Dear Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland),

I have recently discovered that CAUSE who have a contract with WHSCT for carer support, only deliver carer support in the Derry area. The areas below Derry such as Strabane, Omagh, Enniskillen and other more rural areas- are, I have been told, provided carer support by the WHSCT respite coordinator/s.

Please outline the following;

1. Why is the contract with CAUSE , concentrated in a partial area of a Trust and what is the reasoning behind splitting the service off from those in the above , areas?
2. Please outline the commissioned agreement with CAUSE for WHSCT including staff numbers and salary pay for 2014-15, 15-16,16-17. Was this part of a commissioned agreement with CAUSE and why commission one part of a region and not the other (this is discriminatory and a postcode lottery), or is CAUSE paid for the whole WHSCT area?
3. How long has this split service, where services are at variance around the region, been ongoing and is it subject to review?
4. Regarding mental health and carers in the southern WHSCT area, what training has been taken by the respite coordinator/s to enable them to understand the various symptoms of various MH conditions such as schizophrenia, Bipolar, psychosis, Personality Disorder- which would obviously affect their ability to support carers of loved ones with such conditions.
5. What year was such training undertaken, and is the training equal to that of the CAUSE staff/ the PD carer staff which Belfast Trust provides via CAUSE?
6. If personality disorder is not currently covered in Carers support training- including KUF training- in the WHSCT (southern region or northern region) what date is scheduled for this to start?
7. For those with a personality disorder, NICE guidelines emphasises the importance of carer involvement in recovery of their loved one. For those with a PD and not in receipt "specialist PD services" -what has WHSCT done to support the families who may approach carers' support services- and what guidance has WHSCT provided for those families- via information leaflets, relevant updated carer staff training , mediation/PD specific counselling opportunities.
8. As with carer group in question 7, what PPI has been used to engage with said carers to allow them to inform and consult as per 2009 reform act.

Yours faithfully,

Joan Corrigan

FOI Request, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

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Dear Ms Corrigan

We acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information (FOI) request (below) which was sent to the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland).  Our reference number is listed in the subject line of this email and should be quoted in any future communications about this request.

Under the Freedom of Information Act you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority. Your request can be in the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, but the authority does not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion, comment or judgment that is not already recorded. For further information on this please see https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici....

We will forward your email to the relevant directorate for their consideration and advice.

Kind Regards

Freedom of Information Office
Western Health & Social Care Trust
Email: [Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland) request email]

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FOI Request, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

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Our reference number for this information request is FOI/17/238

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Dear FOI Request,

Can you please clarify the nature of your final response to my questions further to your 31 July response.

Yours sincerely,

Joan Corrigan

FOI Request, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

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Dear Ms Corrigan

I refer to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request below which was received by the Western Health and Social Care Trust on 31st July 2017. Please see attached a Trust response to your request.

Regards

Freedom of Information Office
Western Health & Social Care Trust
Email: [Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland) request email]

DEAR FOI TEAM

Thanks for your response, however there are still a number of things which are unanswered avoided.

1. In questions two and three I am seeking clarity on why CAUSE were commissioned to provide a service within only one part of the WHSCT (Derry) and not Enniskillen, Omagh and Strabane.

a)I believe WHSCT can tell me about commissioning agreements without the consent of CAUSE, namely, why there was a variance in regional provision. If the Trust commission a service they are responsible for the terms of that service and the areas within which it will be available for carers. I have asked WHSCT FOI dept before about contracts (funding amounts) with other charities and I have never been told that that charity needs to give consent to the answer. Please explain.
b) given that there is a deadline for answering FOIs , which has expired for this FOI, please provide an expected date for the answer from CAUSE re funding amounts.
c) I repeat my question three which is still unanswered. (The answer provided and referring me to answer one is inadequate and irrelevant . Answer one does not explain the specific question I asked. It talks about future plans and past scenarios. ) This is evasion and unacceptable. What is not spelled out, and what is shrouded in secrecy- is the split in services whereby Derry gets support and advocacy and CAUSE services- and Enniskillen, Omagh and Strabane get ‘Informal Support’ from a ‘Respite coordinator’ and the service is respite provision ONLY.

d) How many years has this CAUSE split service, where services are at variance around the region been ongoing?

e) why did it come about?

f) was it commissioned to be a split service?

2. In question 7 your answer is unhelpful and incomplete. You state "carer support is available via the generic AMH route" , and refer to a carers assessment, however you do not specify what that "generic route" will offer or what a carers assessment will offer either. (It is my belief that in the majority of cases, if not all, nothing is on offer.) Please outline everything that is on offer within these 2 options.
3. In answer five you refer to 24 Nov 2017 as being in the past?
4. In answer eight you refer to Oct 2016 as being in the future?

Yours Faithfully
Joan Corrigan.

FOI Request, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

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Dear Ms Corrigan

Please see attached a further response and information in relation to this matter.

Kind Regards
Freedom of Information office
Western Health and Social Care Trust

Dear FOI Request,

Your response dated 15 Sept stated the following;

"With regards to the information sent to you on 29th August, we received a further
email from you on 4th September 2017 with some queries in relation to this service.

Having discussed this with the Adult Mental Health & Disability (AMHD) directorate,
we have been advised that these queries will be dealt with by the directorate who will
make direct contact with you. Someone will be in contact with you to arrange a
suitable time to meet and discuss these issues and answer your outstanding queries. "

I wish to respond to that by saying the following;
a) I made an FOI to the WHSCT which must be answered as an FOI by law. Stating the directorate will make direct contact with me is a direct refusal to provide information I have requested by law.
Whilst I am willing to meet with the Directorate, and have requested that, they have not as you stated they would 'be in contact with me to arrange a suitable time to meet me'. Nor have they answered my emails about this. Your letter is 15 Sept. Today is 17 Oct, over 1 month later. Directorates don't get to manipulate a law whereby my rights to information are protected by saying they will meet me.
b) I view what your FOI response states a wilful obstruction on the part of the WHSCT to deny me the information I have requested in writing.
c) I request a meeting be scheduled by the Directorate you refer to, with me, within the next 7 days. If that does not happen, please see to it that as of 24th Oct an Internal Review begins on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

Joan Corrigan

FOI Request, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)

This e-mail is covered by the disclaimer found at the end of the message.

Dear Ms Corrigan

We acknowledge receipt of your further email relating to your recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request (our ref. FOI/17/238) and would provide the following clarification.

As advised in our acknowledgement email on 31st July 2017, under the Freedom of Information Act you have a right to request any 'recorded information' held by a public authority. Your request can be in the form of a question, but the authority does not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion, comment or judgment that is not already held in a recorded document.

The Trust provided an initial response to your FOI request on 29th August and forwarded further information to you on 15th September. It is the Trust view that you have been provided with all available 'recorded information' relating to your request therefore the Trust has complied with your information request as required under the FOI Act.

In your follow-up email of 4th September 2017 you submitted further questions about the information you received and about service provision. As this is not a request for recorded information or documents it was not appropriate to deal with this email under the FOI Act; however as advised previously, we did share and discuss this with the Trust's Adult Mental Health & Disability (AMHD) directorate, who agreed to link with you directly on these issues and to further assist with the understanding of the information provided. The directorate were to make contact with you to arrange a suitable time to meet but it appears from your email that this has not yet happened.

Having received your email today we have again contacted the AMHD directorate asking that someone contact you in the next few days to arrange this meeting. We note that you have also contacted Mr Millar (AMHD Director) today about this.

Kind Regards

Freedom of Information Office
Western Health & Social Care Trust
Email: [Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland) request email]

Dear FOI Request,
A date for meeting has nearly been set with myself , my MP and Amanda Mc Fadden.

Having now read what WHSCT feel is a "response" re my CAUSE questions- I now see that NONE of my questions dated 30 July have been answered on my terms or in an honest, transparent fashion.

I have read the 'response' re my questions around CAUSE and have the following to comment;

*No discussion with CAUSE was legally necessary before WHSCT shared with me any information about the carer contract with CAUSE via freedom of information. That was deliberate obstruction and a non truth.

* WHSCT states a 'response has been provided' re CAUSE and my questions above dated 30 July. What has been provided are NOT responses to my questions. What has been provided is a copy of the front page of a contract, and a copy of an extension to that contract. NONE of my questions about the agreement itself explicitly excluding Enniskillen, Omagh, Strabane, rural areas, all non Derry areas have been answered or addressed. This is purposeful obstruction.

* It is my belief that (until I am shown differently) WHSCT's contract with CAUSE did NOT exclude the areas outside of Derry city (which are currently excluded , and have been for some time), and it is likely unlawful that the areas outlined are being excluded by CAUSE and are totally Derry focused. It is not common for a Trust to make contracts for single sections of Trust areas.The area provided for should be WHSCT in its entirety. If the areas referred to are being lawfully excluded I have a right to see that agreement in writing. WHSCT are actively obstructing my viewing that.
If the non Derry areas are not excluded by contract agreement, the contract agreement which is being paid for by the public purse and which is stating CAUSE represent the WHOLE WHSCT area, when it is not, is being broken; a public services contract , and in that scenario, this must be immediately investigated as a fraudulent contract, unless clarity is provided in writing about this arrangement immediately. That WHSCT are not providing written evidence of this, and are obfuscating, is entirely wrong.

WHSCT can continue to evade my questioning but at some point they must answer the questions. Please answer the questions either now, or, alternatively, I shall publish on this site, what I am told after meeting Ms Mc Fadden.

Yours sincerely,

Joan Corrigan

Dear FOI Request,

Furthermore, NONE of what I asked for on 30 July 2017 falls under what you falsely claim to be

"creating new information or giving an opinion, comment or judgement that is not already held in a recorded document."

If what was agreed in a formal document with CAUSE is different to what is now taking place , and that contract still exists and will do until 2018 having not been amended, and that change of contract detail is not recorded in a formal document, (which you strongly imply, hence your decision to not feel you need to inform me about it) , that calls for immediate investigation.

This is a further attempt to obstruct my receipt of public information.

Yours sincerely,

Joan Corrigan

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