Dear NHS England,

Please provide:
(a) dates since 1 April 2014 when the NHS Commissioning Board has
met in private,
(b) copies of the agendas of those meetings, and
(c) copies of the minutes of those meetings.

I hope and trust that you will be able to provide a full response to this request rather more quickly than you did in respect of my request of 5 April 2014 for the 2013-14 minutes.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Jones

Contactus England (HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INFORMATION CENTRE), NHS England

Thank you for contacting the NHS England Customer Contact Centre. Our
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please dial 999 or attend your local accident and emergency department if
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There is also a wide range of helpful information available on the [1]NHS
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This is an automated message; please do not reply as your e-mail will not
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FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI:  007456)

 

Thank you for your email dated 15 April 2015. I am writing to update you
regarding your request for information under the FOI Act.  

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding in full to your
request. We are still in the process of assessing and completing the
response to your request and I anticipate providing you with a full
response as soon as possible.

 

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please quote the reference number FOI: 007207 in
any future communications.

 

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

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FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI:  007456)

 

Thank you for your email dated 13 May 2015. I am writing to update you
regarding your request for information under the FOI Act.  

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding in full to your
request. We are still in the process of assessing and completing the
response to your request and I anticipate providing you with a full
response as soon as possible.

 

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please quote the reference number FOI: 007207 in
any future communications.

 

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

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References

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1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]

Dear NHS England,

Re: Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI: 007456)

Please could you advise when I can expect a reply to my FOI request dated 13 May 2015.

Yours faithfully,
Paul Jones

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Jones,

Re: Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI: 007456)

Thank you for your email dated 7 July 2015. Please accept our apologies for the continued delay in our response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

We are still in the process of assessing and completing the response to your request. As such and in response to your email we hope to be in a position to respond by Friday 17 July 2015. If this is not achievable we will ensure you receive a further update on or before Friday 17 July 2015.

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again, please email [NHS England request email] and the message will be forwarded appropriately. Please quote the reference number FOI: 007456 in any future communications.

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT; 0300 3 11 22 33, [NHS England request email].

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Patients and Information Directorate

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [NHS England request email]

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

show quoted sections

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-007456)

 

I am writing to you with regard to my email dated 8 July 2015 regarding
your Freedom of Information (FOI) request.  

 

Please accept my apologies but NHS England is not in the position to
respond to your request in full. We are still in the process of assessing
your request and I hope to provide you with a response on or before 24
July 2015.

 

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please quote the reference number FOI-007729 in
any future communications.

 

This message has been sent from a central mailbox. To communicate with NHS
England regarding Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or
complaints we ask these are sent directly to NHS England’s customer
contact centre. This is to ensure all communications are progressed
correctly. Their postal address, telephone number and email details are as
follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT; 0300 3 11 22 33,
[2][NHS England request email].

   

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

 

show quoted sections

References

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1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    007456 Agendas for release 280715.zip

    283K Download

  • Attachment

    007456 Minutes for release 280715.zip

    122K Download

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref – FOI: 007456)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 13 May 2015.
Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you.

 

Your exact request was:-

 

“Please provide:

(a) dates since 1 April 2014 when the NHS Commissioning Board has met in
private,

(b) copies of the agendas of those meetings, and

(c) copies of the minutes of those meetings.”

 

NHS England holds this information.

 

The dates the Board have met in private are as follows:-

 

o 15 May 2014
o 2 and 3 July 2014
o 19 September 2014
o 6 November 2014
o 17 December 2014
o 29 January 2015
o 26 March 2015

 

Please find attached to this response agendas and minutes from meetings
held in May 2014 to November 2014.

 

Section 22

NHS England considers meeting minutes and agendas after November 2014 are
exempt from disclosure under section 22 of the FOI Act. Section 22 states
that public bodies are not obliged to disclose information that is
intended for future publication.

 

Section 22 is a qualified exemption, and we are required to assess as
objectively as possible whether the balance of public interest favours
disclosing or withholding the information.

 

NHS England recognises and is committed to making information as freely
available as possible. It is also committed to transparency and enabling
members of the public to understand its decision making with regards to
significant programmes of work and issues.

 

However, these meetings are held in a private environment to discuss
on-going and potentially sensitive issues. This allows senior staff to
assess such issues; decision making and contribute comments or concerns.
To release such information whilst decision making and issues are live has
the potential to harm or negatively impact other areas of work to NHS
England or other organisations.

 

However, NHS England recognises that such issues can reduce in sensitivity
over time and are committed to being as open and transparent as possible.
As such, NHS England have agreed and set out a clear intention to publish
this information (minutes and papers) on a yearly and routine basis. This
is to assist the public in their understanding of the work of NHS England
and its associated decision making.

 

To release this information ahead of this has the potential to disrupt the
agreed and planned publication process. It also gives rise to other
exemptions within the Act withholding this from publication at too early a
point. Allowing this timeframe enables the authority to keep to a planned
publication process and meet its target of publishing as much information
as is possible and in a routine manner. Thus enabling the public to digest
the information at an appropriate point. It also ensures there is time to
plan resources accordingly to meet this publication and not disrupt other
areas of work which enable the facilitation of these meetings.

 

Therefore, we consider section 22 to be engaged and it reasonable to keep
to this planned timeframe rather disclose earlier under an FOI request. We
are of the opinion the public interest favours maintaining the exemption
as provided above.

 

Section 43(2)

Please also be aware that there are instances in these minutes where
elements of information have been redacted under section 43(2) of the FOI
Act.

 

Section 43 of the FOI Act exempts from the general duty to release
information which would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interests of any entity, including the public authority holding the
information.

 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption and, as such, we are required to
assess the public interest in withholding this information against that of
its release.

 

As outlined earlier in this response, NHS England recognises the
importance of transparency and is committed to openness in the information
we hold. We have attempted to provide as much information as is possible
under the topics. However, we also take into account the fact that at this
moment the information is commercially sensitive to the authority and
another party. To release this information when decision making regarding
contractual agreements and negotiations are on-going is not in the public
interest and would prejudice the commercial interests of NHS England and
any third party.

 

Therefore, we consider that releasing this information would not be in the
public interest and it has the potential to prejudice the market positions
of either NHS England or the third party.

  

Section 40(2)

We have also redacted in some areas the personal data of a third party,
i.e. names. These have been redacted under section 40(2) of the FOI Act.
Section 40(2) provides for the protection of personal information. 
Section 40 prohibits a public body from disclosing personally identifiable
information as doing so would contravene data protection principles. 

 

Out of Scope

There is one element on the November agendas which is classed as out of
scope. This is unrelated information to the meeting or topics within the
agenda and as such has been removed as out of scope to the request.

 

We would like to apologise again for the length of time it has taken to
provide you with a response to your FOI request. This fell short of our
standards and we offer our sincere apologies for the delay incurred.

 

I hope this information is helpful. However, if you are dissatisfied, you
have the right to ask for an internal review by writing to us, within two
months of the date of this letter, to:-

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Email: [1][NHS England request email]

 

Please quote the reference number FOI: 007456 in any future
communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Email: [2][email address]  

Website: [3]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Please be aware that in line with the Information Commissioner’s directive
on the disclosure of information under the FOI Act, your request will be
anonymised and published on our website as part of our disclosure log.

 

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [4][NHS England request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [5][NHS England request email]

 

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References

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1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[NHS England request email]
5. mailto:[NHS England request email]

Dear NHS England,

Your ref: FOI 007456

Thank you for your email of 28 July regarding my FOI request, and for providing some of the information which I had requested.

Firstly I note that, in respect of agendas/minutes after November 2014, you have invoked section 22 - information intended for future publication - and have stated "NHS England have agreed and set out a clear intention to publish this information (minutes and papers) on a yearly and routine basis" and "Allowing this timeframe enables the authority to keep to a planned publication process and meet its target of publishing as much information as is possible and in a routine manner".

Please can you clarify this statement by providing:
- the timetable for publication of this information, and in particular when the papers from the meetings between May and November 2014, and the agendas/papers/minutes from December 2014 to March 2015, will be published
- details of where and how this information will be routinely published
- whether agendas/papers/minutes being routinely published under these arrangements will be released in full or may still be subject to redactions under other exemptions
- when this decision (to routinely publish this information) was made and by whom (which officer or committee).

Secondly, please carry out an internal review of the withholding of the agendas for the meetings between December 2014 and March 2015. While the minutes may contain information which is sensitive at the time, the agendas - which are primarily a list of topics to be discussed and do not contain any detail regarding those topics - surely cannot be regarded as sensitive in the same way, in which case the public interest in disclosure (on the grounds of transparency) would prevail.

Finally, I note that within the minutes which you have released parts of them relating to Primary care support services have been withheld under section 43. Please carry out an internal review of the redaction of this information. As the PCS contract has now been awarded, there should no longer be a risk of prejudice to contractual negotiations and so the exemption should no longer be relevant.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Jones

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Thank you for email of 06 August. Please see this email as acknowledgement
of your Internal Review request.

 

We endeavour to respond to Internal Reviews within 20 working days.
However, please be aware that on some occasions this has been extended to
40 working days. An officer will be allocated to handle your Internal
Review and will update you accordingly where necessary.

 

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please remember to quote the above reference
number in any future communications.

 

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information Request, Internal Review (Our Ref:
FOI-007456)

 

We are writing further to our email of 10 August 2015 regarding the
internal review of your Freedom of Information (FOI) request.  

 

NHS England endeavours to respond to internal review requests within 20
working days of receipt. However, more complex reviews may be extended up
to 40 working days and we believe your case may take longer to complete
than our standard. We hope to provide you with a full response as soon as
possible and definitely on or before 02 October 2015.

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in the completion of this
process.

 

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please remember to quote the above reference
number in any future communications.

 

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

show quoted sections

References

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1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information Internal Review - outcome

Our Ref: FOI-007456 IR

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) Internal Review request
dated 6 August 2015.

 

Your FOI request was:-

 

“Please provide:

 

(a) dates since 1 April 2014 when the NHS Commissioning Board has met in
private,

(b) copies of the agendas of those meetings, and

(c) copies of the minutes of those meetings.”

 

I can confirm that a review into the response of your request has been
completed and I have set out the outcome below.

 

We recognise and wish to apologise that your original response was issued
over the statutory guidelines of 20 working day. This fell short of our
standards and is something we take seriously and to ensure it does not
occur regularly.

 

We have assessed whether you have received an appropriate response to your
request and also considered the application of the exemption contained in
section 43(2) (commercial confidence) and 22 (future publication) of the
Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

In our consideration of the application under section 43(2) of the FOI
Act, it is our opinion NHS England acted correctly in invoking this
exemption to the information within the minutes.

 

Section 43 of the FOI Act exempts from the general duty to release
information which would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interests of any entity, including the public authority holding the
information. NHS England has previously confirmed it recognises the
importance of transparency and that it is committed to openness in the
information we hold. We have attempted to provide as much information as
is possible under the topics. However, we also take into account the fact
that at this moment the information is commercially sensitive to the
authority and another party. To release this information when decision
making regarding contractual agreements and negotiations are on-going is
not in the public interest and would prejudice the commercial interests of
NHS England and any third party.

 

This exemption is maintained for the minutes of the meetings in May, July,
September and November 2014.

 

In your request for internal review you queried application of exemption
under section 22 of the FOI Act in respect of agendas/minutes of meetings
after November 2014.

 

NHS England are of the opinion that it was and continues to be appropriate
to apply this exemption. However, we are, under this request willing to
provide you with the agendas for the remaining meetings under your
request. These are attached to this response.

 

Your internal review request also raised some additional queries which are
set out below, which we hope you find helpful.

 

Timeframe for publication

NHS England has committed to publishing this information at the point of
one year following the meeting. This commitment was made in November 2014
for meetings going forwards. This is also present and formally recorded in
the November 2014 meeting minutes. As such, the agenda, minutes and papers
from the private Board meeting in December 2014 will be made available in
December 2015. Similarly for January 2015 this information will be
published in January 2016.

 

Where and how this information will be published

This information will be available on our website alongside our routine
publication of Public Board meetings. A link is set out below.

 

·         [1]http://www.england.nhs.uk/about/board-me...

 

Detail of publication and redaction

NHS England recognises and is committed to making information as freely
available as possible. It is also committed to transparency and enabling
members of the public to understand its decision making with regards to
significant programmes of work and issues.

 

However, these meetings are held in a private environment to discuss
on-going and potentially sensitive issues. This allows senior staff to
assess such issues; decision making and contribute comments or concerns.
The information is published a year after the meeting in an attempt to
publish as much content as possible. However, some information may still
be subject to exemption.

 

Decision on publication

As outlined in our earlier response dated 28 July 2015 the decision to
publish minutes and agendas was made at the private Board meeting in
November 2014. This was agreed by the Board.

 

I hope this satisfactorily addresses and explains our handling and
response to your FOI request. 

 

If you remain dissatisfied with our response you have the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:-

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Email: [2][email address]  

Website: [3]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-007456 IR in any future
communications.

 

Please do not reply directly to this email. This message has been sent
from a central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding FOI,
enquiries or complaints we ask that these are sent directly to the
customer contact details provided above. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly.

   

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Patients and Information Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [4][NHS England request email]

 

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References

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1. http://www.england.nhs.uk/about/board-me...
2. https://web.nhs.net/OWA/redir.aspx?SURL=...
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[NHS England request email]

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