GP services in Brighton

Liam Ward made this Freedom of Information request to NHS England

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

The request was refused by NHS England.

Dear NHS England,

I sent a request to the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group about GP services in their area. However, the CCG inform me they only took over services in 2013 and have been unable to answer a number of my questions.

Therefore, on their advice, I am sending those questions to you for an answer:

1. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services there were in what is now the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group's commissioning area in 2010?

2. How many patients those GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres catered/cared for in 2010?
2a. Please break this data down to provide patient numbers per GP surgery/Family Practice/Walk-in centre?

3. What was the GP to patient ratio in your commissioning area in 2010?

4. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services closed in 2010?

5. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services there were in your commissioning area in 2015?

6. How many patients those GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres catered/cared for in 2015?
6a. Please break this data down to provide patient numbers per GP surgery/Family Practice/Walk-in centre?

7. What was GP to patient ratio in your commissioning area in 2015?

8. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services closed between 2010 and 2015?

Yours faithfully,

Liam Ward

CONTACTUS, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

 

 

Dear Customer,

 Thank you for contacting NHS Customer Contact Centre.  We have received
your email and a member of our Customer Service team will be respond to
you in due course.

In the meantime, the following information may be able to help you access
information immediately.

NHS England commissions or buys primary care services; for example, GPs,
dentists, opticians, and pharmacy services. We also commission health and
justice, military health services plus some specialised services. We can
advise you how to access, give feedback or make a complaint about the
services we commission.

NHS England does not commission secondary care (with the exception of
Specialised Services). This includes hospital care, NHS 111 services,
mental health services, out-of-hours services and community services such
as district nursing. These services are commissioned by Clinical
Commissioning Groups (CCGs). If you need advice about accessing secondary
care, you should contact your local CCG. You can find their contact
details using the [1]service finder on the NHS Choices website .

You may also refer to the following links for further information about
NHS England

 [2]https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/

[3]https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/

[4]https://www.england.nhs.uk/resources/

[5]https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/

 

and [6]https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us for details about the
Customer Contact Centre, which also provides a number of FAQ’s.

If you require medical attention, please contact your GP, call 111 or if
you require urgent medical attention, please dial 999 or attend your local
Accident and Emergency Department.

If, after receiving this automated response, you no longer think we can
assist with your email, please reply to this email address stating ‘NO
FURTHER ACTION REQUIRED’ and we will not respond to your email.

Kind Regards

NHS England Customer Contact Centre team

* Please note our normal working hours are 08:00 to 18:00 from Monday to
Friday and we regret the delay in reply over the non-working hours.

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Ward,

 

Thank you for your communication dated 6 December 2017.

 

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 [1]here.

 

If you have any queries about this request or wish to contact us again,
please email [2][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, [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

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Ward,

 

Re:     Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-055119)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 6 December
2017.

 

Please note that section 12(5)a of the FOI fees regulations state that two
or more requests to a public authority from one person can be aggregated
for the purposes of calculating costs if they are for the same or similar
information.  The fees regulations are available at the following link:

 

·       [1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...

 

Information on aggregating requests is also set out in section 12(4)a of
the FOI Act which states that:

“Where two or more requests for information are made to a public authority
by one person the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is
to be taken to be the total cost of complying with all of them.”

 

On this basis, we are aggregating all your requests for the purposes of
determining whether or not disproportionate cost would be involved in
answering them, as we deem the requests for “the same or similar
information”.

 

This response therefore is also applicable to your similar FOI requests
regarding this issue: FOI-055162 (Surrey Heath); FOI-055157 (East Surrey);
FOI-055183 (Bracknell and Ascot); FOI-055289 (Multiple CCG areas).

 

Your exact request was:-

 

“I sent a request to the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning
Group about GP services in their area. However, the CCG inform me they
only took over services in 2013 and have been unable to answer a number of
my questions.

Therefore, on their advice, I am sending those questions to you for an
answer:

1. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
there were in what is now the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning
Group's commissioning area in 2010?

2. How many patients those GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres
catered/cared for in 2010?

2a. Please break this data down to provide patient numbers per GP
surgery/Family Practice/Walk-in centre?

3. What was the GP to patient ratio in your commissioning area in 2010?

4. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
closed in 2010?

5. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
there were in your commissioning area in 2015?

6. How many patients those GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres
catered/cared for in 2015?

6a. Please break this data down to provide patient numbers per GP
surgery/Family Practice/Walk-in centre?

7. What was GP to patient ratio in your commissioning area in 2015?

8. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
closed between 2010 and 2015?”

 

We can confirm that NHS England holds information relevant to your
request.

 

However, as the information held is in the public domain, we will under
Section

21 of the FOI Act (information accessible to the applicant by other means)
refer you to the published source:

 

Information on the GPs in a CCG area is available here:

 

·       [2]https://www.nhs.uk/ServiceDirectories/Pa...

 

If you look at the appropriate CCG then click on the “GP” tab the data is
shown. Please see the example below:

 

·      
[3]https://www.nhs.uk/Services/Trusts/GPs/D...

 

To view the offered by each practice, you can click on it from the GP tab,
Please see the example below:

 

·      
[4]https://www.nhs.uk/Services/GP/PctServic...

 

To obtain the numbers of patients on the list for a practice, use the “GP
Location Search:

 

·       [5]https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/Loc... .

 

Please note you may need to do multiple location searches as in the
example below for Addingham:

 

·      
[6]https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/GP/Add...

 

Unfortunately NHS England does not hold historic records and this figure
will only be the most recent patient list size provided.

 

NHS Digital may hold historic records; as such you may wish to contact
them. Their website is:

 

·       [7]https://digital.nhs.uk/

 

You can contact them via the web link below:

 

·       [8]https://digital.nhs.uk/Contact-us

 

Otherwise you may have to contact individual practices to obtain historic
data.

 

To get current GP/patient ratios, you will need to could take the patient
list size (via the location search) and combine it with the GP staff
information, which is available in the GP tab; e.g. a practice with 2000
patients and 5 GPs will have a ratio of 400:1.

 

Please note that NHS England as it is currently constituted was formed
after the reorganisation of the NHS in April 2013 we do not hold any data
prior to this date.

 

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: [9][NHS England request email]

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-055119 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: [10][email address]  

Website: [11]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, [12][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: [13][NHS England request email]

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND),

Thank you for your message.

Two points:

1) The historic data is crucially important for comparative purposes and is very much in the public interest. The published data you have linked to does not answer a great many of my questions which seek to see the change in the patient to GP ratios between 2010 and 2015 and 2017. Can you provide me advice on where I can find that data?

2) There must be a body that recorded this data prior to 2013, please provide advice on which department that would be and, therefore, where I need to direct another FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Liam Ward

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Ward,

 

Thank you for email of 4 January 2018. Please see this email as
acknowledgement of your Internal Review request.

 

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.

 

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]

 

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

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Ward,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information Internal Review outcome (Our Ref:
FOI-055119 IR)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) Internal Review request
dated 4 January 2018.

 

Your original FOI request was received by NHS England on 6 December 2017,
and read:-

 

“I sent a request to the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning
Group about GP services in their area. However, the CCG inform me they
only took over services in 2013 and have been unable to answer a number of
my questions.

Therefore, on their advice, I am sending those questions to you for an
answer:

1. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
there were in what is now the NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning
Group's commissioning area in 2010?

2. How many patients those GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres
catered/cared for in 2010?

2a. Please break this data down to provide patient numbers per GP
surgery/Family Practice/Walk-in centre?

3. What was the GP to patient ratio in your commissioning area in 2010?

4. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
closed in 2010?

5. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
there were in your commissioning area in 2015?

6. How many patients those GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres
catered/cared for in 2015?

6a. Please break this data down to provide patient numbers per GP
surgery/Family Practice/Walk-in centre?

7. What was GP to patient ratio in your commissioning area in 2015?

8. How many GP surgeries/Family Practices/Walk-in centres with GP services
closed between 2010 and 2015?”

 

Your Internal Review request was received by NHS England on 4 January
2018, and read:-

 

            “Two points:

 

1) The historic data is crucially important for comparative purposes and
is very much in the public interest. The published data you have linked to
does not answer a great many of my questions which seek to see the change
in the patient to GP ratios between 2010 and 2015 and 2017. Can you
provide me advice on where I can find that data?

 

2) There must be a body that recorded this data prior to 2013, please
provide advice on which department that would be and, therefore, where I
need to direct another FOI request.”

 

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 our 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 made in your internal review
request.

 

It is the conclusion of this review that our original response should be
amended.

 

NHS England is not responsible for commissioning walk-in centres. Clinical
Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for commissioning urgent and
emergency care services for everyone present in their geographic area.
This includes accident and emergency (A&E), NHS walk-in centres, urgent
care centres and minor injury units, 111 and out-of-hours and ambulance
services. As such, our original response should have advised you that NHS
England does not hold any information in respect of walk-in centres.

 

As such, you may wish to redirect this specific element of your request to
the Brighton and Hove CCG directly. We note that you advise that you have
previously contacted the CCG with regard to this request, and apologise
for any inconvenience as a result of redirecting you to them. However, it
is our conclusion that the CCG is the most appropriate organisation to
which this element of your request should be directed.

 

We have interpreted the terms “GP Surgery” and “Family Practice” to be
interchangeable/to mean the same thing. Throughout this response we have
referred to these as “GP practices”.

 

It is the conclusion of this review that NHS England’s original response
should have refused the elements of your request relating to GP practices
under section 12(1) of the FOI Act.

 

Section 12(1) states that a public authority can refuse a request if
complying with it would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 (which
represents 18 hours).  This represents the estimated cost of one person
spending this time in determining whether the information is held, and
locating, retrieving and extracting the information. We have outlined the
reasons we consider section 12(1) should apply in this instance below.

 

Please note that section 12(5)a of the FOI fees regulations state that two
or more requests to a public authority from one person can be aggregated
for the purposes of calculating costs if they are for the same or similar
information.  The fees regulations are available at the following link:

o [1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...

 

Information on aggregating requests is also set out in section 12(4)a of
the FOI Act which states that:

 

“Where two or more requests for information are made to a public authority
by one person the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is
to be taken to be the total cost of complying with all of them.”

 

On this basis, we are aggregating all your requests for the purposes of
determining whether or not disproportionate cost would be involved in
answering them, as we deem the requests for “the same or similar
information”.

 

To locate and retrieve the information you have requested would require
all NHS England local offices to review individual contract files in order
to locate any information held which falls within the scope of your
request. We consider that the time required to complete this task would be
increased, as you have defined the scope of your request using Clinical
Commissioning Group (CCG) boundaries. The information held by NHS England
is not necessarily broken down into CCG area. Further, as the information
you have requested is historic, rather than current, the information is
likely to have been archived or stored in a manner which is not readily
accessible. We consider that this will therefore further increase the
total time required when complying with your request.

 

In our original response, we advised that information dating back to 2010
is not held by NHS England. On the balance of probabilities, this review
concludes that this was a fair position. However, to be certain that no
information is held, a review of legacy files handed to NHS England at its
inception in 2013 would be necessary. Due to the manner in which this
legacy information is held, we consider it is possible that this exercise
alone could take in excess of 18 hours. Even if this time were to be spent
reviewing legacy case files, we consider it to be very unlikely that any
relevant information would be held.

 

 

Section 12(1) is an absolute exemption therefore we are not required to
assess the public interest test in its application.

 

On this occasion, we are unfortunately unable to suggest a way in which
your request could be refined. We apologise for any inconvenience.

 

We have considered the comment you have made in your email regarding
historic data. We would highlight that the information you have requested
from 2010 is now approximately 8 years old. As such, the retention period
on the information which would need to be reviewed in order to respond to
your request is likely to have expired in several cases.

 

You can find more information on the retention periods for a range of
records related to health care on the NHS Digital website at the following
web link:

 

·        
[2]https://digital.nhs.uk/article/1202/Reco...

 

We hope this additional information is helpful to you.

 

You can find some historic information with regard to list size and GP
numbers on the NHS Business Services Authority website. This information
dates back to 2015, and can be accessed via the following web link:

 

·        
[3]https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/prescription-d...

 

Please note that in order to access the relevant report, you will need to
log in as a guest.

 

Conclusion

In line with the above, our original response is overturned. NHS England
does not hold information with regard to walk-in centres, which may be
held by CCGs. NHS England may hold some information with regard to GP
practices, but we conclude that this would take over 18 hours to locate,
retrieve and extract. This is particularly true of information dating back
to 2010. Some information relevant to your request is available via the
NHS Business Services Authority website, the link for which is given in
our response above.

 

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: [4][email address]  

Website: [5]www.ico.org.uk

 

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-055119 IR 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, [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: [7][NHS England request email]

 

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

 

 

 

show quoted sections