Complaint against Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board.

Ann Williams made this Freedom of Information request to Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

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 refused by Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Dear Scottish Public Services Ombudsman,

A complaint against Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board (DGNHSB) was submitted to you as they refused to respond to a complaint made to them, or to reply to the points raised in this. The SPSO reference for this was: 201609224.

The SPSO caseworker, Mr Graham Pettie, declined to pursue this matter, other than to recommend to DGNHSB that they respond to the complaint made to them. Needless to say, DGNHSB failed to comply with this request. Given their previous failures, it was hardly likely they ever would do so.

Does the SPSO consider the failure to deal with a valid complaint is outwith its jurisdiction? What is the statutory authority for this decision? Failure to deal with a complaint in these circumstances is maladministration, so how can the SPSO decline to investigate? How can DGNHSB fail to respond to a complaint (a deliberate act on its part) and the SPSO refuse to accept this as maladministration?

In the circumstances please confirm that the SPSO will not investigate cases where health boards refuse to give responses to valid complaints made in accordance with the NHS procedure?

In making this decision, were there any influences in operation which would have had an impact on the judgement of Graham Pettie? Freemasonry is known to be a factor in the manner in which DGNHSB handled this.

Yours faithfully,

Ann Williams

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

This is an automated receipt from SPSO to let you know that we have
received your email. Please do not reply to this.

 

If you have emailed a new complaint, we will register it and acknowledge
it in writing within three working days. We provide you with a reference
number which should be used in any future correspondence with us.

 

If your email was not a new complaint, it will be forwarded to the
appropriate colleague who will reply to you in due course.

 

If we have been copied into this email, we will not respond or take action
on this matter.

 

 

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Dear Ms Williams

 

I refer to your request of 22 August 2017 for information about our
handling of complaints made to us.  We will be dealing with your request
in line with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, which
provides a right to request access to information we hold.  The Act states
that we must reply to you within 20 working days of us receiving your
request.  This means we will reply to you by 19 September at the latest. 
We will, of course, reply sooner if we are able to do so.

Yours sincerely

 

Helen Littlemore

Corporate Information Governance Officer

 

 

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street | Edinburgh | EH3 7NS

Tel: 0800 377 7330 | Fax: 0800 377 7331

Web: [1]http://www.spso.org.uk

 

References

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Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Williams

 

Please find attached our response to your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Helen Littlemore

Corporate Information Governance Officer

 

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street | Edinburgh | EH3 7NS

Tel: 0800 377 7330 | Fax: 0800 377 7331

Web: [1]http://www.spso.org.uk

 

 

 

References

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1. http://www.spso.org.uk/

Dear Scottish Public Services Ombudsman,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'Complaint against Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board.'.

You have refused to provide information requested claiming this is confidential and you can decline to provide information on a specific complaint. Some of the information requested is of a general nature, rather than specific details on the complaint. The requests for information contained in the third and fourth paragraphs of the original request are examples of this. These are not covered by exemptions, or confidentiality. In the circumstances, I request you review your decision and provide the information requested in these paragraphs.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ann Williams

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

This is an automated receipt from SPSO to let you know that we have
received your email. Please do not reply to this.

 

If you have emailed a new complaint, we will register it and acknowledge
it in writing within three working days. We provide you with a reference
number which should be used in any future correspondence with us.

 

If your email was not a new complaint, it will be forwarded to the
appropriate colleague who will reply to you in due course.

 

If we have been copied into this email, we will not respond or take action
on this matter.

 

 

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Dear Ms Williams

 

Your request for review

 

I refer to your email of 19 September 2017. In your correspondence you ask
for a review of the handling of your information request IR201703504.

 

I have passed your request for a review to Niki Maclean, Director, who
will consider it and respond to you promptly, but in any event no later
than 16 October 2017.

 

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact
us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Elena Carrara

Team Assistant

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street Edinburgh EH3 7NS

Phone: 0800 377 7330

Email: [1][email address]  

 

 

 

 

References

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Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Williams

 

I refer to your email of 19 September 2017.  In your correspondence you
ask for an internal review of our handling of your request for information
of 22 August.  Your request for review has been passed to me to consider
and I can now respond as follows.

 

You have stated that the information contained in the third and fourth
paragraphs of your original request are not covered by the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exemptions, or confidentiality,
and therefore we should provide the information.

 

In your original request you outlined a specific complaint that you say
had been made to this office.  You advised that the SPSO had recommended
that an organisation respond to the complaint that had been made to them. 
You then went on to ask a number of questions.  I address each of the
questions contained in the third and fourth paragraph of your original
request below. 

 

Q. Does the SPSO consider the failure to deal with a valid complaint is
outwith its jurisdiction?

 

A. The FOISA provides access to recorded information that we hold.  This
is a question rather than a request for access to recorded information
that we hold.  You have asked for our opinion.  If you are looking for
general information that we hold about our jurisdiction, this will be
contained within the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 (SPSOA). 
This SPSOA is exempt information under section 25 of the FOISA as it is
reasonably obtainable online without having to request it under the
FOISA.  If you are looking for more specific information about a
particular complaint made to this office, this information would be held
on our file on the complaint.  Section 19 of the SPSOA prohibits us from
disclosing information obtained in connection with a complaint made to us,
which means the information would be exempt information under section
26(a) of the FOISA (prohibited under an enactment). 

 

Q. What is the statutory authority for this decision?

 

A. The SPSOA is the legislation that governs our work.  As noted above,
this is exempt information under section 25 of the FOISA.  We cannot
disclose information about a specific complaint that may have been made to
us as this is exempt information under section 26(a) of the FOISA.  In
general terms, section 7(10) of the SPSOA addresses the restrictions in
terms of investigating complaints that have not exhausted an organisations
complaints procedure. 

 

Q. Failure to deal with a complaint in these circumstances is
maladministration, so how can the SPSO decline to investigate?

 

A. I refer to my answers above.  This is a question rather than a request
for access to recorded information that we hold.  If you are looking for
details about a specific complaint made to this office, the information
will be exempt information under section 26(a) of the FOISA.  In more
general terms, the SPSOA is the legislation that governs our work.  If you
are looking for general information about our jurisdiction, any
restrictions to what we can investigate, this information is contained
within the SPSOA.  This is exempt information under section 25 of the
FOISA.

 

Q. How can [an organisation] fail to respond to a complaint and the SPSO
refuse to accept this as maladministration?

 

A. I refer to my answer above.

 

Q. In the circumstances please confirm that the SPSO will not investigate
cases where health boards refuse to give responses to valid complaints
made in accordance with the NHS procedure?

 

A. This is not a request for access to recorded information that we hold. 
As noted above, if you are looking for information about our jurisdiction,
this is contained in the SPSOA, which is exempt information under section
25 of the FOISA.   

 

Having reviewed the handling of your request for information I am
satisfied that the response of 13 September was correct.

 

Your Right of Appeal

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any review carried out by the
SPSO following your request for information, you have a right under the
FOISA to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.  Details about
appealing to the Commissioner are set out on page 3 of the attached
information leaflet ‘Your Information Rights & SPSO’.  Following an
investigation by the Commissioner, you have a right (on a point of law) of
appeal to the Court of Session.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Niki Maclean

Director

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
4 Melville Street Edinburgh EH3 7NS
tel 0800 377 7330 fax 0800 377 7331
web [1]http://www.spso.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.spso.org.uk/

Ann Williams left an annotation ()

The SPSO declines to deal with this request lawfully, just as it failed to deal with the original complaint lawfully. The complaint concerned the failure of Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board to respond to a valid complaint made to it. There were other failures which are typical of this body. The SPSO took months to decide that it wouldn't take the case for spurious reasons. As far as Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board is concerned, It is a clear example of maladministration and deliberate refusal to deal with a serious complaint. These are within the jurisdiction of the SPSO. It has also acted unlawfully in relation to this.

One possible reason is the malign influence of Freemasonry as it is known this influence is at work at Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board, could be the SPSO has been warned off as well.

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