We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Paul Thornton please sign in and let everyone know.

Goddard review: Patient information provided to Home Office

We're waiting for Paul Thornton to read a recent response and update the status.

FOI Dept Department of Health,

Dear Sir or Madam,

I refer to an article in the British Medical Journal of the 5th -12th August 2017 BMJ 2017;358:j3613 which is on line at the following URL

https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3613

The article reports the release of confidential patient information provided by the NHS to the Home Office under the terms of a “memorandum of understanding” between the Home Office, the Department of Health and NHS Digital.

The article reports that the memorandum apparently followed the provision of a review of NHS Digital back office functions by Professor Maria Goddard of the University of York Centre for Health Economics.

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, please provide a copy of the Goddard review.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

Do Not Reply, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Thornton

Please find attached the Department of Health's response to your recent
FOI request (our ref: 1094122 ) 

Yours sincerely,

 Dorothy Crowe 

Freedom of Information team
Department of Health

-------------------------------------------------------------

Please do not reply to this email. To contact the Department of Health,
please visit the Contact DH section on www.gov.uk/dh

Incoming and outgoing e-mail messages are routinely monitored for
compliance with the Department of Health's policy on the use of electronic
communications. For more information on the Department of Health's e-mail
policy click here http://www.dh.gov.uk/terms

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This email was scanned by the Symantec virus scanning service and was
certified virus free.
Communications may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.

Ms Dorothy Crowe
Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Health

By e-mail via whatdotheyknow.com.

Your reference F0I 1094122

Dear Ms Crowe,

I was disappointed by your letter of 23 August 2017 refusing my request for the provision of the Goddard review by claiming exemption from publication under section 22 of the FOIA. I am writing to request an internal review of that decision.

You have provided no justification for withholding the information in the circumstances of this case such that it is wholly unsubstantiated that this decision fulfils the “reasonable" requirement of FOIA 22(1)(c). Indeed, the decision to withhold the information is unreasonable.

The Department, the Home Office and/or NHS Digital have already determined and implemented policy, apparently based upon the report. As such, delaying publication is not sensible, in line with standard practice or fair to all concerned. The policy was not consulted upon. Particularly, the policy is invidious to refugees who are entitled to confidential medical care in General Practice without charge. It is also invidious to General Practitioners, as data controllers, who in providing sensitive patient information to the DH have an expectation that their professional duty of confidence and DPA obligations will be honoured. There is an additional risk to wider society from untreated infectious disease and mental illness if patients avoid care because this policy.

Clarification of the information upon which the DH implemented policy is based is essential.

I note that you have been unable to provide a date for the intended publication and you are relying upon a wholly vague claim of “possibly sometime in autumn."

If the claim for engagement of the exemption is continued, it is essential that the Department provide the anticipated deadline for publication, or a full explanation of any actions, events or change in circumstances otherwise that have been agreed will determine the time of publication. It will also be essential that you provide confirmation of the date and circumstances under which the intended publication strategy was agreed and by whom. This should include a clear explanation of the reason for delaying publication by that strategy. The decision to publish the information must pre-date my request for the exemption to be engaged.

“Possibly sometime in autumn" confirms that the anticipated publication is not imminent and will be substantially protracted beyond the period within which publication under FOIA is required. This is not reasonable. The acknowledged possible delay in publication is such that the claim that the public interest in disclosure will be satisfied by the publication of the review “in the near future” is not tenable or substantiated.

The decision not to publish is further unreasonable because your public interest arguments that you have provided include no rationale for delay. I welcome and agree with your assertion that “there is a strong public interest in ensuring that information is made available to everyone at the same time.” This is not a justification for delaying publication. I have not sought privileged access to the information. On the contrary, I have made use of the “whatdotheyknow.com” website such that any response, and the provided information, will be immediately accessible to all on the Internet. For the avoidance of any residual doubt, you could, and should, choose to enhance this equity further by concurrent publication on the DH website.

There is a clear public interest in ensuring transparency over the methods and manner by which information provided by patients to the health service is processed. It appears that publication of the Goddard report is clearly required to ensure that the established, or proposed, patient information flows within the NHS are clearly determined and widely understood and consented. Publication of the Goddard report is essential and very clearly in the public interest.

I look forward to the review resulting in prompt publication.

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

Yours sincerely,

Paul Thornton

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health

Dear Dr Thornton,

Thank you for your request for internal review into the handling of FOI 1094122.

I have accepted your request for review and will endeavour to get back to you by 22 September 2017.

Kind regards,

Harish Sehdev
Deputy Head of Freedom of Information
Department of Health, Room G18, Richmond House,
79 Whitehall, SW1A 2NS
Follow us on Twitter @DHgovuk

Harish Sehdev
Deputy Head of Freedom of Information
Department of Health, Room G18, Richmond House,
79 Whitehall, SW1A 2NS

Dear Mr Sehdev,

Your ref FOI 1094122

Your substantive response to my request for internal review in this matter is now substantially over due beyond the period permitted under the legislation. Please arrange publication of the requested information.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health

Dear Dr Thornton,

I apologise for the delay in responding, unfortunately we require more time to carry out the requested internal review. We will endeavour to complete the review and provide you with the outcome as soon as practically possible.

Regards,

Harish Sehdev
Deputy Head of Freedom of Information
Department of Health, Room G18, Richmond House,
79 Whitehall, SW1A 2NS
Follow us on Twitter @DHgovuk

Harish Sehdev
Deputy Head of Freedom of Information
Department of Health, Room G18, Richmond House,
79 Whitehall, SW1A 2NS

Dear Mr Sehdev,

Your ref FOI 1094122

The continued substantial and unlawful delay in the publication of your response is not acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Thornton,

I apologise for the length of time it has taken to carry out your requested Internal Review of FOI-1094122.

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

Your sincerely

Charlene Carter

Charlene Carter
Casework Manager
Department of Health, 39 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0EU

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Paul Thornton please sign in and let everyone know.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org