Delivery and monitoring of the Prevent duty in healthcare

The request was refused by NHS England.

Dear NHS England,

I would like to request the following information under the FOI Act.

I am interested in the role of NHS England in the delivery and monitoring of the Prevent duty in healthcare.

I would like to request a copy of the following:

1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the NHS England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together with a list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of all its meetings to date

2. a) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on the numbers of Prevent referrals they have made via the NHS Digital Strategic Data Collection System (SDCS)
b) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on the numbers of staff trained via Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent
c) Template form via which NHS England shares this information with the Home Office and the Department of Health

3. Document(s) outlining consultations related to the Prevent policy (including but limited to training materials, implementation, monitoring) involving NHS England and any of the following:
a) Home Office
b) Department of Health
c) any of the Royal Colleges
d) mental health practitioners

4. Any document(s) related to monitoring possible impacts of Prevent, including but not limited to effects on the following groups:
a) people from BME backgrounds
b) people with mental health problems

5. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or written correspondence with outside bodies) about the need / rationale for producing the following document: "PROCESS FOR RESPONDING TO PREVENT / EXTREMISM Freedom of Information Act REQUESTS" (Publications Gateway Ref. No. 04364), published in September 2016

6. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or written correspondence with outside bodies) about the rationale for the decision not to cooperate with independent research requests related to Prevent while the Independent Review led by Lord Carlile is underway (I was informed that this decision was taken "at a senior level within this organisation" by Paul McCann, Prevent Regional Coordinator (London and South), NHS England and this was confirmed by Chris Stoddart, another NHS England Prevent Regional Coordinator).

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can clarify any part of this request.

Also, please note that if this request is too large, please proceed with processing parts 1-4 only.

Yours faithfully,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear  Hilary Aked ,

Thank you for your communication dated 14 November 2019.

NHS England has assessed your communication as a request under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act 2000. As such, please be assured that your
request is being dealt with under the terms of the FOI Act and will be
answered within twenty working days.

For further information regarding the FOI Act, please refer to the
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website. For further information
regarding NHS England and the information it publishes please visit our
website here.

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please remember to quote the above reference
number in any future communications.

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate
NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [3][NHS England request email]

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

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FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

2 Attachments

Dear Hilary Aked,

Re:     Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-1911-1099350)

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 14 November
2019

Your exact request was:- 
 

“I would like to request the following information under the FOI Act.

I am interested in the role of NHS England in the delivery and monitoring
of the Prevent duty in healthcare.

I would like to request a copy of the following:

1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the NHS
England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together with a
list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of all its
meetings to date

2. a) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on
the numbers of Prevent referrals they have made via the NHS Digital
Strategic Data Collection System (SDCS)
 b) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on the
numbers of staff trained via Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent
 c) Template form via which NHS England shares this information with the
Home Office and the Department of Health

3. Document(s) outlining consultations related to the Prevent policy
(including but limited to training materials, implementation, monitoring)
involving NHS England and any of the following:
a) Home Office
b) Department of Health
c) any of the Royal Colleges
d) mental health practitioners

4. Any document(s) related to monitoring possible impacts of Prevent,
including but not limited to effects on the following groups:
a) people from BME backgrounds
b) people with mental health problems

5. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or
written correspondence with outside bodies) about the need / rationale for
producing the following document: "PROCESS FOR RESPONDING TO PREVENT /
EXTREMISM Freedom of Information Act REQUESTS" (Publications Gateway Ref.
No. 04364), published in September 2016

6. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or
written correspondence with outside bodies) about the rationale for the
decision not to cooperate with independent research requests related to
Prevent while the Independent Review led by Lord Carlile is underway (I
was informed that this decision was taken "at a senior level within this
organisation" by Paul McCann, Prevent Regional Coordinator (London and
South), NHS England and this was confirmed by Chris Stoddart, another NHS
England Prevent Regional Coordinator).”

 
NHS England holds some recorded information in relation to your request.
 

 1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the
NHS England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together
with a list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of
all its meetings to date

NHS England Holds some recorded information in relation to this request
and can confirm the following meeting dates;
 

* 19 June 2019
* 24 July 2019
* 21 August 2019
* 18 September 2019
* 16 October 2019
* 13 November 2019
* 11 December 2019
* 22 January 2020
* 19 February 2020
* 18 March 2020

All meetings hosted at Department of Health and Social Care at 39 Victoria
Street.
 

 2. a) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on
the numbers of Prevent referrals they have made via the NHS Digital
Strategic Data Collection System (SDCS)

b) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on the
numbers of staff trained via Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent
c) Template form via which NHS England shares this information with the
Home Office and the Department of Health
 
Please find attached;

* The NHS Trust Quarterly SDCS template
* The Department of Health and Social Care report template

  

 3. Document(s) outlining consultations related to the Prevent policy
(including but limited to training materials, implementation,
monitoring) involving NHS England and any of the following:

 1. Home Office
 2. Department of Health
 3. any of the Royal Colleges
 4. mental health practitioners

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold recorded information in
relation to this element of your request. NHS England and NHS Improvement
signpost all systems leaders and practitioners to the Prevent webpage on
the [1]Home Office website
 

 4. Any document(s) related to monitoring possible impacts of Prevent,
including but not limited to effects on the following groups:

a) people from BME backgrounds
b) people with mental health problems

NHS England does not hold information in relation to this element of your
request. This level of granularity does not exist within our held
information.
 

 5. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or
written correspondence with outside bodies) about the need / rationale
for producing the following document: "PROCESS FOR RESPONDING TO
PREVENT / EXTREMISM Freedom of Information Act REQUESTS" (Publications
Gateway Ref. No. 04364), published in September 2016

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold recorded information in
relation to this element of your request. NHS England and NHS Improvement
signpost all systems leaders and practitioners to the Prevent webpage on
the Home Office website
 

 6. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or
written correspondence with outside bodies) about the rationale for
the decision not to cooperate with independent research requests
related to Prevent while the Independent Review led by Lord Carlile is
underway (I was informed that this decision was taken "at a senior
level within this organisation" by Paul McCann, Prevent Regional
Coordinator (London and South), NHS England and this was confirmed by
Chris Stoddart, another NHS England Prevent Regional Coordinator).”

NHS England and NHS Improvement officers do not participate in
any independent research.

Copyright:- NHS England operates under the terms of the open government
licence. Please see the NHS England Terms and conditions on the following
link [2]http://www.england.nhs.uk/terms-and-cond...

We hope this information is helpful. However, if you are dissatisfied, you
have the right to ask for an internal review. This should be requested in
writing within two months of the date of this letter. Your correspondence
should be labelled “Internal Review” and should outline your concerns
and/or the area(s) you would like the review to consider. Internal Review
requests should be sent to:

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

Please quote the reference number FOI-1911-1099350 in any future
communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Email: [4][email address]  
Website: [5]www.ico.org.uk

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

Please be aware that in line with the Information Commissioner’s directive
on the disclosure of information under the FOI Act, your request will be
anonymised and published on our website as part of our disclosure log.

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [6][NHS England request email].

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [NHS England request email]

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Dear NHS England,

Thank you for replying to my FOI request and for providing the information that you did.

I would however like to press you for more information related to part 1 of my request, which was:

1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the
NHS England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together
with a list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of
all its meetings to date

In your response, you provided a list of the dates of meetings and their location. However, I would still like to see a copy of a) any document(s) on the structure, role/brief/purpose of the Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent b) a list of its members. Please could you conduct an internal review of this request to ensure due consideration is given to releasing the rest of the information requested?

In addition, may I request (c) a copy of the minutes for all the meetings up to and including the most recent one in December 2019.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Hilary Aked ,

Thank you for email of  16 December 2019 . Please see this email as
acknowledgement of your Internal Review request. Please note that Internal
Reviews cannot address additional requests for information, in this
instance we will assess your follow up queries and answer them under the
FOI act. This information will then be presented together with the outcome
of the Internal Review.

We endeavour to respond to Internal Reviews within 20 working days.
However, please be aware that on some occasions this has been extended to
40 working days. An officer will be allocated to handle your Internal
Review and will update you accordingly where necessary.
If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [1][NHS England request email] and the message will be
forwarded appropriately. Please remember to quote the above reference
number in any future communications.

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate
NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [3][NHS England request email]

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

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Dear FOI Team,

Thank you for your email.

In that case, could you please treat part (c) of the request as a new FOI?

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Good Afternoon Hilary,

we will action your FOI as a new request.
 
 Yours sincerely, 

 Freedom of Information
 Corporate Communications Team

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Dear FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24),

I am writing to inquire about the progress of

1) an interview review I requested on 17 December into the handling of my FOI request, originally sent 14 October 2019.
2) a response to the other part of my query which I asked to be treated as a new FOI request when I was told the internal review could not incorporate any new elements

I'd be very grateful for a prompt update as I believe these are now both overdue.

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Hilary Aked,

We write further to your email dated 29 January 2020 in relation to your
Internal Review request reference FOI-1912-1113760 which included a
further FOI request..

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your requests.
NHS England is not in a position to respond to your requests at this time.
Please be assured that we are still progressing your requests and will
provide you with a full response as soon as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [1][NHS England request email]

‘Health and high quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI Team,

I appreciate the apology for the delay.

However, I'd like to politely nag again for a responses as these are now well overdue.

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

1 Attachment

Dear Hilary Akked,

Re:      Freedom of Information Internal Review outcome (Our Ref:
FOI-1912-1113760 IR)

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) Internal Review request
dated 16 December 2019

Your original FOI request was received by NHS England on 14 November 2019,
and read:-

I would like to request the following information under the FOI Act.

I am interested in the role of NHS England in the delivery and monitoring
of the Prevent duty in healthcare.

I would like to request a copy of the following:

1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the NHS
England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together with a
list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of all its
meetings to date

2. a) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on
the numbers of Prevent referrals they have made via the NHS Digital
Strategic Data Collection System (SDCS)
 b) Template form via which NHS Trusts submit quarterly statistics on the
numbers of staff trained via Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent
 c) Template form via which NHS England shares this information with the
Home Office and the Department of Health

3. Document(s) outlining consultations related to the Prevent policy
(including but limited to training materials, implementation, monitoring)
involving NHS England and any of the following:
a) Home Office
b) Department of Health
c) any of the Royal Colleges
d) mental health practitioners

4. Any document(s) related to monitoring possible impacts of Prevent,
including but not limited to effects on the following groups:
a) people from BME backgrounds
b) people with mental health problems

5. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or
written correspondence with outside bodies) about the need / rationale for
producing the following document: "PROCESS FOR RESPONDING TO PREVENT /
EXTREMISM Freedom of Information Act REQUESTS" (Publications Gateway Ref.
No. 04364), published in September 2016

6. Information (including but not limited to documents and/or email or
written correspondence with outside bodies) about the rationale for the
decision not to cooperate with independent research requests related to
Prevent while the Independent Review led by Lord Carlile is underway (I
was informed that this decision was taken "at a senior level within this
organisation" by Paul McCann, Prevent Regional Coordinator (London and
South), NHS England and this was confirmed by Chris Stoddart, another NHS
England Prevent Regional Coordinator).

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can clarify any part of this
request.

Also, please note that if this request is too large, please proceed with
processing parts 1-4 only.

Your Internal Review request was received by NHS England on 16 December
2019, and read:-

           Further response:
I would however like to press you for more information related to part 1
of my request, which was:

1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the
NHS England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together
with a list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of
all its meetings to date

In your response, you provided a list of the dates of meetings and their
location. However, I would still like to see a copy of a) any document(s)
on the structure, role/brief/purpose of the Safeguarding “Implementation
Group” on Prevent b) a list of its members. Please could you conduct an
internal review of this request to ensure due consideration is given to
releasing the rest of the information requested?

In addition, may I request (c) a copy of the minutes for all the meetings
up to and including the most recent one in December 2019.

The FOI Management team have reviewed your request and this letter
provides the outcome of this review. It may be helpful if we first explain
that an Internal Review looks at the handling of, and response given to, a
Freedom of Information request which has previously been made. The scope
of an Internal Review is therefore limited to considering whether the
request(s) was appropriately handled and whether the response given was
accurate and appropriate. An Internal Review cannot consider any new
queries not originally included in the relevant FOI request(s); these
should be submitted as new FOI requests via our Contact Centre.

As such the Internal Review portion of this response concerns the
following element of your correspondence;

1. Any document(s) describing the structure, role/brief/purpose of the
NHS England Safeguarding “Implementation Group” on Prevent, together
with a list of its members and a list of the dates and locations of
all its meetings to date

In your response, you provided a list of the dates of meetings and their
location. However, I would still like to see a copy of a) any document(s)
on the structure, role/brief/purpose of the Safeguarding “Implementation
Group” on Prevent b) a list of its members. Please could you conduct an
internal review of this request to ensure due consideration is given to
releasing the rest of the information requested?

It was noted that your original response was issued within the statutory
guidelines of 20 working days.

We have also assessed whether you received an appropriate response to your
request and considered the comments you have set out in your Internal
Review email.

It is the conclusion of this review that NHS England’s original response
was not appropriate.

Due to an administrative error an attachment was removed from our original
response, which contained information you requested. We apologise for this
error and have attached the document (Prevent Task & Finish ToR v2.1
110918) as part of our internal review response. Please accept NHS
England’s apologies for this oversight.

In line with the above, our original response is not upheld.

In relation to this element of your correspondence;

In addition, may I request (c) a copy of the minutes for all the meetings
up to and including the most recent one in December 2019

NHS England consider this to be a new request for information. However we
will respond to it as part of the Internal Review process.

NHS England holds this information.

However, we are withholding this information under Section 24 of the FOI
Act, which provides that information is exempt if required for the
purposes of safeguarding national security. It is felt that the release of
this information would provide insight into the response process of the
emergency services to an incident, which would pose a risk to national
security. Whilst information may appear to be innocuous there is a
recognition that terrorists can be highly motivated and may go to great
lengths to gather intelligence.

This means there are grounds for withholding information on the basis that
it may assist terrorists when pieced together with other information they
may obtain and which may be in the public domain either now or in the
future.

When enacting Section 24 an organisation must consider whether the public
interest is in favour of releasing the information regardless.

Our balancing exercise is set out below.

NHS England is committed to providing information in an open and
transparent manner. There is an inherent public interest in being able to
request and receive information under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act. We recognise that there is a public interest in
information pertaining to NHS responses to a crisis and a general interest
in transparency of service. However, NHS England is of the opinion that
release of this information could impact national security and subvert
responses to future incidents. Further, it is felt that the nature of the
risk adds weight to the public interest in withholding the information.
The consequences of a subversion of NHS response protocols to an incident
such as a terrorist attack are so great that even if there was only a low
risk that disclosing the information would aid such an attack, there is a
very strong public interest in withholding the information.

We hope that this addresses your concerns. However, if you are not content
with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Email: [1][email address]  
Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [3][NHS England request email] .
   
Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [4][NHS England request email]

‘Health and high quality care for all, now and for future generations’
 

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Dear NHS England FOI Team,

Thank you very much for providing the Prevent Task Finish Group ToR. Could you clarify for me the different between this group and the Prevent Implementation Group listed on the website? Or are they the same body, just with a newer name?

Thank you for considering my FOI request for the minutes of the group's meetings. It's disappointing that the conclusion has been not to release the minutes.

I would like to appeal this decision and request that an internal review is performed, because I fail to see how the reasons given are applicable.

The response states: "It is felt that the release of this information would provide insight into the response process of the emergency services to an incident, which would pose a risk to national security." Prevent operates in the pre-criminal space, as NHS England's own documents note. It has nothing to do with the emergency services, but is about spotting people deemed vulnerable to radicalisation long before they might consider committing a terrorist crime which could harm others and cause emergency services to be involved.

Secondly, the response states that "Whilst information may appear to be innocuous there is a recognition that terrorists can be highly motivated and may go to great lengths to gather intelligence." This seems to me a really strange point to assert in favour of non-disclosure. While it's probably true that effective terrorists can't afford to be lazy, their levels of motivation are immaterial. What matters, to invoke section 24, is to demonstrate risk to national security.

Finally, I feel the public interest in disclosure had been under-estimated. The government and NHS England insist that Prevent is a safeguarding policy. If so, there ought to be as much transparency about this as possible - while preserving individuals' anonymity - so that the public can be assured vulnerable people are being kept safe. For national security to be invoked as a reason for non-disclosure merely suggests that Prevent is not in fact a safeguarding measure but a security measure.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Aked

Dear NHS England FOI Team,

I requested an internal review more than 20 days ago into the decision not to release the minutes of meetings of the Prevent Implementation Group on "national security" (s24) grounds.

I was expecting the outcome to this yesterday. Please could you update me as to its progress?

Thank you and best wishes,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Hilary Aked,

We are writing with regard to your Freedom of Information Internal review
request dated 16 December 2019.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
NHS England is not in a position to respond to your request at this time.
We are still in the process of assessing your IR request and will provide
you with a full response as soon as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware that
you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Email: [1][email address]
Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows: PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [3][NHS England request email].

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Corporate Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [4][NHS England request email]

‘Health and high quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

show quoted sections

Dear NHSE,

I am still awaiting the internal review.

I understand there may be delays due to the current Covid-19 situation.

However, I would appreciate it if you could estimate when you will be able to respond?

thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Hilary Aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Hilary Aked,

We are writing with regard to your communication dated 07 April 2020.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your Internal
Review request. We can confirm that we are still in the process of
finalising the response and will provide it to you as soon as possible. At
this stage, we are unable to give a specific date when we expect to be
able to respond. Please be assured, however, that we are still working to
ensure that our response is forwarded to you as soon as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware that
you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Email: [1][email address]
Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows: PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [3][NHS England request email].

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Communications
Office of the Chairs, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [4][NHS England request email]

‘Health and High quality care for all, now and for future generations’ 

 

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Dear NHS England,

I am writing to inquire about the progress of the internal review since I last heard from you in mid-April,

Yours sincerely,

Hilary aked

FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Hilary Aked,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) Internal Review request
dated 13 February 2020. Please accept our apologies for the delay in
responding to your request.

Your original FOI request was received by NHS England on 16 December 2019
and related to Prevent, your request read:-

In addition, may I request (c) a copy of the minutes for all the meetings 
up to and including the most recent one in December 2019

Your Internal Review request was received by NHS England on 13 February
2020, and read:-

Thank you for considering my FOI request for the minutes of the group's
meetings. It's disappointing that the conclusion has been not to release
the minutes.

I would like to appeal this decision and request that an internal review
is performed, because I fail to see how the reasons given are applicable.

The response states: "It is felt that the release of this information
would provide insight into the response process of the emergency services
to an incident, which would pose a risk to national security." Prevent
operates in the pre-criminal space, as NHS England's own documents note.
It has nothing to do with the emergency services, but is about spotting
people deemed vulnerable to radicalisation long before they might consider
committing a terrorist crime which could harm others and cause emergency
services to be involved.

Secondly, the response states that "Whilst information may appear to be
innocuous there is a recognition that terrorists can be highly motivated
and may go to great lengths to gather intelligence." This seems to me a
really strange point to assert in favour of non-disclosure. While it's
probably true that effective terrorists can't afford to be lazy, their
levels of motivation are immaterial. What matters, to invoke section 24,
is to demonstrate risk to national security.

Finally, I feel the public interest in disclosure had been
under-estimated. The government and NHS England insist that Prevent is a
safeguarding policy. If so, there ought to be as much transparency about
this as possible - while preserving individuals' anonymity - so that the
public can be assured vulnerable people are being kept safe. For national
security to be invoked as a reason for non-disclosure merely suggests that
Prevent is not in fact a safeguarding measure but a security measure.

The FOI Management team have reviewed your request and this letter
provides the outcome of this review. It may be helpful if we first explain
that an Internal Review looks at the handling of, and response given to, a
Freedom of Information request which has previously been made. The scope
of an Internal Review is therefore limited to considering whether the
request(s) was appropriately handled and whether the response given was
accurate and appropriate. An Internal Review cannot consider any new
queries not originally included in the relevant FOI request(s); these
should be submitted as new FOI requests via our Contact Centre.

It was noted that your original response was issued over the statutory
guidelines of 20 working days.

We would like to apologise for the length of time it took to provide you
with a response to your request. This fell short of our standards and we
would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay incurred.

We have also assessed whether you received an appropriate response to your
request and considered the comments you have set out in your Internal
Review email.

Where the use of s 24 of the FOI Act is indicated the threat of
undermining National Security from disclosure has to be real but does not
have to be a direct or immediate threat to the UK or its citizens. This
also includes consideration of protecting potential targets, even if there
is no evidence that an attack is imminent.
 
NHS England considers that disclosure of the requested meeting minutes
would release information in to the public domain in respect of the
Prevent business of training and referrals, which are the purpose of the
meetings. If disclosed this would allow individuals to understand the
Government and NHS approach to prevention of terrorism and terrorism
related crime and therefore could allow individuals to understand how to
subvert the prevention programme.

It is also the case that the information could be put together with other
information, either already in the public domain or which may enter the
public domain in the future, allowing a detailed picture of Prevent work
both nationally and regionally to be built up and could reveal patterns
and ways of working which could then be used to undermine the prevent
programmes.

It is also considered that terrorists will have a high level of motivation
to seek out even minimal data, in order to combine it with other available
data and build an overall picture of the preventative steps being taken or
being considered by Prevent. Therefore, as a disclosure under FOI is a
disclosure to the world at large consideration of the motivation of
individuals who may seek to use the information in order to undermine
National Security is relevant.

For these reasons it is the outcome of the review that section 24 was
correctly engaged.

As was indicated in the original response, however, NHS England is also
required to undertake a Public Interest Test in relation to information
being withheld under section 24 of the Act. Consequently, the FOI
management team has also reviewed the public interest test arguments both
for and against disclosure of the requested material.

For disclosure

* There is a public interest in understanding how Prevent is operated
and to provide assurance that it is achieving objectives and being
used effectively.

 

* There is also a public interest in understanding what action the
Government is taking to protect communities.

 Against disclosure

* There is a real and serious terrorism threat in England and the UK as
a whole.
* Disclosure into the public domain would jeopardise or negate the
Government’s efforts to prevent acts of terrorism and terror related
crime.
* Disclosure will divulge information which could be used against the
counter terrorism strategies in the UK therefore breaching national
security.
* When put together with other information already in the public domain,
or which may be in the public domain in the future, disclosure would
allow a detailed picture of Prevent work across the country, which
could reveal a pattern of working which may then be used to undermine
the prevent programmes.
* Disclosure would undermine the ability of the programme to identify
and protect vulnerable people and work with them.
* Disclosure would reveal strategies and possible planned actions
through the programme and would allow these to be subverted.

In the circumstances it is considered that the Public Interest remains in
the information being withheld.

Therefore, in line with the above, it is the view of the FOI management
team that the exemption was engaged correctly and the original response is
upheld.

We hope that this addresses your concerns. However, if you are not content
with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Email: [1][email address]  
Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [3][NHS England request email] .
   
Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information
Communications Team
Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

NHS England
PO Box 16738
REDDITCH
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: [4][NHS England request email]
 

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Dear FOITEAMCRMMAILBOX (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24),

Thanks for the response.

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Aked