Meetings of the Board

Mr Wyllie made this Freedom of Information request to NHS 24

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 partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

I note from your helpful website that your Board meetings have a public session and a private session.

Please provide me with information about papers presented to and minutes taken of the private sessions of the NHS 24 Board since 1st January 2008.

Please provide copies of the relevant information in an electronic format.

In order to save time, I would respectfully submit this request should be treated without recourse to exemptions under the 2002 Act given the very full response of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland to a similar request (which you can see on http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cl...).

I hope my request is sufficiently clear. However, if you need any further assistance, please do get in touch. I shall respond as soon as I can.

Thank you for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Wyllie

FOI, NHS 24

Dear Mr Wyllie

FOI REQUEST 0949

I acknowledge your request for information from NHS 24 which we are
currently considering and you can expect a response to this by 9 March
2010 at the latest.

Should we require clarification, however, I shall be in touch as soon as
possible.

Yours sincerely

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

[mobile number]

show quoted sections

FOI, NHS 24

16 Attachments

Dear Mr Wyllie

FOI REQUEST NO 0949

With reference to your recent request for information in relation to
reserved minutes of the NHS 24 Board I have attached minutes from the last
two years.

You will see that some redactions have been made to the minutes where we
feel that the information remains currently sensitive and attracts one of
the three exemptions shown below:

S30 - Prejudicial to the Effective Conduct of Public Affairs (for more
information on this exemption click [1]here)

S38 - Personal Information (for more information on this exemption click
[2]here)

S33 - Commercial Interests and the Economy (for more information on this
exemption click [3]here)

The minutes have been annotated with the exemptions used for the specific
redactions.

Where information has been disclosed, we have considered this to be of
diminished sensitivity and reference may also be found within the NHS 24's
public Board minutes which can be found [4]here. In making the decision
to withhold some of the information we have taken into account the benefit
to the public of disclosure however we have concluded that, at this point
in time, the information should remain confidential.

Should you be unhappy with the information supplied, you can access the
NHS 24 Internal Review Process by writing to the Chief Executive, NHS 24,
Caledonia House, Cardonald Business Park, Fifty Pitches Road, Glasgow, G51
4ED quoting the reference number at the top of this email. You have 40
working days to request a review following receipt of this email.

If you remain unhappy following the outcome of the internal review it is
your right to ask for advice and assistance from the Scottish Information
Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16
9DS.

Yours sincerely

Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

NHS 24 Disclaimer:

The information contained in this message may be confidential or legally
privileged and is intended for the addressee only. If you have received
this message in error or there are any problems please notify the
originator immediately. The unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this message is strictly forbidden.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
2. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
3. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
4. http://www.nhs24.com/content/default.asp...
http://www.nhs24.com/content/default.asp...

Dear Ms Morton,

Thank you for your response, which I received on 9th March 2010. I am very grateful for the time you have taken over the response, and therefore it is with some regret that I make the request that follows.

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

I am writing to request an internal review of NHS 24's handling of my request for information made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

The scope of my review falls into several parts:

(a) My request for information asked for papers presented to private meetings of the NHS 24 Board in addition to the minutes of those meetings. However, I have not been provided with information or a refusal notice in relation to this.

(b) The email you sent me this evening informed me that certain information was not being disclosed to me. However, the email was not complaint with the requirements of a refusal notice under section 16 of the 2002 Act. Consequently, I have difficulty in challenging the exemptions the Board applies.

(c) I wish to challenge the use of exemptions under section 30 of the 2002 Act. In doing so, I would refer you to paras. 25-31 of Decision 126/2009 Mrs Teresa Cleere-Martin and Glasgow City Council, issued by the Scottish Information Commissioner.

I consider that no substantial harm could be said to ensue from the disclosure of information. Many of the factors in that decision notice will apply here.

Additionally, the minutes are of the private part of a public meeting - they are not of a private meeting. Much of the information will be dated.

It is difficult to conceive how a substantial, present and clear threat to the conduct of public affairs will ensue from disclosure of information. This is particularly so when the exemptions are more restricted in local government (under Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973) in the context of meetings. There seems no material reason why NHS 24 cannot use this standard that other public sector organisations must apply.

There is a great public interest in NHS 24. This is evidenced by Parliamentary material, activity in the press, and its central role in the recent pandemic flu emergency. I note that with regard to some of the information there, other responders in the UK and internationally may benefit from having the lessons learned by NHS 24 opened up.

Parliament has outlined, by providing for the Scottish Health Council and in the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Act 2004 that the public must be participants in the NHS. This is a factor in favour of disclosure, as is the fact there is a strong public interest favouring disclosure where large sums of public money are at stake.

I hope these submissions are of some assistance. However, as I mentioned in (b), they are not complete.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr Wyllie

FOI, NHS 24

Dear Mr Wyllie

FOI REQUEST NO 0949

I acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review as detailed
in your email below.

We shall be in touch with you again within 20 working days, and at the
latest by 8 April 2010, with the outcome of our review.

Yours sincerely

Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

show quoted sections

FOI, NHS 24

Dear Mr Wyllie

FOI REQUEST NO 0949 - REQUEST FOR REVIEW

We are currently working on your request in relation to information about
papers presented to and minutes taken of the private sessions of the NHS
24 Board over the last two years. The review panel will review your
request, however I am writing to advise you that we will be unable to do
this prior to the deadline of 8 April 2010. NHS 24 provides a telephone
triage service to the Scottish population in the out of hours period and
during Easter covers the closure of GP practices. This is one of the
busiest periods for the service and unfortunately we are unable to conduct
an internal review until the following week. I apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause and will be in touch again as soon as I have
the outcome of the review panel.

Yours sincerely

Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

NHS 24 Disclaimer:

The information contained in this message may be confidential or legally
privileged and is intended for the addressee only. If you have received
this message in error or there are any problems please notify the
originator immediately. The unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this message is strictly forbidden.

Dear Ms Morton,

Your ref: FoI request 0949

I thought I would write after your email simply to say I'm completely comfortable with the delay to my internal review - and don't intend to persue it further. I understand the core services of NHS 24 must come first.

Thanks again for your help.

Dear Ms Morton,

I refer to my request for information, which can be accessed on http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/me....

I understood your email to say you would conduct the internal review on the week after Easter.

While I do not want to push matters too far, given May is now approaching, I would very much welcome a report on how things are going.

Thank you again for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Wyllie

Morton, Alison, NHS 24

17 Attachments

Dear Mr Wyllie

FOI REQUEST NO 0949

Please accept my apology for the delay in this response.

The outcome of the Internal Review held on Friday 16 April 2010 in
relation to your request for a review of our original response to your
request for reserved minutes and papers of the NHS 24 Board for the last
two years is shown below. Given the size of the files involved, this
information is provided in three separate emails. A reference list has
been also attached to Email 1 for ease of identification. This list shows
which papers are disclosed in full, redacted and withheld in full.

The Internal Review was chaired by our Chief Executive and members of the
panel consisted of Board Secretary, Information Security Manager and
Associate Medical Director. The panel considered previous redacted
information and the omission of papers associated with the minutes, agreed
to remove some of redactions previously applied and release the papers
associated with the minutes subject to the following redactions.

S30 - Prejudicial to the Effective Conduct of Public Affairs (for more
information on this exemption click [1]here)

S33 - Commercial Interests and the Economy (for more information on this
exemption click [2]here)

S36 - Confidentiality

S38 - Personal Information (for more information on this exemption click
[3]here)

As previously intimated, where information has been disclosed, we have
considered this to be of diminished sensitivity and reference may also be
found within the NHS 24's public Board minutes which can be found
[4]here. In making the decision to withhold some of the information the
panel considered the interest to the public of disclosing the information,
weighing this against the potential compromise of ongoing contractual and
commercial business negotiations and the substantial inhibition of free
and frank discussion for the purposes of deliberation, concluding that the
information should remain confidential at this point in time.

Should you be unhappy with the information supplied, it is your right to
ask for advice and assistance from the Scottish Information Commissioner,
Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Yours sincerely

Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

NHS 24 Disclaimer:

The information contained in this message may be confidential or legally
privileged and is intended for the addressee only. If you have received
this message in error or there are any problems please notify the
originator immediately. The unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this message is strictly forbidden.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
2. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
3. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/F...
4. http://www.nhs24.com/content/default.asp...
http://www.nhs24.com/content/default.asp...

Morton, Alison, NHS 24

19 Attachments

This is email 2 of 3 and forms part of FOI Response No 0949

Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

NHS 24 Disclaimer:

The information contained in this message may be confidential or legally
privileged and is intended for the addressee only. If you have received
this message in error or there are any problems please notify the
originator immediately. The unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this message is strictly forbidden.

Morton, Alison, NHS 24

25 Attachments

This is email 3 of 3 and forms part of FOI Response No 0949

Alison Morton

Alison Morton

Information Governance Manager

NHS 24

NHS 24 Disclaimer:

The information contained in this message may be confidential or legally
privileged and is intended for the addressee only. If you have received
this message in error or there are any problems please notify the
originator immediately. The unauthorised use, disclosure, copying or
alteration of this message is strictly forbidden.