Cost of investigation ordered by EEAS

D Perrin made this Freedom of Information request to East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust of their handling of this request.

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

I would be grateful if you could supply information and data relating to the following matters:

In early 2006, our (then) Director of Operations, Mr Oskan Edwardson, requested that a formal investigation be carried out into myself regarding the alleged accessing of confidential information after I had sought evidence to substantiate the concerns I had raised about the conduct and performance of a colleague.
This followed on from a hearing he chaired in 2005 when I was subjected to disciplinary action and he duly referred me to the Health Professions Council (HPC). They dismissed the case when they heard it in 2008.

A Mr PK (who is currently employed as a Clinical General Manager by this Trust) was asked to carry out the investigation and in September 2006, a report bearing his name was served on me and I was in effect, found “guilty” and subjected to further action by the Trust.

Sometime after this, our (then) Chief Executive, Mr Hayden Newton, agreed to the disclosure of information the Trust held regarding me and as a result of this, two different versions of PK’s report were found.

It then transpired that PK’s original report from April 2006 did not recommend that action be taken against me and actually called into question the Trust’s procedures.

The 2nd report dated September 2006 had had its complete “findings and recommendations” altered and this version was apparently saved and last “modified” on the computer of a member of HR who was previously found to have withheld evidence in the case the Trust brought against me in 2005.

During the course of 2011 -2012 and at the request of Mr Newton, an independent investigation was carried out to try and establish why two different versions of PK’s report existed.

A Mr Selwood, who was previously a Chief Superintendent with The Metropolitan Police, was appointed to conduct the investigation and 10 managers and members of HR were interviewed by him.
Unfortunately, it would appear that no one was asked directly if they were responsible for actually altering the original version of PK’s report.

The investigation and report took some 15 months to complete and no doubt cost the Trust (and the taxpayer) a substantial sum of money.

Would you therefore please confirm:

1. What was the cost to the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) of the independent investigation carried out by Mr Selwood?
2. What was the cost to EEAS of the forensic analysis of the Trust’s computer systems by the firm Deloitte’s?
3. The terms of reference agreed with Mr Newton and the actual terms of reference subsequently supplied to Deloitte’s by Clare Chambers, Head of IT at EEAS.
4. Whether PK has been involved in any further investigations and / or taken part in any disciplinary hearings since concerns were raised with Mr Newton about this matter in January 2011?
5. If so, how many times and in what capacity?
6. What were the management and legal costs to the Trust (and the taxpayer) of defending an action brought by a Mr Paul Holmes after he claimed to have been victimized by two senior managers?
7. Who paid the expenses of Mr Newton when he appeared at a hearing as a witness for the above managers, one of whom was subsequently suspended by the HPC and the other the subject of a 5 year caution?

Yours faithfully,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email dated 23rd December where you requested information regarding the East of England Ambulance Service.

Your request will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we will respond to you within 20 working days. Your request has been allocated the following reference: F13425, and I would be grateful if you could quote this reference in any future correspondence with the Trust.

Given the sensitive nature of the request, I would ask that, where possible, you remove the initials/names of all current and ex-Trust staff and other individuals, and refrain from using these in any requests made via a public forum. Our response will also not include any person-identifiable data.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Gail Butler
Corporate Records Manager

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your reply.

Please be assured that I have only posted factual information. Clearly it was necessary to "identify" certain individuals in order that the Trust knows which case this refers to and which manager I require information on. (As previously stated, many different managers and members of HR were interviewed as part of the investigation).

I note that the Trust does not appear to be overly concerned when they report (certain) employees to the HPC knowing their details will generally go on to be posted on a publicly-accesible website.

It should also be noted that the Trust does not pay the expenses of employees they refer to the HPC, even if those cases are not subsequently upheld.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

 

Further to your email dated 23rd December 2012; please find the Trust's
response below.  Please note that we are unable to respond to all of your
questions at present, however our investigations will continue and we will
respond as soon as we are able.

 

     1. What was the cost to the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS)
of the independent investigation carried out by PS?

This information is commercially confidential between us and PS. The Trust
would seek exemption from providing this information under s.43 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Releasing the amount paid could enable
competing companies to ascertain the margin on our cost base and therefore
expose the unit cost of the services we provide. The Trust feels that it
is extremely likely that releasing this information would provide
competitors with an advantage over the Trust and would therefore prejudice
the Trust’s commercial interests.

 

The section 43 exemption is a qualified exemption and is therefore subject
to the public interest test. In this case the Trust is satisfied that the
public interest in non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in
disclosure. I acknowledge that there is a general public interest in
providing these figures in order to provide a clear picture of the Trust’s
financial expenditure, however disclosure of this information may
prejudice the Trust’s ability to compete fairly and to maintain our
earning capacity to support other NHS activities. The public interest in
the commercial sensitivity of these figures outweighs the public interest
in disclosure that I have identified.

 

     2. What was the cost to EEAS of the forensic analysis of the Trust’s
computer systems by the firm Deloitte’s? 

Please see the Trust's response above - the Trust would apply exemption
s.43 to this also.

 

     3. The terms of reference agreed with HN and the actual terms of
reference subsequently supplied to Deloitte’s by the Head of IT at EEAS.

Response to follow

 

     4. Whether PK has been involved in any further investigations and /or
taken part in any disciplinary hearings since concerns were raised with HN
about this matter in January 2011?                 

PK is a senior member of the Trust who would be required to complete
internal investigations as part of their role.    

 

5. If so, how many times and in what capacity?

The Trust is concerned that releasing this information could make the
individual identifiable and disclosure of this personal data would
constitute a breach of the first data protection principle, which is
enshrined in the Data Protection Act 1998. Consequently we have made the
decision to withhold this information under s.40 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

     6. What were the management and legal costs to the Trust (and the
taxpayer) of defending an action brought by PH after he claimed to have
been victimized by two senior managers?

Response to follow

 

     7. Who paid the expenses of HN when he appeared at a hearing as a
witness for the above managers, one of whom was subsequently

     suspended by the HPC and the other the subject of a 5 year caution?

Response to follow

 

I am obliged to advise you that if you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s
response to your request you have a right to complain to the Trust and
should set out your concerns to the Freedom of Information Officer, EEAST,
Hospital Approach, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7WS or by email to
[1][East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust request email]. If you remain dissatisfied following this, you have
a right under Section 50 of the FOIA to seek a determination from the
Information Commissioner on whether the Act has been properly applied by
the Trust. For more information, please see [2]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

The Trust is always looking at ways to improve our responses to Freedom of
Information requests. If you wish to provide feedback to the Trust on how
we have dealt with your request, please follow this link to complete a
short survey: [3]http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PLJZ6C9

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further
information.

 

Kind regards

Gail

 

Gail Butler

Corporate Records Manager

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Chelmsford Office

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your partial response.

Clearly I am unhappy with the almost complete lack of information to date.

In particular I note in response to points 1 and 2 you state that revealing the amount of public money the Trust has spent so far should not be revealed as this might "expose the unit costs of the services we provide".

Obviously what I am seeking clarification about are the services provided for, not by, the Trust and as such I believe your reasoning to be incorrect.

My understanding (and please forgive me if I have got this wrong) was that the forensic examination alone cost in the region of £40,000.

I believe the public have the right to know exactly how much money this Trust is paying out to investigate potential wrong doing by its staff and senior managers particularly when they haven't even offered the apology it was recommended I should receive.

Hopefully you will review your decision as I shall certainly challenge the responses to date.

Please also advise who I would need to raise this matter with as one of the managers interviewed as part of the investigation is apparently involved in dealing with complaints about FOI requests.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Further to your email below, please note that the Trust is now looking again at your request and we will respond once we have completed our investigations.

Kind regards
Gail

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Dear Gail

I have now had time to look at section 43 of the FOI act and associated guidance from the Information Commissioner in a bit of detail.
I note the latter states: “Clearly the bias is in favour of disclosure” and “Generally speaking, the public interest is served where access to the information would facilitate accountability and transparency in the spending of public money”.

These payments were extraordinary and (hopefully) one off payments for services received by the Trust and are not related to their day to day business.
I therefore look forward to receiving all the requested information without further delay.

I first asked for the terms of reference supplied to Deloittes on 12th October 2012 but these have not been forthcoming. I would expect that they exactly match those agreed beforehand otherwise a substantial amount of public money will have effectively been wasted.

I note your refusal to provide information relating to my point 5.
To clarify, I do not wish to see any “personal data” or “sensitive” information, e.g. dates of hearings, sanctions imposed etc.
I merely wish to establish whether this Trust would consider it wise and acceptable to possibly task an individual with investigating the conduct of others and / or sitting in judgement of them at a time when a 15 month investigation was taking place into how and why a report bearing their name came to be so radically altered.

As such I simply wish to know whether the individual concerned was asked to either investigate colleagues and / or preside over hearings during the period March 2011 until June 2012 (inc).

If so, how many times?

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear Gail

Clearly there has now been a significant delay in responding fully to my request.

Please would you list the names of all those members of staff from the EEAST who have been involved in any discussions surrounding the release of this information?

Could you also confirm, who within the Trust has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the Freedom of Information Act is complied with?

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

In answer to you additional questions, the Trust will not release the names of those involved in answering your FoI request as disclosure of this personal data would constitute a breach of the first data protection principle, which is enshrined in the Data Protection Act 1998. Consequently we have made the decision to withhold this information under s.40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

However, I can inform you that the person with overall responsibility for Freedom of Information within the Trust is the Director of Strategy and Business Development.

Kind regards
Gail

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Dear D Perrin

Many thanks for your email, the Trust has now completed its investigation into your original requests and your concerns about the responses already provided. Please find our additional responses below.

1. While the Trust still maintains that this information is commercially confidential, we accept your comments about our reasoning, these should have stated that this information is commercially confidential to PS. Furthermore, as this concerns an individual it is felt that by releasing such sensitive and personal information about a person named in your original request that this could constitute a breach of the first data protection principle, which is enshrined in the Data Protection Act 1998. Consequently we have made the decision to further withhold this information under s.40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

2. The Trust has re-examined your request and has determined that this information can be released.
The total cost of the forensic search, including tape indexing, search and final report was £7473.43

3. Please find attached the terms of reference agreed as requested. This document has been redacted to protect those named again under s.40 of the Freedom of Information Act.
The terms of reference provided to Deloittes were done so verbally, therefore are no written terms of reference for us to release to you.

4. As included in our original reply - this person is a senior member of the Trust who would be required to complete internal investigations as part of their role.

5. Please see below the number of times they have been involved in these different disciplinary hearings:
Investigations - 2
Hearings - 5
Clinical Review Panel - 4
The Trust feels that to release any further information could lead to the identification of the individual concerned thereby breaching their rights under the Data Protection Act.

6. The matter of the costs related to this employment tribunal are integrated with other matters associated with it but not directly related to the employment tribunal, therefore we are unable to break down the costs as you have requested without releasing information not directly relevant to your request. However, the Trust can confirm that the costs incurred to the end of the employment tribunal hearing on 15 September 2006 were £17,981.50.

7. I can confirm that they have never claimed any expenses for attending court.

Should you have any further questions or require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the Trust again.

Kind regards
Gail

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Dear Gail

Thank you for your response.

Firstly I note that the Trust is now seeking to use different sections of the Freedom of Information Act in order to decline to release information relating to the spending of public money.

I fail to see how simply releasing the amount of money the tax payer had to pay for a report can in anyway be described as "such sensitive and personal information". This was (I assume) a contract entered into for the provsion of a specific service.

Again I would respectfully ask that you reconsider your stance.

I find it incredible and concerning that a firm such as Deloitte's would simply take on a large amount of detailed and complicated work based on a verbal conversation. It would appear to me that the work carried out does not match the original terms of reference and therefore a large sum of public money has in effect been possibly wasted.

Can you please confirm if it is normal policy for this Trust to enter into arrangements with other organisations that involve a signifcant amount of public funds, based simply on a telephone call?

With regards to my point 7, I asked specifically about the costs for Mr Newton, not the two managers who appeared there.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email, the Trust will look into this and will respond in due course.

Kind regards
Gail

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Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email, the Trust has looked into this again as requested.

As regards question 1, the Trust has taken advice regarding your request and it has been confirmed that releasing the amount paid to a private individual would be a breach of the Data Protection Act. Therefore we are standing by our decision to use the s.40 exemption.

Question 3, the Terms of Reference were discussed with Deloittes at a meeting, the formal Terms of Reference document was then drawn up by them based on the discussions in this meeting.

Question 7, the information provided is specifically for HN and I can confirm that he did not claim any expenses.

Kind regards
Gail

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Dear Gail,

Re: point 1 - Please can you tell me who the Trust took "advice" from?

Point 3 - Please supply the terms of reference Deloittes drew up so it can be seen if they match those that had been agreed between ouselves and Mr Newton.

This really is becoming a rather protracted process and I would hope you won't wait until the very end of another 20 day period before providing the information requested.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear Gail

Further to my request nearly 2 months ago, please respond with the information I am still seeking.

Can you also tell me why your response of 22nd February 2013 stated there were no written terms of reference for Deloittes to work to when it was later revealed that they did in fact have some?

When you do eventually produce Deloitte's terms of reference, please put them alongside the ones agreed with Hayden Newton so it can be seen whether they actually match one another.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

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Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email; my apologies for the delay in our responding to you.

In response to your query regarding question 1, the Trust took advice from the ICO on this matter.

Please find attached the Engagement Letter from Deloitte containing the agreed Terms of Reference. This document has been redacted of any information that is deemed to be commercially confidential to Deloitte or that may breach an individual's rights under Data Protection.

To clarify, these written Terms of Reference were put together by Deloitte following a meeting with the Trust. Your original request was for the Terms of Reference that the Trust supplied to Deloitte, however as the Trust supplied these to Deloitte verbally we were unable to provide you with this specific information.

As requested I have included the Terms of Agreement already sent to you.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear FOI,

Firstly, I have no idea what an "ICO" is so please explain.

Secondly. You appear to have redacted absolutely everything other than what would appear to be their standard terms. Those are probably included in every "engagement letter" they send out.

That makes it impossible to tell whether your Head of IT informed them correctly about the task they were to carry out.
Considering you only redacted names from the Trust's ToRs, why have you chosen to to apply different standards here?

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email.

The ICO is the Information Commissioners Office - this is the body that oversees Freedom of Information.

The Trust's Terms of Reference is a document produced by the Trust and as such we redacted this internally. However, the document from Deloitte was drawn up by them and therefore this is their document. We asked for permission to release this document, which they agreed to and supplied us with this redacted copy. Therefore to confirm, the Trust redacted the information on the Trust's Terms of Reference document, while Deloitte redacted the Terms of Reference document that was drawn up by them.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of Ambulance

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Dear FOI,

That document (which would have been sent unredacted to your Head of IT) is over 2 years old.

As such, and to prove that Deloittes carried out the task they were supposed to do, please provide your own copy of that letter. By all means redact names if you wish but there is no reason to redact details of the searches they actually carried out.

Until then, the suspicion remains that Deloittes may have embarked on a substantial piece of work having been given an incomplete and incorrect brief by the person tasked with giving them that work.

If that was the case, it would prove to be a substantial waste of time and public money.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear EEAST,

Further to my update on 31st May 2013, I understand that the Trust has a copy of the Deloittes letter of engagement which is actually dated 17th June 2011, which is clearly different to the redacted copy you have put on here.

Hopefully you can also explain that as well please.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email.

The Trust has looked into this and it would appears that unfortunately you were supplied with the draft copy of this letter rather than the final version. This was an error on our part for which we apologise.

I will have a redacted copy of this document sent out as soon as possible.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear EEAST,

Thank you but please only redact information where it relates to names of individuals and fees charged (if you must).

My understanding is that absolutely nothing else that was also previously redacted was in any way related to information of a sensitive or confidential nature.

To do so will just waste yet more time.

Yours faithfully,

D Perrin

1 Attachment

Dear D Perrin

Following further consultation with Deloitte the Trust can now release to you the final copy of the Engagement Letter. This has been redacted of any personal or commercially confidential information.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear EEAST,

Thank you for your reply and please accept my apologies for not following this up sooner but I have been unable to, due to circumstances beyond my control.

Firstly, it is apparent that the Terms of Reference agreed between Hayden Newton, the investigator and ourselves (see your response dated 22nd February 2013) do not match those communicated by your Head of IT and as set out by Deloittes in the response you gave on 5th July 2013).

Please confirm who was responsible for failing to communicate fully, the work Deloittes were supposed to carry out. If it was decided to ask them not to carry out certain works, who took that decision as it was never communicated to me or my union representative?

Secondly, I note in your response on 22nd February 2013, you state that "The total cost of the forensic search, including tape indexing, search and final report was £7473.43".

I understand the cost quoted to the Trust for stage 1 alone was over £7000(inc VAT).

The cost of the other two stages would have been in the region of at least an extra £14,700(inc VAT) making a total of nearly £22,000.

Would you therefore confirm in that case whether the Trust only paid for stage 1 (and if so, why) or if all three stages were undertaken, why does the figure you quoted bear little resemblance to the apparent total cost?

If the Trust did pay for the final report, please produce it as it is necessary to establish why certain emails between a Director of this Trust and a member of HR were apparently "missed" or "lost" during the original search, when they met all the required criteria? Some of these were later "found" by Deloittes but we do not know how.

Yours faithfully,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email dated 5th September 2013 where you requested information regarding the East of England Ambulance Service.

Your request will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we will respond to you within twenty working days. Your request has been allocated the following reference: F15619 and I would be grateful if you could quote this reference in any future correspondence with the Trust.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear D Perrin

Further to your email, I understand that the Head of Telecommunications & Technology has already supplied you with the answers to your queries below. As such this information will not be provided again here under s.21 of the Freedom of Information Act - information already accessible.

I am obliged to advise you that if you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s response to your request you have a right to complain to the Trust and should set out your concerns to the Freedom of Information Officer, EEAST, Hospital Approach, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7WS or by email to [East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust request email]. If you remain dissatisfied following this, you have a right under Section 50 of the FOIA to seek a determination from the Information Commissioner on whether the Act has been properly applied by the Trust. For more information, please see www.ico.gov.uk.

The Trust is always looking at ways to improve our responses to Freedom of Information requests. If you wish to provide feedback to the Trust on how we have dealt with your request, please follow this link to complete a short survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PLJZ6C9

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear EEAST,

Your Head of IT will be able to confirm that I emailed her on 27th September 2013 to tell her that I could not open any of the attachments she sent through.

I would be grateful therefore if you could provide the information via this route and in a format that is able to be viewed by all.

I was able to note however, her suggestion that "The Chief Executive at the time felt that the initial TOR were too expensive".
That would have been Hayden Newton but he certainly never contacted myself or my Unison representative to discuss carrying out less work than had been agreed.
In fact the investigator refers to the full ToRs in his report when it appears that some of the work couldn't have been carried out.

I would also be grateful if you could explain why the Trust made the following statement when this was clearly not correct: "The terms of reference provided to Deloittes were done so verbally, therefore are no written terms of reference for us to release to you"?

It does seem as if this Trust seeks to hide behind exemptions in the FOI act when it suits. Your initial refusal to declare how much you paid Deloittes being just one example.
As I said, the eventual agreed ToRs between yourselves and Deloittes show an estimated cost in the region of £22,000.
Why the inconsistencies?

Yours faithfully,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email. The Trust can confirm that hard copies of the emails originally sent to you by Head of Telecommunications & Technology have now been sent out to you. As the Trust has now provided this information to you, we will not be providing it again here.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

FAO Laila Abrahams

The interim Chief Executive, Andrew Morgan, has written to me asking me not to contact anyone directly from the Trust so my requests for clarification around the documentation the Head of IT, Clare Chambers (now Head of Telecommunications and Technology), recently sent shall have to be done using the FOI act.

Firstly, the original terms of reference (ToRs) make it clear that Deloittes, under the guidance of Clare Chambers, would "carry out a detailed forensic assessment of all IT systems and hardware" and to "include the forensic check on all service laptops and desktops in use or in use at the time which do/did belong to those who were involved in this case".

It is now evident from the documentation supplied that when Hayden Newton first queried the original estimate from Deloittes in March 2011 of approximately £33600, that work had not even been included. No evidence has been produced to show that responsibility for suggesting this element of the work should be omitted was done at the request of Hayden Newton.
1. Please tell me who was responsible for failing to communicate to Deloittes what they were supposed to do regarding “the forensic check on all service laptops and desktops in use or in use at the time which do/did belong to those who were involved in this case"?
2. As Deloittes clearly didn’t do that work, can Clare Chambers confirm whether she actually carried it out or instructed anyone else to do it?

In your response dated 22nd February 2013, you stated there “are no written terms of reference for us to release to you”.
Clare Chambers has since provided a document dated 03/03/2011 which she refers to as “Initial Deloittes TOR”. Two subsequent revised documents from Deloittes are all described by her as being “TOR”.
3. Please can you tell me the name of the person who gave what appears to be a misleading answer in relation to a request under the FOI act?

It is now apparent that 4610 documents and emails were found after a second forensic search by Deloittes yet the Trust’s original search only made 1155 of these available to myself and my union representative.
Apparently all these extra documents were given to Clare Chambers.
4. Please confirm that these too will be made available to myself.

Clare Chambers’s “ICT feedback” report shows that the date range covered was from “6/11/2006 – 18/08/2008”. The period between the investigation report being started and the altered copy being given to me was actually April – Sept 2006.
5. Please explain why the incorrect dates were looked at and who was responsible for this?

In June 2011, Clare Chambers has listed an email as “Final terms of reference which were agreed by all parties” The estimated cost for this agreed work was approximately £22,000 yet your response on 22nd February 2013 states that the final invoice was for only £7473.43.
The 2 invoices Clare Chambers has supplied add up to just £6996.68.
6. Why is there such a large discrepancy between what was agreed in June 2011 and the supposed final figure?
7. Why doesn’t the figure you gave even equal the total of the invoices supplied?

I wish to be able to give this information to the Care Quality Commission and as such, would appreciate your full and detailed responses without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

Please confirm that you will be responding to the points I have made under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

FAO Laila Abraham

Please note that by law, you should have responded fully to all the questions I asked on 2nd December 2013.

Please do so without any further delay.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email.

My apologies for the delay, the Trust is continuing to process your request and will respond as soon as completed.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

FAO Laila Abraham

Please note that I am not prepared to accept any further delay, particularly when you have still not replied to other FOI requests that are even further out of time than this one.

As you have frequently demonstrated in the past, full answers aren't even given to a lot of the questions I have raised.

Please provide all of the requested information (as you are required to do so by law) without delay.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Thank you for your email. Please see the Trust's response below. My apologies for the delay in our getting this information, however this time was required in order to investigate this issue. Under the FoI Act the Trust is allowed 40 working days in exceptional circumstances.

It is now evident from the documentation supplied that when Hayden Newton first queried the original estimate from Deloittes in March 2011 of approximately £33600, that work had not even been included. No evidence has been produced to show that responsibility for suggesting this element of the work should be omitted was done at the request of Hayden Newton.
1. Please tell me who was responsible for failing to communicate to Deloittes what they were supposed to do regarding “the forensic check on all service laptops and desktops in use or in use at the time which do/did belong to those who were involved in this case"?
2. As Deloittes clearly didn’t do that work, can Clare Chambers confirm whether she actually carried it out or instructed anyone else to do it?
The Trust has already provided all of the recorded information it holds on this issue and therefore is unable to respond to this further. However the Trust can confirm that it was identified that none of the equipment in use at the time was still in service and had been destroyed.

In your response dated 22nd February 2013, you stated there “are no written terms of reference for us to release to you”.
Clare Chambers has since provided a document dated 03/03/2011 which she refers to as “Initial Deloittes TOR”. Two subsequent revised documents from Deloittes are all described by her as being “TOR”.
3. Please can you tell me the name of the person who gave what appears to be a misleading answer in relation to a request under the FOI act?
The original request asked for "the actual terms of reference subsequently supplied to Deloitte’s by Clare Chambers, Head of IT at EEAS" - the answer supplied is correct; the ToR came out of a meeting with Deloitte and these were written by Deloitte. The information supplied by the Trust was done so verbally in a meeting and the documents that you were subsequently provided with were written by Deloitte, not the Trust.

It is now apparent that 4610 documents and emails were found after a second forensic search by Deloittes yet the Trust’s original search only made 1155 of these available to myself and my union representative.
Apparently all these extra documents were given to Clare Chambers.
4. Please confirm that these too will be made available to myself.
This question will need to be directed to the external investigator who was in charge of the investigation. Unfortunately as the investigator is not an employee of the Trust we are unable to respond to this question.

Clare Chambers’s “ICT feedback” report shows that the date range covered was from “6/11/2006 – 18/08/2008”. The period between the investigation report being started and the altered copy being given to me was actually April – Sept 2006.
5. Please explain why the incorrect dates were looked at and who was responsible for this?
The date was taken from an email from an IT technician confirming work completed during the original email scan in 2008. This member of staff no longer works at the Trust therefore it cannot be clarified further. It is important to note that the Deloittes search only had an end date specified so was fuller than the original search (as detailed in Clare Chamber's report).

In June 2011, Clare Chambers has listed an email as “Final terms of reference which were agreed by all parties” The estimated cost for this agreed work was approximately £22,000 yet your response on 22nd February 2013 states that the final invoice was for only £7473.43.
The 2 invoices Clare Chambers has supplied add up to just £6996.68.
6. Why is there such a large discrepancy between what was agreed in June 2011 and the supposed final figure?
7. Why doesn’t the figure you gave even equal the total of the invoices supplied?
This question will need to be directed to the external investigator who was in charge of the investigation. Unfortunately as the investigator is not an employee of the Trust we are unable to respond to this question.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Cost of investigation ordered by EEAS'.

Firstly, I do not know how you can claim you were allowed to delay responding, suggesting "exceptional circumstances", when it is clear that you have provided virtually none of the information requested.

Regarding my points 1 & 2 - At NO point after the TORs were agreed did Clare Chambers or the investigator, Philip Selwood state that service laptops or desktops had been "destroyed" as you are now claiming for the first time, some 3 years after the investigation was launched.
The very fact that Paul Kattenhorn was able to produce another version of "his" report (that no one else knew about) after the investigation had started, would suggest otherwise.

12 members of staff were interviewed as part of the investigation. To back up your claim, please tell me the date these desktops and laptops were all supposedly "destroyed" and why Clare Chambers did not point out that the agreed TORs could not be met in that respect.

Point 3 - In that case it would appear evident that Clare Chambers did not "verbally" instruct Deloittes to carry out work that had been agreed.

Point 4 - It is clear that all these documents were given to Clare Chambers and that the investigator does not hold them.
The Trust previously agreed to the release of all documents to me and my union representative. Somehow, nearly 3500 documents that should also have been handed over, weren't.
Clare Chambers has these and I would like them so I can pass them to the Care Quality Commission.
Are the Trust worried about the content of these documents?

Point 5 - Who is the "IT technician" you refer to?

Points 6 & 7 - Invoices from Deloittes would have been sent directly to the Trust for payment, not the investigator.
Similarly, the Trust would have supplied the information about the supposed cost from Deloittes. This is for the Trust to answer, not the investigator. His own personal invoice to the Trust is an entirely different matter.

Lastly, I would like to know the name of the "FOI Officer" who responded to my request and whether anyone else was involved in formulating a response. If so, please also provide their name(s).

Unfortunately I have little faith that the requested information will be provided in full by the Trust and if this is the case, I will raise this with the Information Commissioner.

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,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Further to your email, the Trust will carry out an internal review of the handling of your request and will respond to you within 20 working days.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHs Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Approximately 45 working days have now elapsed since you said you would respond within 20 days.

Please respond with all the information requested and supply explanations for all the inconsistencies you have demonstrated to date, without any further delay.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

As stated in my email of 11th March 2014, following receipt of all of your internal review requests the Trust has decided to review the handling of all of your requests together. It is felt that this is the most thorough way of addressing the concerns you have about the Trust's actions.

As your additional requests were received after the original request, further investigation will be required and extra time is needed to complete this. We want to fulfil your requests as thoroughly as possible; consequently we want to ensure that all aspects are fully investigated and that we provide any additional information where necessary.

My apologies if I was not clear in my email of 11th March, however please be assured that we are continuing to process your internal reviews and will respond as soon as out investigations are complete.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

A total of 35 working days had elapsed before you even stated in response to another FOI request that you were going to be holding some sort of "review".

I am not prepared to wait any longer for answers to the information I have been requesting since 2012.

Please provide these without any further delay.
If you refuse to do so, I will take this up with the Information Commissioner so I can compile the case I wish to put before the Care Quality Commission.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Your internal review is shown in the link below:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

On 16th January 2014 I said "Regarding my points 1 & 2 - At NO point after the TORs were agreed did Clare Chambers or the investigator, Philip Selwood state that service laptops or desktops had been "destroyed" as you are now claiming for the first time, some 3 years after the investigation was launched.
The very fact that Paul Kattenhorn was able to produce another version of "his" report (that no one else knew about) after the investigation had started, would suggest otherwise.

12 members of staff were interviewed as part of the investigation.
To back up your claim, please tell me the date these desktops and laptops were all supposedly "destroyed" and why Clare Chambers did not point out that the agreed TORs could not be met in that respect."

I note that these questions aren't even covered in the response and as such, I would like them answered in full please.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Further to your email dated 1st May 2014, please find the Trust's response below.

The Trust can only surmise that the investigator chose to focus on email retrieval rather than the equipment. Clare Chambers did not attend the initial Deloittes meeting therefore is unaware of exactly what was discussed around scope of their work, and has been able to only base her understanding on the final scope that was agreed, which did not include equipment.

In November 2012, the investigator asked Clare Chambers to confirm whether or not equipment for certain people was still in use. These people were Karen Barry, Bob Durbin, Rob Ashford, Oskan Edwardson, Tracey Leghorn, Graeme Tolliday, Seamus Elliot, Neil Storey, Will Hancock. In December 2012 Clare Chambers confirmed to both Ann Langdon and the investigator that the following laptops/desktops had been replaced during a desktop update programme, and the old equipment had been destroyed.

Dates as below
Karen Barry – 2/2/2012
Bob Durbin – 8/4/2011
Rob Ashford – not listed
Oskan Edwardson – 11/5/2012
Tracey Leghorn – 6/6/2012
Graeme Tolliday – 27/6/2012
Seamus Elliott – not listed
Neil Storey – 17/3/2010
Will Hancock – not listed

It is important to note here that Clare Chambers was not asked by the investigator to do any investigation about the equipment. Nor was she privy to any conversations he had with Hayden Newton, Ann Langdon or you. As a result her role within this was limited, therefore so is the information she has access to and can provide.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

On 15th January, you claimed: “However the Trust can confirm that it was identified that none of the equipment in use at the time was still in service and had been destroyed”.

Your latest response has just demonstrated that this was incorrect.

The investigation was given the go ahead in January 2011 with the final ToRs being agreed on 16th February. The investigation and interviews commenced in early March 2011, with the investigator’s final report being given to the Trust in June 2012.
The dates you have supplied show that only one of the laptops had been “destroyed” when the investigation began, with the remainder all being available for the investigator to request access to. In fact 4 out of 5 of those were still available until the following year.

You also make mention of contact and enquiries with the investigator as late as December 2012. I have no idea why the investigator would supposedly be in touch about looking at laptops at that time when his investigation had already been concluded and his report given to the Trust in June of that year.

Despite your claims, Clare Chambers was involved from the very beginning. She eventually gave me copies of multiple email exchanges between her and Deloittes going as far back as 14th January 2011 and which continue for many months in which they discuss what work was required.

The agreed ToRs from February 2011 very clearly state "To instruct an independent specialist (Deloittes) to work under the guidance of Clare Chambers, Head of IT, to carry out a detailed forensic assessment of all IT systems".
They go on to specifically state "This will include the forensic check on all service laptops and desktops in use or in use at the time which do/did belong to those who were involved in this case."
"Through the forensic assessment, trace any other relevant correspondence from Will Hancock, Neil Storey, Rob Ashford and Tracey Leghorn, and/or any other employee of EEAST regarding the investigation into Mr David Perrin."

Clearly the vast majority of those laptops were available to be analysed.
However, the two most obvious employee's laptops to check first were those belonging to Paul Kattenhorn and Helen Adams (nee Corthine, nee Tyler).

Paul Kattenhorn was the manager tasked with carrying out the initial investigation by Oskan Edwardson. He later had his report altered by someone who despite interviews with 11 members of staff and very senior managers of this Trust, has never been properly identified or admitted doing it.
He was also able to produce a 3rd version of “his” report that no one knew about despite two supposed detailed forensic searches, yet he was never asked how he came to have it and where it had been stored. That is simply incredible.
Perhaps it was stored on his laptop that should have been forensically examined?

Asking these simple questions and checking the document properties on his laptop could easily have demonstrated who completely altered the “findings and conclusions” of that particular version.

We found that one of the versions of Paul Kattenhorn’s reports was apparently last "modified" on Helen Adams's computer for a period of over an hour. Unfortunately she apparently has no recollection whatsoever of doing so and the mystery deepens even more as she admits she was told to have little to do with my case after she was previously found to have withheld evidence in a case the Trust brought against me that was Chaired by Oskan Edwardson. In fact, she wasn’t even the HR support for Mr Kattenhorn.

An email conversation between Mr Edwardson and Mrs Adams in which they discuss Mr Kattenhorn’s investigation (and at about the time his version of the report was apparently altered) was somehow "missed" during the Trust’s forensic search despite it exactly matching the agreed search criteria and it only subsequently turned up after Deloittes conducted their own.

Part of that email trail in which Helen Adams refers to an earlier email of hers, has never been found despite supposed extensive searches.
This led to the comment from Clare Chambers "As there are other emails present from Helen then either it was not sent as she says - unlikely? Or it was deleted between 2006 and 2008, which is the more likely scenario".
She also notes a more than 6 month gap in Helen Adams's emails relating to me. This would have covered the period when she was questioned at length during a hearing by a Unison Regional Officer after she was found to have withheld evidence that would have been helpful to my case and when her conduct in this regard was supposedly going to be investigated by her own boss at that time, Helen Edmondson, who I believe was Head of HR at the Trust.

Quite why Oskan Edwardson and Helen Adams were corresponding about this matter when he had already supposedly reported her to her boss and she wasn't supposed to be involved is yet another mystery.

Paul Kattenhorn who told the investigator in his agreed interview notes, "he too wanted an open and honest discussion and that he would be honest" and said he "could not remember who contacted him to say his first report was not acceptable".
However, more than 2 years later, his memory had recovered to the point where he claimed it was Helen Edmondson who supposedly told him his report was unacceptable and would be revised although he still said he didn't know who physically altered it.
Unfortunately this memory recall was more than a year after the investigation had finished.

Apparently, Helen Edmondson failed to respond to the investigator's invitation for her to take part in his investigation.

So in summary:

A - Why did you supply false information on 15th January 2014 and please name the individual who was responsible for that?

B - Have you given incorrect dates regarding the investigator’s contact with the Trust in late 2012 as his final report had been handed over 6 months prior to that?

C - On which dates were laptops belonging to Paul Kattenhorn and Helen Adams supposedly "destroyed"?

D - Can you confirm that no searches were carried out on their laptops and desktops either or indeed anyone's within the Trust despite that being possible at the time and specifically agreed to?

D - Was Clare Chambers given the agreed ToRs and if so, on what date? If not, please supply any correspondence from the investigator and or CEO telling her what to do.

E - As the person tasked with guiding Deloittes and with the existence of the emails she actually produced, can the Trust confirm that responsibility for ensuring the necessary work was carried out rests with her and / or the investigator?

F - As this investigation clearly failed to adhere to the agreed ToRs that were included in the investigator's final report, will the Trust be seeking the return of some of the tax-payer's money it spent on an investigation that was not only incomplete but also misleading in this respect?

G - Does the Trust still have a responsibility for the conduct of previous employees?

H - How many members of staff interviewed as part of this investigation have been given tax payer-funded redundancy packages so far?

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

It's now over 2 months since this request was sent.

We know Mr Marsh has stated he wants the Trust to be more open and transparent in its dealing with FOI requests.

Not wanting to provide answers or finding it difficult to explain inconsistencies aren't valid reasons for refusing FOI requests as far as I know so please provide the information without further delay. In addition, please now provide the names of all those involved in the delay in providing your response.

As ever, this information is required so I can pass it on to the CQC.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Once again and in typically bizarre fashion, Laila Abraham declined to respond on here and instead, eventually sent the following reply to my work's email account. I shall be requesting an internal review.

Dear D Perrin

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

This request relates to the historic employment matters and therefore, further to The Trust’s response to your email entitled ‘Freedom of Information request – Oskan Edwardson’, this request is refused. The Trust relies on Section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Section 17(6) does not require the Trust to give a refusal notice in this case. However, the Trust will consider any future requests and in particular whether a fresh refusal notice is required.

I am obliged to advise you that if you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s response to your request you have a right to complain to the Trust and should set out your concerns to the Freedom of Information Officer, EEAST, Hospital Approach, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7WS or by email to [email address].

If you remain dissatisfied following this, you have a right under Section 50 of the FOIA to seek a determination from the Information Commissioner on whether the Act has been properly applied by the Trust. For more information, please see www.ico.gov.uk.

Kind regards

Laila Abraham

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Cost of investigation ordered by EEAS'.

As detailed above, Laila Abraham herself eventually supplied the above response via my work's email account.
The reasons given elsewhere for refusing to provide any more information include:

1. That these matters are all "historic".
As has been pointed out to her and Mr Marsh, virtually all past events are naturally going to be of an "historic" nature.
Paul Leaman's "collusion" with an external supplier was an historic event but action was still taking against him by other bodies, many years after the acts.
Scandals at Mid-Staffordshire etc all related to historic events as do those regarding abuse. I'm not sure why Mr Marsh seems to feel he can refuse to deal with historic matters when other outside agencies clearly do.
It should also be remembered that the very expensive report commissioned by the Trust dates from just 2 years ago.
Any subsequent delays are due to the Trust as can be witnessed by the way they have dealt with this request.

2. My reluctance to accept information I have been given or the challenging of responses.
Once again, it should be very obvious that the Trust has supplied incomplete, incorrect and at times, misleading information relating to this original request. You couldn't even get the supposed costs of the Deloittes aspect correct and have no explanation for that.

3. The wish to apply the "vexatious" argument.
Laila Abraham has now sought to try to apply this herself. This is after the mystery "junior member of staff" tried to do the same thing many months ago.
That reasoning was not upheld by Adrian Matthews although I imagine there will be far more pressure put on the next internal reviewer to adopt the stance she wishes to apply.
It should be noted that the Information Commissioner is currently trying to establish who the "junior member of staff" was. We know for absolute certainty that it can't have been Laila Abraham or that would mean the Trust previously supplied false information.

4. The fact that names have been mentioned on here and that those staff have apparently told her they don't like it.
Oskan Edwardson, Karen Barry, Dawn Adams and Tracey Leghorn were all approached internally before these requests but either failed to respond at all (the first 3) or would not give the information requested.
The Trust regularly reports ordinary members of staff to their professional bodies (as happened in my case) so that their details are available to everyone and often go on to make the national media.
They haven't always been consistent in that respect when it comes to their own managers though.

5. Refusing to give any more information.
Laila Abraham acknowledges my right to take this matter to the CQC and this is something I will do in due course.
Naturally I wish to be able to give them as full a picture as possible but the Trust are deliberately obstructing me in this regard.
She has pointed out that she will treat requests from them differently and look to supply information to them in due course which is a perverse and hypocritical stance.
I'm sure they're incredibly busy and it would be quicker and easier for me to be able to supply them with as much information as possible rather that them have to go backwards and forwards with Ms Abraham and encounter months and years of further delays.

In summary, what I want the Trust to do is to explain the inconsistencies in their responses and why they have failed in some instances to provide information.
The fact that you don't want to, or are struggling to explain your inconsistencies should not be seen as valid exemptions under the FOI Act.

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,

D Perrin

Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

I note that unlike other requests for internal reviews, you have not responded at all in nearly 4 months.

Can you therefore tell me the following please:

1. Is the Trust going to carry out this review ?
2. If so, please tell me who is carrying this out, when it was started and when it is likely to be concluded?
3. If not, then please tell me the name of the person who took the decision not to conduct it and why this hasn't been communicated to me?

If you aren't going to conduct a review then I will take this matter to the Information Commissioner.

Mr Marsh has stated he wants this Trust to become more "open and transparent" over its dealings with FOI requests but this just doesn't seem to be happening.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

My apologies for the delay in our responding to you.

The Trust is undertaking your Internal Review at present, and will respond as soon as this is completed.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Thank you but in the meantime please answer my 2nd question.

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin

Dear D Perrin

Your request is being processed by the Complaints and Claims Manager. This request was passed on in January and we are aiming to have this response to you next week.

My apologies for the delay in our processing this request, the Trust has been working to locate a staff member who has not previously been involved in your responses who has an in-depth understanding of the FoI Act, and can therefore respond appropriately.

The Trust acknowledges that our response so far to your Internal Review requests has been less than satisfactory but please know that we are taking steps to improve the Internal Review process to prevent any further delays.

Again, my apologies for the length of time this has taken and any inconvenience this has caused.

Kind regards

FoI Officer
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear D Perrin

I have been asked to review the response to your Freedom of Information request and I have considered the s.14 Freedom of Information Act guidance from the ICO as part of my review.

I believe that your request can be considered to meet the “futile” criteria of the s.14 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that the Trust has already investigated this incident in detail and paid for an external independent investigation to take place and an audit to be completed. Therefore an investigation has taken place and the Trust has responded fully to your initial concerns so further questions around the issues are unlikely to bring a different resolution, there are also other avenues of external review (e.g. employment tribunal), which you can explore, or may have already.

I also accept that the information provided in response to this request is unlikely to be of wider public interest and is likely to be important to the requestor (yourself) only. You are dissatisfied with all of the Trust responses and keep raising further queries following each response, which is imposing a disproportionate burden on the Trust in terms of time and resources.

Having said that, I do recognise that some of the additional queries from you have been raised due to the Trust’s handling of the FOI request and some inconsistent information being conveyed to you. Therefore I believe that any queries we have not responded fully to prior to your email dated 19.06.14 should be answered as these are the issues you have requested repeated clarification on.

I would like to apologise that some inconsistent information has been passed to you, this was in error and not intentional. Any further requests received about this same subject matter, I consider to fall under s.14 in that they are now imposing a disproportionate burden on the Trust and the further requests are not being made due to the Trust’s handling of your original requests.

In light of the above, I believe the Trust needs to address the following issues and I have included the responses below as well:
• Who agreed to the final Terms of Reference and why were they different to the ones agreed with yourself and Hayden Newton?
The external investigator met with Deloittes, which is when the final Terms of Reference (June) were approved. The Trust is unable to establish why these TOR differ from the original conversation with yourself and Hayden as Hayden no longer works for the Trust.

• Why was the Trust in contact with the external investigator months after the investigation had completed?
The external investigator was working with the Trust on a different investigation at this time. From memory, a senior member of HR suggested checking to see whether the equipment was still in use to see if further work could be completed, unfortunately there is no document to support this request. However this is why the external investigator asked this question.

• The Trust said the computers were destroyed before the investigation began but then when we supplied the dates, most of them were not.
Our response on 15.01.14 is perhaps misleading. The computers were not checked as part of the investigation but when the computers were checked in November/December 2012 to see if the equipment was still in use and if further work could be completed on this, it was identified that they had all been destroyed by this point.

Kind regards

Complaints and Claims Manager
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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Dear East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Can you please tell me the name of the person who conducted this "review", some 5 months after it was actually requested?

Yours sincerely,

D Perrin