DHSC Covid-19 action plan - January 2020

Amanda Hart made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

FoI request: From files and records please kindly provide documents showing your Covid-19 action plan/ action taken against Covid-19 by your department from 1st January 2020 to 31st January 2020.

Yours faithfully,

Amanda Hart
for Stop UK lies and Corruption.

Department of Health and Social Care

This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health and Social Care. 

We are currently experiencing high volumes of enquiries and we are
focusing our resources on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The answers to many questions, including the latest information on
COVID-19, can be found on [1]GOV.UK, the [2]Department of Health and
Social Care website or by visiting the [3]NHS website. We may not respond
to you if the answer to your enquiry can be found on either of these
websites. Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send a response within
18 working days, or 20 working days if your query is a Freedom of
Information request or complaint.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please
visit [4]111.nhs.uk or telephone your GP surgery immediately for further
advice. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital directly.

If you are a business interested in helping the government increase
COVID-19 testing capacity, please visit this [5]Government website. Please
note that the service to offer other COVID-19 support from your business
has closed.

If you are clinician looking to support the NHS, please visit the NHS
Professionals websitehttps://www.nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk/ for further
information. 

If you are a clinician who has retired within the last 6 years and would
like more information on how to apply for the temporary register, please
visit the NHS England
websitehttp://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/re....

If you want to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,
please visit this
website[6]https://www.gov.uk/volunteering/coronavi... for
more information. 

The Department of Health and Social Care does not process complaints about
the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the [7]Complaints Procedure page on GOV.UK.

You can find out more about the Department’s commitments from our Personal
Information
Charterhttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
3. https://www.nhs.uk/
4. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
5. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-the-gov...
6. https://www.gov.uk/volunteering/coronavi...
7. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Ms Hart,
Thank you for your request of 16 February 2021 under the Freedom of
Information Act (Ref: FOI-1306043).
I am writing to inform you that the Department's consideration of the
balance of the public interest with regards to your request is not yet
complete and requires further time to complete in line with Section 10(3)
of the FOI Act.
 
The Department is currently assessing the public interest in release under
Section 35 - information relating to the formulation and development of
government policy.
 
We anticipate this process will take no longer than a further 20 working
days to complete. We therefore aim to respond fully to your request by 15
April 2021.
 
Please accept my apologies for this delay.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Piper Hewitt-Dudding
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

Internal review if no valid response by 17th April 2021

Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Ms Hart,
Thank you for your request of 16 February 2021 under the Freedom of
Information Act (Ref: FOI-1306043).
I am writing to inform you that the Department's consideration of the
balance of the public interest with regards to your request is still under
completion and requires further time to complete in line with Section
10(3) of the FOI Act.
 
The Department is still assessing the public interest in release under
Section 35 - information relating to the formulation and development of
government policy.
 
We anticipate this process will take no longer than a further 20 working
days to complete. We therefore aim to respond fully to your request by
14 May 2021.
 
We acknowledge that we have extended once before, and apologise for this
further delay.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Piper Hewitt-Dudding
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'DHSC Covid-19 action plan - January 2020'. Your ref FOI-1306043.

On 16th February 2021 we asked your department to kindly provide documents showing your Covid-19 action plan/ action taken against Covid-19 by your department from 1st January 2020 to 31st January 2020.

On 16th March 2021 you stated another 20 working days was needed to establish if it was in the public interest to release what you had done to tackle Covid-19 between 1st January 2020 and 31st January 2020. We accepted this.

However on 15th April 2021 you issued the same statement again claiming you need another 20 working days to decide on whether to show the public what you did during that first month of January 2020. We do not accept that this extra 20 working days on top of the extension you've already been given is in fact necessary. Lives were lost in January to Covid-19 and the public need to know what you were doing.

As always should you indicate you will not be conducting an internal review until a valid response has been given to the FoI request this will satisfy the criteria for us to take this matter up 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/d...

Yours faithfully,

Amanda Hart
for Stop UK lies and Corruption.

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Ms Hart,

Thank you for your email. I apologise for the length of time it is taking to respond to your FOI request.

As you are aware, DHSC does not conduct internal reviews until a response to the initial case has been issued. Although organisations can choose to conduct an internal review to assess the handling process where they have taken more than 20 working days to respond, DHSC uses the internal review process once the initial case is complete to ensure that any exemptions that have been used have been applied correctly, and that all information within the scope of the request was considered.

We will therefore not be conducting an internal review. We will respond to your FOI request as soon as we are able.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

Reported to ICO 20th April 2021.

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

ICO code IC-101680-Y2P3

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Hart,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1306043).

Yours sincerely, 

Piper Hewitt-Dudding
Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

IC-101680-Y2P3. Updated ICO. Since the DHSC were obviously not spending the extra 40 working days they asked for deciding if it was in the public interest to release it we still want to see it and require the ICO to act.

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'DHSC Covid-19 action plan - January 2020'. Ref FOI-1306043, IC-101680-Y2P3.

The law is clear that extra time may only be requested for the purposes of deciding if it's in the public interest to release the information. The matter of whether the information requested would exceed costs MUST be decided within the initial 20 working days. Clearly you have not complied with the Act.

While it is reasonable for some Freedom of Information requests to be denied on costs grounds, it does not apply to a request for an action plan which by its very nature will exist in one file because it was created by key officials out of government policy rather than the cleaner's mother and the porter's friends wife's brother as it were.

While it may be reasonable for sections of such a plan to be subsequently copied and split up for separate groups to follow it would certainly still exist in a primary and centrally-held place.

Your implication that parts of this action plan are stored all over with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing is frankly not in keeping with a publicly-funded government department that is expected to keep its key records in a readily accessible state. If yours are not then this would put you in breach of the Public Records Act since an 'action plan' most certainly qualifies as 'key records'.

We still require the requested information.

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

Yours faithfully,

Amanda Hart
for Stop UK lies and Corruption.

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

Report to ICO if no response before 17th August 2021.

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

Reported to ICO.

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Hart,

I apologise for the length of time it has taken to carry out your requested internal review of FOI-1306043.

The review is now complete. Please see the attached letter for the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

show quoted sections

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

IC-101680-Y2P3. Updated ICO.

Amanda Hart left an annotation ()

IC-101680-Y2P3. ICO has informed us this case has been allocated for investigation.