Chief Scientific Adviser's correspondence on Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy

Alex Brown made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Department of Health and Social Care.

Dear Department of Health,

In the Government Response to the Science and Technology Committee report 'Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy’ (http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/grou...) para 9 states:
"The Government Chief Scientific Adviser has discussed the Department of Health policy on homeopathy with lead officials, and understands the reasons for the policy decision. However, he still has concerns about how this policy is communicated to the public. There naturally will be an assumption that if the NHS is offering homeopathic treatments then they will be efficacious, whereas the overriding reason for NHS provision is that homeopathy is available to provide patient choice."

Please provide me with all correspondence, minutes or notes related to the discussions between the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and the "lead officials" in relation to this report.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Brown

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - it does not require a response.
Where a reply is appropriate we aim to send one within 20 working days.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [1]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[2]Directgov, the UK Government's Official information website, or the
Department of Health website's [3]Frequently Asked Questions.

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Department of Health and Social Care

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Dear Laura,

Thank you for you reply and the guidance you have provided.

I would therefore like narrow my request the correspondence between the Department of Health and the Chief Scientific Adviser related to the Government Response to the Science and Technology Committee
report 'Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy’ referred to in para 9 of this report. Since this is referenced within a department document I would hope that this information should be straightforward to locate.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Brown

Department of Health and Social Care

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - it does not require a response.
Where a reply is appropriate we aim to send one within 20 working days.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [1]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[2]Directgov, the UK Government's Official information website, or the
Department of Health website's [3]Frequently Asked Questions.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.nhs.uk/
2. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
3. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

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    Long Email Body 05 10 2010.html

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Email Content stored in attached file 'Long_Email_Body_05_10_2010.html'.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Department of Health,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health's handling of my FOI request 'Chief Scientific Adviser's correspondence on Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy'.

I believe that your S. 35 exemption has been improperly balanced in favour of refusal, you cite no specific dangers and only vague possibilities in terms of harm. These vague 'cut and paste' refusal notes seem to suggest that only a cursory regard has been paid to the actual public interest test.

On the other hand, the Government has published a response which specifically refers to the views of the Chief Scientific Advisor, therefore it seems perverse to then claim exemption for the detail of this information. In order for the public to properly scrutinise this Government response, it is necessary for the journey from advice to policy to be understood and this is impossible without this information.

I hope that the review will give a fuller exploration of this test.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...

Yours faithfully,

Alex Brown

Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Brown,

I am writing to confirm receipt of your request for Internal Review, which
is being processed under the reference IR539345.

You can expect a response within twenty working days.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health


Alex Brown
<request-44314-1c
f5d01c@whatdothey To
know.com> FreedomofInformation/OIS/DOH@DOH
cc
10/07/10 02:26 AM
Subject
Internal review of Freedom of
Information request - Chief
Scientific Adviser's correspondence
on Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy





Dear Department of Health,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of
Health's handling of my FOI request 'Chief Scientific Adviser's
correspondence on Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy'.

I believe that your S. 35 exemption has been improperly balanced in
favour of refusal, you cite no specific dangers and only vague
possibilities in terms of harm. These vague 'cut and paste' refusal
notes seem to suggest that only a cursory regard has been paid to
the actual public interest test.

On the other hand, the Government has published a response which
specifically refers to the views of the Chief Scientific Advisor,
therefore it seems perverse to then claim exemption for the detail
of this information. In order for the public to properly scrutinise
this Government response, it is necessary for the journey from
advice to policy to be understood and this is impossible without
this information.

I hope that the review will give a fuller exploration of this test.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ch...

Yours faithfully,

Alex Brown

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Department of Health and Social Care

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Brown

I enclose the Department's response to your request for an internal review
of our handling of your recent FOI request.

I hope that this is helpful

Yours sincerely

Colin McDonald
FOI Casework Manager

(See attached file: IR539345 Brown.pdf) (See attached file: IR539345
Brown.pdf)

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