Freedom of Information request - Direct Engagement of Locum Staff using third parties

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH made this Freedom of Information request to Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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

The request was successful.

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Freedom of Information request - Direct Engagement of Locum Staff using third parties

I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I would be interested in any information held by your organisation regarding my request. I understand that I do not have to specify particular files or documents and it is the departments responsibility to provide the information I require. If you need further clarification please contact me via this website (or email). I would like to request the following information:

1. Does your organization use a Direct Engagement scheme?
2. If so, who provides it? And when did you start using it?
3. Did you take external legal advice before entering into it and, if so, from whom did you take external legal advice?
4. What has your total locum/temporary staffing spend since you started using the scheme? If you started using the scheme before April 2017 please also state the total locum/temporary staffing spend since April 2017.
5. How does the third party direct engagement facilitator save you money on the agency spend? Please answer in short point form
6. How much has been paid to the third party direct engagement facilitator thus far?
7. Was this payment calculated as a percentage of the savings generated by employing the services of the third party direct engagement facilitator? If so, what percentage is this?

I would like the information to be provided by email or on this website in electronic form. If my request is denied in whole or in part I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive fees. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request. I look forward to your response within 20 working days as outlined by the statute. Many thanks for your assistance with this request.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

Freedom of Information Act Request Acknowledgment

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Office at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We confirm that we have received your correspondence.

Your request below is being considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days following the date on which the request was received, as defined by the Act, subject to the information not being covered by an exemption or containing reference to a third party.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent release of some or all of the information you have requested. There will be an assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release some or all of the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.

There may be a fee payable for this information. This will be considered and you will be informed if as fee is payable. In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of payment. You will be informed if this is the case.
If you have made a request for information held by the Trust - we will contact you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will respond to you within the statutory timescale of 20 working days following the date on which the request was received.

If you have any further queries or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact us.

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI,

I wish to remind you that this FOI response is now extremely overdue. Could you please respond to the request. This should have occurred within 20 days.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 16 May 2018, which has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Your request and our response are as follows:

Your request:

1. Does your organization use a Direct Engagement scheme?
2. If so, who provides it? And when did you start using it?
3. Did you take external legal advice before entering into it and, if so, from whom did you take external legal advice?
4. What has your total locum/temporary staffing spend since you started using the scheme? If you started using the scheme before April 2017 please also state the total locum/temporary staffing spend since April 2017.
5. How does the third party direct engagement facilitator save you money on the agency spend? Please answer in short point form 6. How much has been paid to the third party direct engagement facilitator thus far?
7. Was this payment calculated as a percentage of the savings generated by employing the services of the third party direct engagement facilitator? If so, what percentage is this?

Our response:

1. This trust does not use a Direct Engagement Scheme. Your subsequent questions are therefore not applicable.

I hope that the response that the Trust has provided is satisfactory.  However, if you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Freedom of Information request has been dealt with you can request an internal review. Please email [email address] within 40 working days with clarification of what you would like to be reviewed. We will aim to provide a review response within 20 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the matter. Further details can be found on their website: http://www.informationcommissioners.gov.....

Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 – General statement of compliance

The Trust for its part is happy for you to reuse any of the information supplied to you in compliance with the Open Government Licence (OGL) terms:  Please click here for further details http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents... .  We do not permit the forwarding or sale of staff/departmental contact details and a specific Re-use of Information Regulations request is required for such purposes.

If relevant, you will need the permission of other information owners.  This can occur when you receive a document which is co-authored or where the ownership lies with another organisation.  Provision under both the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 does not entitle you to re-use the information without appropriate permissions.  Use must be in compliance with an Open Government Licence or other agreed terms.

We ask that you take a couple of minutes and complete a short survey in relation to your FOI request. The questions relate to your request and how it was handled and the response received. Click here.

Kind regards,

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Freedom of Information request - Direct Engagement of Locum Staff using third parties'.

This reply does not appear to be correct as per the information we hold unless you were using such a provider and then stopped using them? In which case can you please confirm the date on which you stopped using them and answer all questions with respect to this provider.

We already hold copies of the contracts between the hospital and PSCs that formed part of the direct engagement scheme you were previously using.

From our information this scheme was implemented on or around November 2015, contracts were sent out via Medacs Healthcare and potentially other agencies on your behalf through the online timesheet billing platform in use.

Could the Trust confirm who provided this direct engagement scheme and answer the above questions with respect to the provider. Could the trust also clarify whether it is still using this provider or whether it has ceased to do so.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

You say that the response that we sent you today does not appear to be correct unless we were using a Direct Engagement provider until recently but have now stopped using them.

That is exactly the position.

However, as it was written - all in the present tense - your request concerned only the position as it is now, to which our response is accurate.

If you wish to request information concerning recent use of a discontinued Direct Engagement provider, please indicate this and we will be happy to set up a fresh request to deal with that.

Also, now that you know why our response to your original request said truthfully that we do not currently use a Direct Engagement provider, can you please confirm whether you wish us to conduct an internal review of the request we sent earlier today?

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI,

If you could supply all the original answers with respect to the discontinued provider it would be very much appreciated. I should state that I assumed this to be an oversight rather than being untruthful.

I would appreciate your answers to the above at your earliest convenience and whilst this could be handled as a new FOI without conducting an internal review I would welcome the information as soon as possible, I am happy with whichever means of processing this internally best suits you in achieving this and if this would be best served by cancelling the internal review request and handling this expediently as a new request I would very much appreciate it.

Could you additionally also supply under the Freedom of Information Act:

1) Minutes of the meeting at which it was decided to discontinue the direct engagement service.
2) The cancellation communication to the provider.

Many thanks for this - by the way I am extremely pleased to see Basildon undertaking what appears to be prudent financial decisions and due diligence in respect of cancelling the use of such schemes .

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

It has been brought to my attention that I did not acknowledge your message below, for which I apologise on behalf of the trust.

I forwarded your message in June to the colleagues who provided the initial response and "chased" the matter the following month. The last I heard, discussions were in progress concerning whether it was appropriate to release all of the requested information.

I have now chased the matter again and will contact you as soon as I receive anything, and, as the ICO has requested, certainly before 20 September.

With best regards and apologies for the continuing delay,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

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Larn, Alan, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 27 june 2018, which has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Your request and our response are as follows:

Your request:

1. Does your organization use a Direct Engagement scheme?
Response: No, not since 31/03/2018

2. Who provided the most recent scheme?
Response: Medacs.

And when did you start using it?
Response: October 2015

3. Did you take external legal advice before entering into it and, if so, from whom did you take external legal advice?
Response: No evidence has been found to indicate that we did.

4. What was your total locum/temporary staffing spend from the time you started using the scheme?
Response: *Total Medical temporary staffing spend from 1st October 2015 to 31st March 2017 = £9,397,713

If you started using the scheme before April 2017 please also state the total locum/temporary staffing spend since April 2017.
Response: *Total Medical temporary staffing spend from 1st April 2017 to 31st August 2018 = £8,408,043

*Note: These figures are for ALL of the trust's agency and temporary staff spending for the periods described; they DO NOT refer solely to payments related to the direct engagement scheme.

5. How does did the third party direct engagement facilitator save you money on the agency spend? Please answer in short point form
Response: Admin fee from Medacs is/was lower than agency mark-up.

6. How much was paid to the third party direct engagement facilitator while the arrangement was in effect?
Response: Commission paid to Medacs for *all services from 1st October 2015 to 31st August 2018 = £607,706.

*Note: Medacs is paid as a Managed Service for locum doctors so they receive commission from the Trust to manage the locum bookings and the relationships with other agencies on our behalf. This figure is for ALL services provided by Medacs over the period; it DOES NOT refer solely to payments related to the direct engagement scheme.

7. Was this payment calculated as a percentage of the savings generated by employing the services of the third party direct engagement facilitator?
Response: Yes.

If so, what percentage is this?
Response: This figure is is withheld because it is exempt from disclosure. We are not obliged to provide information relating to commercial interests. On this occasion, we believe that the information you request in respect of the questions above would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person including the department which holds it as stated under section 43(2) of the Act.

In line with the terms of this exemption in the Freedom of Information Act, we have considered whether it would be in the public interest for us to provide you with the information, despite the exemption being applicable.

When assessing whether or not it was in the public interest to disclose the information you requested, we took into account the following factors:

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure:

• There is a general public interest in the disclosure of this information to ensure that there is transparency in, and accountability for, the management of public funds; that public money is being used effectively and that the Department is providing maximum value for the taxpayer.

Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information:

• There is a public interest against disclosure due to the impact it would have on the achievement of taxpayers’ value for money and on contractors’ competitiveness.

• Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals has a commercial responsibility to suppliers to hold confidential any information made available through the course of procuring goods and services, for example, pricing/rates offered and accepted.

• Releasing information of this nature into the public domain may prejudice the commercial activities and interests of both Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals and its suppliers were this information made available to competitors. Releasing the information of the supplier’s pricing would prejudice them in any future competition. In addition disclosure would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the department by affecting adversely its bargaining position during contractual negotiations which would result in the less effective use of public money.

In conclusion, we reached the view that, on balance, the public interest is better served by withholding this information at this time under Section 43 of the Act.

You can find out more about Section 43 by reading the extract from the Act and some guidance points we consider when applying this exemption, by reading the full text of the Act, available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

And now there are two additional questions about our decision to discontinue the arrangement.

8. Please provide a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which it was decided to discontinue the direct engagement service.
Response: Standard-format minutes were not kept of the regular meetings with the company, only a single block of notes. The notes of this meeting do not cover this part of the discussion.

9. Please provide a copy of the cancellation/termination/non-renewal communication to the provider. Verbal
Response: The decision was communicated verbally. There is no written record.

I hope that the response that the Trust has provided is satisfactory.  However, if you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Freedom of Information request has been dealt with you can request an internal review. Please email [email address] within 40 working days with clarification of what you would like to be reviewed. We will aim to provide a review response within 20 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the matter. Further details can be found on their website: http://www.informationcommissioners.gov.....

Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 – General statement of compliance

The Trust for its part is happy for you to reuse any of the information supplied to you in compliance with the Open Government Licence (OGL) terms:  Please click here for further details http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents... .  We do not permit the forwarding or sale of staff/departmental contact details and a specific Re-use of Information Regulations request is required for such purposes.

If relevant, you will need the permission of other information owners.  This can occur when you receive a document which is co-authored or where the ownership lies with another organisation.  Provision under both the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 does not entitle you to re-use the information without appropriate permissions.  Use must be in compliance with an Open Government Licence or other agreed terms.

We ask that you take a couple of minutes and complete a short survey in relation to your FOI request. The questions relate to your request and how it was handled and the response received. Click here.

Kind regards,

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Larn, Alan,

Many thanks for your response - which has been extremely useful.

I would like to make a further follow on Freedom of Information Act Request here now that we have established that Medacs Vantage was the Direct Engagement scheme previously used.

Under the freedom of Information Act 2000 could I please request:

With respect to the time period of the scheme's use:
1 )How many (non-locum) medacs group employees are based on your hospital site.
2)If there were medacs group employees based on your hospital site:

(a) What function did they serve? What is the benefit to the trust of having such employees on site?
(b) Did they have an office on site/desk?
(c) Was medacs charged for the provision of office space or is this afforded without cost by the trust?
(d) Did the medacs representative supervise/direct/control/manage anyone at the hospital site ? And if so did this include anyone involved in clinical care?
(e) Were such provisions part of the implementation of Medacs Vantage Managed Locum Services at the trust?

3) As a result of the use of this Direct Engagement scheme:

(a) Was VAT paid on the fee paid on the fee paid to locums you engaged?
(b) If not, what was the claimed basis of such an exemption with respect to the locum workers - (rather than the exemption with respect to the services to fill vacancies)? (this will be in their sales literature). Specifically could you clarify if it cited VAT notice 701/57 or supply of medical/healthcare services as the source of an exemption.
(c) Was VAT paid on the commission element/fee to Medacs?
(d) If not was this part of contracted out/managed services provisions?

4) When conducting IR35 assessments, do you claim locums are subject to the trusts Supervision Direction & Control?
5) How many locums have you engaged outside of IR35 in the last year? (this will be available through the trust reporting mechanisms to NHS Improvement and frameworks will also keep track of this).
6). Was the procurement of the Direct Engagement provider handled in house or by a framework, if so which framework handled this? (Eg via HTE/Total Workforce Solutions Lot 5, LPP, Crown Commercial Services, or other).

I look forward to your prompt response within the prescribed 20 days set out in the act, and I will keep a look out for any request for clarification within the first 48 hours. I would ask that you disclose all non-exempt information and that any exemptions are wholly justified by the act. Where it is claimed that information is subject to a qualified exemption please disclose your reasoning and we may wish to provide you with representations at that juncture, also with respect to any suggestion of breach of confidence please disclose a full dated copy of any non-disclosure agreement. I would appreciate if all non-exempt material could be disclosed.

Also, where you feel that an interpretation of tense, or literal application of language, may allow you to avoid answering something which is clearly the intent of the request, as in the initial answer where the spirit of the request clearly sought use of direct engagement schemes but, having recently ceased using one you avoided disclosure, could the spirit of the request please be taken into account when deciding what to disclose. That is to say it should be approached along the same lines as the 'mischief rule' and 'golden rule' of statutory interpretation rather than the 'literal rule' - namely where the intent is unclear please read any necessary extra words into the request necessary and construe them in such a way as to give effect to the intent of the requestor and request clarification if necessary to help you do so. I would also ask that, in applying this aspect of the request, the language only every be construed in such a way as to enlarge the scope never to reduce it.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

Freedom of Information Act Request Acknowledgment

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Office at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We confirm that we have received your correspondence.

Your request below is being considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days following the date on which the request was received, as defined by the Act, subject to the information not being covered by an exemption or containing reference to a third party.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent release of some or all of the information you have requested. There will be an assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release some or all of the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.

There may be a fee payable for this information. This will be considered and you will be informed if as fee is payable. In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of payment. You will be informed if this is the case.
If you have made a request for information held by the Trust - we will contact you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will respond to you within the statutory timescale of 20 working days following the date on which the request was received.

If you have any further queries or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact us.

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI,

Typo - 'where the intent is clear' rather than unclear. Sorry :-)

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

Thank you for contacting us and attempting to clarify your request.

I believe you have just encapsulated the situation. What one person may think is obvious may not be so at all to another. Rather than trying to second-guess an applicant's intentions, our practice is either to seek clarification before we answer or to answer the question as asked, on the assumption that, if the information that we provide is not what the applicant wanted, the applicant will soon let us know and explain the request, whereupon we will be happy to respond to it again. There is no question of evasion at any point.

In connection with your latest set of questions, I would like to ask you about question 1. I believe you are aware that the direct engagement scheme ended on 31 March, 2018, although we do still have relations with Medacs for other matters. In question 1 you ask "How many (non-locum) medacs group employees are based on your hospital site." By this, do you mean people provided or sourced by Medacs who are doing the work of the trust, or do you mean Medacs' "own" staff who are doing the work of Medacs, but who are simply located on trust premises?

I have asked my colleagues to let me know within 48 hours if they have any questions with regard to the rest of your request.

With best regards and thanks again,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI,

Many thanks for your clarification request, yes this was a typo, I had gone through changing present tenses to past ones as thought to the questions had originally been given with respect to current use rather than past use.

Please substitute 'were based' for 'are based'

And to further clarify this is indeed the intended meaning of medacs employees:

"or do you mean Medacs' "own" staff who are doing the work of Medacs, but who are simply located on trust premises"

I am not referring to employees of the trust who were recruited to medacs.

Many thanks for this clarification request with respect to the further Freedom of Information Act 2000 request, which has been extremely useful.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Larn, Alan,

Sorry Alan further typo 'who were recruited by medacs'

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI,

Just a reminder that the response is overdue. I look forward to receiving it soon.

Many thanks for your assistance with this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

I have detailed answers to questions 1 and 2, but I am still waiting to hear back from Finance about question 3 onwards.

Would you like to receive the answers to questions 1 and 2?

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Alan Larn,

Yes, please - thank you Alan. Hopefully finance won't take too long to respond to the others - would be good to see what you have thus far.

Thanks for your assistance with this.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

As agreed,

Here are the answers to questions 1 and 2.

1) How many (non-locum) medacs group employees are were based on your hospital site.

Response: 2 (two).

2) If there were medacs group employees based on your hospital site:

(a) What function did they serve? What is the benefit to the trust of having such employees on site?

Response: Trust Liaison; Administration of bookings

(b) Did they have an office on site/desk?

Response: Yes

(c) Was medacs charged for the provision of office space or is this afforded without cost by the trust?

Response: As per Medacs contract

(d) Did the medacs representative supervise/direct/control/manage anyone at the hospital site ? And if so did this include anyone involved in clinical care?

Response: No Trust Employees. No worker in clinical care

(e) Were such provisions part of the implementation of Medacs Vantage Managed Locum Services at the trust?

Response: Provision of Medacs staff on site was not related to Direct Engagement arrangements

I will send you the trust's formal response when I have received the remainder of the information requested.

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

As agreed,

Here are the answers to questions 1 and 2.

1) How many (non-locum) medacs group employees are were based on your hospital site.

Response: 2 (two).

2) If there were medacs group employees based on your hospital site:

(a) What function did they serve? What is the benefit to the trust of having such employees on site?

Response: Trust Liaison; Administration of bookings

(b) Did they have an office on site/desk?

Response: Yes

(c) Was medacs charged for the provision of office space or is this afforded without cost by the trust?

Response: As per Medacs contract

(d) Did the medacs representative supervise/direct/control/manage anyone at the hospital site ? And if so did this include anyone involved in clinical care?

Response: No Trust Employees. No worker in clinical care

(e) Were such provisions part of the implementation of Medacs Vantage Managed Locum Services at the trust?

Response: Provision of Medacs staff on site was not related to Direct Engagement arrangements

I will send you the trust's formal response when I have received the remainder of the information requested.

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Alan Larn,

Thank you for the first two answers. Have you any idea when the subsequent answers will be ready for disclosure?

Kind regards,
Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Larn, Alan, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

I have chased this again and I will contact you as soon as I hear anything.

With best regards and apologies for the continuing delay,

Alan Larn.

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my second FOI request on this thread made on 8th October 2018.

I am requesting an internal review on the grounds of failure to reply and failure to reply promptly to the vast majority of the questions asked (I thank you for those few answers already received). As you will be aware it is a statutory requirement that a response should be prompt and it should occur generally within 20 days and under all circumstances within 40 days.

It is now 121 business days (and 172 calendar days) since the request was made and this is now extremely overdue. I have extended considerable latitude in not progressing this to internal review (or indeed the ICO) because you had proactively contacted to state that the other answers would follow.

I now consider that the length of delay is longer than could under all circumstances be considered reasonable. I further consider the trust is very likely in breach of its statutory duties having failed to respond promptly (and additionally having failed to respond at all) to most of the questions. I note that this is not the first time this has occurred on this thread.

I would request that you urgently seek a resolution to this matter. Should this internal review not be completed within the timeframe of a further 20 days (i.e. by 26th April 2019) I will be forced to escalate this matter to the Information Commissioner's Office on 27th April 2019 at 9am, and will request that the trust be made to comply with its statutory duties and that decision notices be issued against it in respect of its breaches.

I am hopeful this will be unnecessary and that the information will be released promptly and significantly before this time period elapses.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I am currently away from my desk on Fridays.  If your message is urgent,
please re-send it to [email address] .  Otherwise, I will attend
to it when I return to the office.

 

With best regards ,

 

Alan.

 

Alan Larn
Communications Officer
Freedom of Information

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

I confirm that we have received the message below and have instituted a review of the response to this request.

With best regards,

Alan Larn.

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

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FOI, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Dr Campbell,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 08 October 2018, which has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), and to which we sent you a partial response in November.

Your request and our now complete response are as follows:

Your request:

I would like to make a further follow on Freedom of Information Act Request here now that we have established that Medacs Vantage was the Direct Engagement scheme previously used.

Under the freedom of Information Act 2000 could I please request:

With respect to the time period of the scheme's use:

1 ) How many (non-locum) medacs group employees were based on your hospital site.

Response: 2 (two).

2) If there were medacs group employees based on your hospital site:

(a) What function did they serve? What is the benefit to the trust of having such employees on site?

Response: Trust Liaison; Administration of bookings

(b) Did they have an office on site/desk?

Response: Yes

(c) Was medacs charged for the provision of office space or is this afforded without cost by the trust?

Response: As per Medacs contract

(d) Did the medacs representative supervise/direct/control/manage anyone at the hospital site ? And if so did this include anyone involved in clinical care?

Response: No Trust Employees. No worker in clinical care

(e) Were such provisions part of the implementation of Medacs Vantage Managed Locum Services at the trust?

Response: Provision of Medacs staff on site was not related to Direct Engagement arrangements

3) As a result of the use of this Direct Engagement scheme:

(a) Was VAT paid on the fee paid on the fee paid to locums you engaged?

Response: There wasn’t any VAT charged on the invoices from the doctors –Therefore VAT was not paid.

(b) If not, what was the claimed basis of such an exemption with respect to the locum workers - (rather than the exemption with respect to the services to fill vacancies)? (this will be in their sales literature). Specifically could you clarify if it cited VAT notice 701/57 or supply of medical/healthcare services as the source of an exemption.

Response: Either the doctors were not registered for VAT or the supply was deemed exempt.

(c) Was VAT paid on the commission element/fee to Medacs?

Response: VAT was charged on the commission and the Trust were unable to recover the VAT.

(d) If not was this part of contracted out/managed services provisions?

Response: Alongside the direct engagement arrangement Medacs were managing all agency placements – this was deemed at the time to be a managed service and VAT was recovered.

4) When conducting IR35 assessments, do you claim locums are subject to the trusts Supervision Direction & Control?

Response: Yes. [We] have carried out a number of assessments. We do say that medical locums are under the Trust’s supervision, direction and control, as are all medical staff ultimately reporting the medical director.

5) How many locums have you engaged outside of IR35 in the last year? (this will be available through the trust reporting mechanisms to NHS Improvement and frameworks will also keep track of this).

Response: No locums we assessed that come through Medacs were outside of IR35 in the last year

6) Was the procurement of the Direct Engagement provider handled in house or by a framework, if so which framework handled this? (Eg via HTE/Total Workforce Solutions Lot 5, LPP, Crown Commercial Services, or other).

Response: By a framework; Crown Commercial Services.

I hope that the response that the Trust has provided is satisfactory.  However, if you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Freedom of Information request has been dealt with you can request an internal review. Please email [email address] within 40 working days with clarification of what you would like to be reviewed. We will aim to provide a review response within 20 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the matter. Further details can be found on their website: http://www.informationcommissioners.gov.....

Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 – General statement of compliance

The Trust for its part is happy for you to reuse any of the information supplied to you in compliance with the Open Government Licence (OGL) terms:  Please click here for further details http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents... .  We do not permit the forwarding or sale of staff/departmental contact details and a specific Re-use of Information Regulations request is required for such purposes.

If relevant, you will need the permission of other information owners.  This can occur when you receive a document which is co-authored or where the ownership lies with another organisation.  Provision under both the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 does not entitle you to re-use the information without appropriate permissions.  Use must be in compliance with an Open Government Licence or other agreed terms.

We ask that you take a couple of minutes and complete a short survey in relation to your FOI request. The questions relate to your request and how it was handled and the response received. Click here.

Kind regards,

Alan Larn | communications officer (Freedom of Information) | communications department Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Nethermayne | Essex | SS16 5NL
01268 524900 ext 2992
[Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

safe  caring  excellent  …together

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