Asbestos in hospitals

Catrin Hughes made this Freedom of Information request to University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

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

The request was successful.

Dear University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust,

This is a Freedom of Information request for the following information. Please provide me with;
1. A list of the hospitals and related buildings in your trust that contain asbestos in surveys carried out over the last ten years. Please include the following:
A. Building name
B. Address
C. Type and degree of asbestos present
D. Whether it poses a health risk to staff and/or patients.
2. The date and outcome of the last independent audit, survey or inspection of each of these hospitals and their related buildings in relation to asbestos.
3. The details of any reported incidents of asbestos exposure in these hospitals between 2011 to 2016.
4. The number of hospital employees or patients that have pursued a claim against you for exposure to asbestos within your trust’s hospital buildings.
5. The number of these claims that have been settled.
6. The amount of money that has been paid in settlement of these claims (with and without your authority accepting responsibility).
I would like to receive a copy of this information electronically.
Please send me an email to confirm receipt of this request.

Yours faithfully,

Catrin Hughes

FOI - Freedom of Information, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Corporate and Legal Affairs – Trust Administration

 

Our Reference: HS/FOI-EIR/32101

 

1 March 2017

 

 

Catrin Hughes

[1][FOI #391816 email]  

 

 

Dear Ms Hughes

 

Request for Information

 

Thank you for your request for information, as received by University
Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust on 24 February 2017.   Within UHL NHS
Trust, Freedom of Information Act requests and Environmental Information
Regulation requests are managed centrally by the Trust Administration
Team. 

 

The Trust will endeavour to provide a response within the required 20
working-day deadline.  I will, of course, keep you informed should this
not prove possible for any reason.  If we require any clarification on
your request, we will contact you as soon as possible. 

 

All requesters are advised that the Trust may make a charge for providing
the information to them, to cover the cost of photocopying, postage and
packaging etc – I confirm that where these costs are below £5.00 in total,
no charge will be made.  All requesters are also advised that there may
also be a charge payable to cover costs of locating the information they
have requested, as laid down in the Freedom of Information Act Regulations
published by the Government in December 2004.  Naturally, if such a charge
is to be applied to your request, you will be informed as soon as
possible.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Helen Stokes

Senior Trust Administrator

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Tel: 0116 258 8590

 

Information contained in emails may be subject to disclosure under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, and confidentiality cannot therefore be
guaranteed.  Please ensure that all emails are accurate and appropriate,
and are retained/deleted in accordance with good practice and any policies
of the Trust.  If you are not the intended recipient of this email, please
inform the sender, delete the email from your system and destroy any
copies you may have made.

 

 

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FOI - Freedom of Information, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

1 Attachment

Corporate and Legal Affairs – Trust Administration

 

Our Reference: HS/FOI-EIR/32101

 

24 March 2017

 

Catrin Hughes

[1][FOI #391816 email]

 

 

Dear Ms Hughes

 

Request for Information

 

Thank you for your request for information, as received on 24 February
2017 and acknowledged on 1 March 2017.  For information, the University
Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is one of the largest and busiest NHS
teaching Trusts in the country incorporating Leicester General Hospital,
Glenfield Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.  Our three hospitals
have around 14,000 staff serving around one million people across
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and a further two to three million
people from the rest of the UK who come to us for the specialist services
we provide.  During 2015-16 we treated 1,577,200 patients (that’s 4,321
patients per day) – 347,700 more than in 2014-15.

 

Following consultation with colleagues in the Estates and Facilities team,
and the Corporate Medical Team, I confirm that the University Hospitals of
Leicester NHS Trust holds some information covered by your request.  Your
request is set out below in bold, followed by the Trust’s response.   For
the reasons explained below in point 3, the Trust considers that costs of
providing the detailed information requested by you would be unreasonable,
and does not propose to undertake that work. However, in line with the
requirement to advise and assist requesters (Regulation 9[1] of the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004), the Trust is able to provide
you with the information laid out below.

 

Please provide me with;

 

1. A list of the hospitals and related buildings in your trust that
contain asbestos in surveys carried out over the last ten years. Please
include the following:

A.         Building name

B.         Address

C.         Type and degree of asbestos present

D.         Whether it poses a health risk to staff and/or patients.

Please see attachment 1, providing the hospital address and type of
asbestos present.  I am advised that the quantity of asbestos which may
have been present is not comprehensively recorded.  With regard to point
D, I am advised that the answer is ‘no’, as asbestos only becomes a risk
when disturbed, airborne and respirable.

 

2. The date and outcome of the last independent audit, survey or
inspection of each of these hospitals and their related buildings in
relation to asbestos.

I am advised that all buildings were re-inspected in 2016.  Resulting
recommended actions can fall into various categories including ‘label and
manage’ and ‘encapsulate or remove’. 

 

 

3. The details of any reported incidents of asbestos exposure in these
hospitals between 2011 to 2016.

In order to provide a comprehensive response to this question, the Trust
would need to undertake a manual review of all incidents reported on its
electronic incident-reporting system, to ascertain whether or not they
contained any mention of asbestos. For the period January 2011 –
mid-December 2016, this would involve 156,485 incident forms logged, and
at an average of at least 10 minutes per form for a manual review the
overall time required would amount to 26,081 hours. This would be in
addition to any required review of paper records.  The Trust considers
that the costs associated with the manual review described above would be
unreasonable, and does not propose to undertake that work.    

 

However, under the requirement to advise and assist requesters (Regulation
9(1) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004), I am advised that
a search of incidents with ‘asbestos’ as a keyword on the Trust’s
electronic incident and complaint reporting system has identified 3
reported incidents of asbestos exposure during the period 2011-2016.
Although these were reported incidents, they did not necessarily involve
actual exposure, and I am advised that on investigation, 3 of the reported
incidents were found not to have involved actual exposure to asbestos,
while the existence of any exposure in the 4^th incident could not be
confirmed as the incident was reported retrospectively.

 

 

4. The number of hospital employees or patients that have pursued a claim
against you for exposure to asbestos within your trust’s hospital
buildings.

4 – please note that this information covers the period 1986 to date.

 

 

5. The number of these claims that have been settled.

2 – please note that this information covers the period 1986 to date.

 

 

6. The amount of money that has been paid in settlement of these claims
(with and without your authority accepting responsibility).

£11,118 – please note that this information covers the period 1986 to
date.

 

 

I hope that this information is helpful. If you require any further
assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.  If you are dissatisfied
with the Trust’s response, you can contact the Director of Corporate and
Legal Affairs on Tel. No. 0116 258 8615 to request a copy of UHL’s Freedom
of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations complaints
procedure.

 

We must advise you that where we have provided information we have done so
subject to the provisions of the Re-use of Public Sector Information
Regulations 2005.  Accordingly you must not re-use this information
without having the consent of the Trust.  Where the Trust is prepared to
provide its consent then it may levy a charge for doing so. Should you
wish to re-use documents provided then you must make your request in
writing stating your name and your address for correspondence together
with the document that you wish to re-use and the purpose for which the
information is to be re-used.

 

In the event that you remain dissatisfied with the way in which the Trust
has handled any complaint that you may wish to make, we would advise you
of your right to complain to the Information Commissioner at the
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Helen Stokes

Senior Trust Administrator

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Tel: 0116 258 8590

 

Information contained in emails may be subject to disclosure under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, and confidentiality cannot therefore be
guaranteed.  Please ensure that all emails are accurate and appropriate,
and are retained/deleted in accordance with good practice and any policies
of the Trust.  If you are not the intended recipient of this email, please
inform the sender, delete the email from your system and destroy any
copies you may have made.

 

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