work .
3 )A Doctor’s duty to report concerns is set out in the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice published in 2006 supported by supplementary guidance Raising Concerns About Patient Safety.
‘43. You must protect patients from risk of harm posed by another colleague’s conduct,
performance or health. The safety of patients must come first at all times. If you have
concerns that a colleague may not be fit to practise, you must take appropriate steps
without delay, so that the concerns are investigated and patients protected where
necessary. This means you must give an honest explanation of your concerns to an
appropriate person from your employing or contracting body, and follow their
procedures.
44. If there are no appropriate local systems, or local systems do not resolve the problem,
and you are still concerned about the safety of patients, you should inform the relevant
regulatory body. If you are not sure what to do, discuss your concerns with an impartial
colleague or contact your defence body, a professional organisation, or the GMC for
advice.
45. If you have management responsibilities you should make sure that systems are in place
through which colleagues can raise concerns about risks to patients, and you must
follow the guidance in Management for doctors.
So raising concerns is not just a matter of personal conscience – in some circumstances it is a
professional obligation.’

4) Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 ‘whistleblowers’ get legal protection against victimisation or dismissal for exposing malpractice at work. This piece of legislation followed a succession of cases where whistleblowers had been ignored , including the problems at Bristol Royal Infirmary ,where 29 babies and children died after heart surgery .
5) Until 1 April 2010 it was optional for NHS trusts to report serious untoward incidents to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA).Since then there has been a duty to report introduced by the Care Quality Commission Registration Regulations 2009 ...a more demanding duty :
“This is a duty which is accomapied by sanctions in the criminal law for failure to report –and th ephraes in the regulations is ‘without delay’ –deaths which cannot be explained by the normal course of the illness the patient is suffering from.
And then equally significantly there’s a further duty ,again, to report events which appear –before anybody which has actually been injured or died from events in hospital –systems need to be in place which would expose patients to that sort of risk.’
THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY THIS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST ARE :
1) Is there any case law or any other pieces of legislation or other pieces of NHS or professional guidance which protect any possible ‘whistleblower.’?
2) Does the duty to inform of ‘wrongdoing’ extend to other staff: legal advisors,managers and social workers ,nurses and care assistants as well as doctors as well?Does it include a duty to inform of potential ‘wrongdoing’ that has come to light in other trusts and the like?
3) What punishment is meted out to those who knew of alleged wrongdoing and remained silent?
4) How many staff members have ‘whistleblown’ in your organisation?
Which department were they in?
How many are still employed there?
What were the outcomes of the attempt to ‘whistleblow’?

5) Despite pieces of legislation and professional guidance such as these nearly 90% of severance packages between NHS Trusts and departing doctors contain confidentiality clauses.The charity Public Concern at Work states that the law protects whistleblowers even if they have signed confidentiality arrangements.
a) How many confidentiality arrangements have been reached with former staff members?
b) What was the value of each agreement?
c) Does the 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act make it illegal for NHS Trusts and other public bodies to include confidentiality clauses preventing the disclosure of information that is in the public interest? If not do they still have a duty to inform their professional body or indeed anyone else? Does this extend to any ‘act or omission’ (a term used in the Human Rights Act ) on the part of your organisation?
Yours sincerely
Paul Gaffney LLB BA
Ipswich
Suffolk

Yours faithfully,

Paul GaffneyLLB BA

Newman, Emma (Dudley PCT), The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Gaffney

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 -Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust Ref: 2279

NHS Whistleblowing

Thank you for your request for information under the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. We started work on this request on
13/12/2010. As per section 10 of the Act, you can expect a reply no later
than 20 working days from this date.

There maybe a fee payable for this information. This will be considered
and you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must
be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 day time
limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment. If there is
a fee payable we will write to you again to let you know the process in
this event.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may
prevent the release of the information you have requested. We will assess
whether any of the exemption categories apply to your request (as per PART
11 of the Act) and if they do, or if there is a delay due to the
application of an exemption we will write to you again.

If any further assistance in this matter is required, please do not
hesitate to contact me on 01384 321714 or email: [email address]
alternatively you can contact Katie Bytheway, Information Governance
Officer, on 01384 321674 or email: [email address].

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700

www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Emma Newman

RA and Information Governance Co-ordinator

Gadawodd kate clarke anodiad ()

As a whistleblower that was stopped from working in may by the dudley group of hospitals im natuarly very interested in there reply to this as i obviously have a very interesting tale to tell.

Bytheway, Katie (Dudley PCT), The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Gaffney

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust Ref: 2279

NHS Whistleblowing

Thank you for your email received 13^th December 2010. You asked for
information regarding the Trust's Whistleblowing Policy.

Your request for information has now been considered. I will answer your
queries below in turn:

1) Is there any case law or any other pieces of legislation or other
pieces of NHS or professional guidance which protect any possible
`whistleblower.'?

Please see attached the Trust's Whistleblowing Policy

2) Does the duty to inform of `wrongdoing' extend to other staff: legal
advisors, managers and social workers ,nurses and care assistants as well
as doctors as well?

Please see attached the Trust's Whistleblowing Policy which applies to all
Trust staff; see section 2 Scope.

Does it include a duty to inform of potential `wrongdoing' that has come
to light in other trusts and the like?

Please see attached the Trust's Whistleblowing Policy; section 2 Scope.

3) What punishment is meted out to those who knew of alleged wrongdoing
and remained silent?

Where an individual does not wish to come forward as a witness the Trust
retains the right to pursue the matter further but respecting the
anonymity of the individual. The Trust encourages staff to put their name
to allegations whenever possible.

Please see attached the Trust's Whistleblowing Policy.

4) How many staff members have `whistleblown' in your organisation? Which
department were they in? How many are still employed there? What were the
outcomes of the attempt to `whistleblow'?

Unfortunately, no centralised record detailing members of staff who have
`whistle blown' is available. This information may however be held in
individual personnel files and may be contained within any investigate or
disciplinary meeting notes and/or personnel records.

In order to attempt to fulfil the your request, we would have to manually
check every individual personnel file for every employee who has worked
for the Trust within the time frame specified.

The Trust currently has 4378 staff and it is calculated that to collect
the information required would cost above the £450 threshold, please see
the calculation below.

5) Despite pieces of legislation and professional guidance such as these
nearly 90% of severance packages between NHS Trusts and departing doctors
contain confidentiality clauses. The charity Public Concern at Work states
that the law protects whistleblowers even if they have signed
confidentiality arrangements.

a) How many confidentiality arrangements have been reached with former
staff members?

Unfortunately, no centralised record detailing this information is
available. This information may however be held in individual personnel
files and may be contained within any investigate or disciplinary meeting
notes and/or other personnel records. In order to attempt to fulfil your
request, we would have to manually check every individual personnel file
for every employee who has worked for the Trust within the time frame
specified.

The Trust currently has 4378 staff and it is calculated that to collect
the information required would cost above the £450 threshold, please see
the calculation below.

b) What was the value of each agreement?

Unfortunately, no centralised record detailing this information is
available. This information may however be held in individual personnel
files and may be contained within any investigate or disciplinary meeting
notes and/or other personnel records. In order to attempt to fulfil your
request, we would have to manually check every individual personnel file
for every employee who has worked for the trust within the time frame
specified.

The Trust currently has 4378 staff and it is calculated that to collect
the information required would cost above the £450 threshold, please see
the calculation below.

c) Does the 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act make it illegal for NHS
Trusts and other public bodies to include confidentiality clauses
preventing the disclosure of information that is in the public interest?
Please see the 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act under the link:
[1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998.... If not do they
still have a duty to inform their professional body or indeed anyone else?

Individual members of staff have a right and duty to raise with their
employer any matters of concern they may have about health service issues
associated with the organisation and delivery of care. All clinicians and
managers at every level of the organisation have a duty to ensure that
staff are provided with the opportunity to express their concerns. In
order that staff can express their concerns it is important that clear
principles and procedures are established. Please see the attached
policy.

6) Does this extend to any `act or omission' (a term used in the Human
Rights Act) on the part of your organisation?

This question appears to link to the above question which is asking for
the Trust's interpretation of an Act. As this is requesting an opinion
this is not classed as information under the FOI as the Trust does not
hold opinions. For information regarding the Trust's Whistleblowing
please see the attached policy.

In regards to the above questions where a fee has been applied the
calculation for the fee is as follows:

The Trust calculates that it would take 20 minutes per staff record (staff
4378) to search and obtain the information required.

4378 staff x 20 minutes = 87560 minutes (1459 hours)

1459 hours x £25 per hour = £36,475

£36475 - £450 = £36,025

The fee is calculated in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Fees
and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004 which can be found at
[2]http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/2004324....

The fee payable for the requested information is £36,475.00 and you have
up to three months to pay this fee from the date of this letter.

On receipt of this fee I will process your request. Please make cheques
payable to The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and forward
to the following address:

Information Governance Team

St Johns House

Union Street

Dudley

West Midlands

DY2 8PP

The 20 working day timescale for providing the information you request is
suspended until we receive payment from you.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me on 01384 321713
or email: [email address].

In my absence you can contact the Information Governance Officer on 01384
321674 or email [email address].

You can also refer to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545700
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Donna Betts

Head of Records and Information Governance

This information has been collated by our Freedom of Information Team if
you require names from within the organisation to attribute this
information to i.e. for media quotes please contact the representative
communications teams on; Dudley PCT: 01384 322060 or The Dudley Group of
Hospitals: 01384 244404.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998...
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998...
2. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/2004324...

Bytheway, Katie (Dudley PCT), The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Gaffney

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust Ref: 2279

NHS Whistleblowing

Due to restructuring of the Department the work stream of managing Freedom
of Information requests has now been passed directly to the Dudley Group
of Hospitals for completion by them. I am aware that most of the
information has been provided however a fee is still required for the
remainder of your request. As your request has now been passed directly
to the Dudley Group of Hospitals could you please forward any
correspondence and/or fees direct to them.

The contact for Freedom of Information requests is their Information
Governance Manager Sharon Williams. Her email address is
[1][email address], her telephone number is 01384 456111 Ext
1208.

Please accept our apologies if you have been caused any inconvenience by
this transfer of service.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request you can refer to
the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545700
[2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Donna Betts

Head of Records & Information Governance

01384 321713

This information has been collated by our Freedom of Information Team if
you require names from within the organisation to attribute this
information to for media quotes please contact the Trust's Communications
Team on 01384 244404.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

Dear Bytheway, Katie (Dudley PCT),

Thank you for the reply....I just wonder though could you include the piece of case law recently that imposes a legal duty to inform on another colleagues wrongdoing.

Yours sincerely,

Paul GaffneyLLB BA

Williams, Sharon,

Good afternoon Mr Gaffney,

Thank you for your email below.
Your request has been forwarded to the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from Dudley PCT, for us to respond to.
I will be writing to you shortly with a response.

Kind regards
Sharon

Sharon Williams
Information Governance Manager
Ext 1208
 

 

This e-mail contains Confidential information some, or all of which may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender immediately and delete the message and any attachments. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust unless explicitly stated otherwise. Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust monitors the contents of e-mails sent and received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with legislation, policies and procedures.
Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cannot guarantee that information sent to the Trust remains confidential. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may require us to release information to the public, even where it is provided by a third party. Information Falling within the Data Protection Act will not be released to the public, such as patient information, staff information or personal data such as name and address.
You must not pass data to anyone who does not have a legitimate and proper NHS care delivery-related need to use it.
If you have concerns regarding this disclaimer please contact;
Kevin Shine, Head of Information
Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 01384 321210.
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Williams, Sharon,

If you could also add the information on the few who did inform of wrongdoing ....it should be available from the human resources manager .....there will have been that few of them....

Yours sincerely,

Paul Gaffney

Williams, Sharon,

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr P Gaffney LLB BA

Please find attached a response following you email asking for
clarification for FOI 2279

Kind regards

Sharon

Sharon Williams

Information Governance Manager

Ext 1208

This e-mail contains Confidential information some, or all of which may be
legally privileged. It is intended solely for the use of the individual to
whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please notify
the sender immediately and delete the message and any attachments. Any
views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those of the Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust unless explicitly stated otherwise. Dudley Group Of
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust monitors the contents of e-mails sent and
received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with
legislation, policies and procedures.

Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cannot guarantee that
information sent to the Trust remains confidential. The Freedom of
Information Act 2000 may require us to release information to the public,
even where it is provided by a third party. Information Falling within the
Data Protection Act will not be released to the public, such as patient
information, staff information or personal data such as name and address.

You must not pass data to anyone who does not have a legitimate and proper
NHS care delivery-related need to use it.

If you have concerns regarding this disclaimer please contact;

Kevin Shine, Head of Information

Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 01384 321210.

Williams, Sharon,

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon Mr Gaffney
Please find attached a response to your recent FOI clarification request below.
Kind regards
Sharon

Sharon Williams
Information Governance Manager
Ext 1208
 

 

This e-mail contains Confidential information some, or all of which may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender immediately and delete the message and any attachments. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust unless explicitly stated otherwise. Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust monitors the contents of e-mails sent and received via its network for the purposes of ensuring compliance with legislation, policies and procedures.
Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cannot guarantee that information sent to the Trust remains confidential. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may require us to release information to the public, even where it is provided by a third party. Information Falling within the Data Protection Act will not be released to the public, such as patient information, staff information or personal data such as name and address.
You must not pass data to anyone who does not have a legitimate and proper NHS care delivery-related need to use it.
If you have concerns regarding this disclaimer please contact;
Kevin Shine, Head of Information
Dudley Group Of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 01384 321210.
 
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Williams, Sharon,

Thank you for the reply .Did you include the recent piece of case law that makes it a legal duty to inform of any wrongdoing..

Yours sincerely,

Paul GaffneyLLB BA

Williams, Sharon,

I am currently out of the office. If you require assistance for a Freedom
of Information Request, please email Katie Bytheway
([email address]) or Emma Newman ([email address])
at Dudley PCT or call them on 366173 or 366886. Please Log all Freedom of
Information Requests with them until my return back into the office
7.3.2011

For general enquiries contact your General Manager in the first instance.

Kind regards

Sharon Williams

Information Governance Manager

Dear Williams, Sharon,
I am somewhat occupied at the moment.If you could give me your name and number I'll get back to you.

Yours sincerely,

Paul GaffneyLLB BA

Gadawodd kate clarke anodiad ()

After having a meeting 8/3/11 with the Dudley group of hospitals about my whistleblowing and the way i was stopped from working for speaking out to the matron and the chief excutive..They promised me a breifing of this meeting and also offered me my job back but neither have materlised yet...Yet everything i wrote to the chairman is now being published in the telegraph and other news papers ...I have been out of work since last may with no income and am getting rather angry now as im just being given the run around.