Cervical cancer jab without consent

Grace Filby made this Freedom of Information request to Orkney NHS Board

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 Sir or Madam,

Please would you supply me with information regarding the outcome of an urgent investigation you launched in early October 2008?

This was after a 13-year-old schoolgirl was given the cervical cancer/HPV vaccine at Stromness Academy, despite the doctor being aware her parents had withheld consent because of her existing chronic health condition - diabetes.

I understand your board stated: "We take this complaint extremely seriously and will be investigating further as a matter of urgency.

"If there are lessons to be learned from the investigation they will be incorporated into the vaccination programme in Orkney."

I would be grateful if you could therefore identify (1) what lessons are to be learned;(2) the date that they were incorporated into the vaccination programme in Orkney NHS.

Please also inform me of any steps that were taken in communicating the outcome to the Department of Health, including the dates and the name of the addressee.

Yours faithfully,

Grace Filby

Grace Filby BA(Hons) CertEd FRSA

Grace Filby left an annotation ()

Orkney NHS Board didn't post their FOI response online at Whatdotheyknow.com. Instead they sent it as a personal email. To summarise, it outlines:

3 conclusions (one was withheld as irrelevant to the FOI request);

2 recommendations (one was withheld as irrelevant to the FOI request);

and 1 action.

There is no reference to:

(1) the schoolgirl's existing chronic health condition - diabetes;

(2) the lack of research about this in the clinical trials and additional risks of adverse effects e.g. seizure, chemical poisoning;

(3) the ethics of vaccination by coercion.

Responding to the last question about the Department of Health, Orkney NHS explained that they can't answer because those involved can't remember who they had spoken to at the Scottish Parliament - in other words, they didn't put anything in writing.

So the outcome of the Orkney investigation was a revised consent form requiring evidence of points discussed with the child. It also requires signing off by a health care professional.

Further discussion here:

Sambrook Julia (Orkney NHS Board), Orkney NHS Board

I am replying, on behalf of NHS Orkney, to your Freedom of Information
request concerning an HPV vaccine investigation.

The background was that a complaint raised a concern that HPV immunisation
had been administered to a child under 16 without the consent of either
the parents or the child.

The conclusions from the report were:

1. There is clear information available to parents, guardians and children
about consent in the HPV programme. This is included in the
pre-vaccination information letter and on the consent form. There is also
information freely available on the Web.

2.<not relevant to FOI request>

3. That current documentation could be improved to allow recording of
issues discussed, as a basis for informed consent.

The recommendations were:

1.<not relevant to FOI request>

2. That when consent is sought for vaccination from a child under the age
of 16 years guidelines of appropriate discussion points are produced and
that there is evidence that these points are discussed with the child and
it is signed off by the health care professional. This will provide
robust evidence that the child has been properly informed and given
appropriate consent.


1.That the Quality and Safety Team prepare a generic template in
collaboration with clinicians, including Public Health.

The revised consent form was implemented with relative immediate effect
and was sent out to any new patients following the completion of the
investigation and the recommendations made - end October/beginning
November 2008.

Unfortunately, we cannot answer the final question as all communication
with the Scottish Government was made verbally and those involved are
unable to recall names/addresses etc.

I trust that this answers your enquiry.

show quoted sections

Grace Filby left an annotation ()

The points deliberately redacted by Orkney NHS Board may actually be highly relevant.

The father's blog dated 30 October 2008 states openly that a conclusion from the report was:

"On the balance of probability, the GP did discuss the issues with Miss Jones: Miss Jones gave consent for the vaccination, which was contrary to her mother's position."

and "... I believe that on the balance of probabilities Miss Jones clearly did understand the consent form and what she was signing."

Then regarding the recommendations:

"I believe the report shows that NHS Orkney did seek consent in a correct and proper manner and that all protocols were followed in respect of the HPV vaccination programme."

The family certainly didn't agree with those conclusions, and nor did the people commenting.

The link is http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/tallsk...

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