Morecambe Bay NHS

Aidan Turner made this Freedom of Information request to Care Quality Commission

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 Care Quality Commission,

Please disclose:-

1.All notes, drafts, memos and e.mails concerning the report: "Review of Regulatory Activity at the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust".
2. Instructions for re-drafting of the said report and/or further work prior to re-drafting.
3. Arrangements for publication of the said report and decisions relating thereto.
4. Minutes of discussions of the said report at full CQC Board meetings. Submissions of the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Chairman to the Board concerning the said report and lessons to be learnt.

Yours faithfully,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

24 June 2013

 

Our Ref: CQC IAT 2013 0612

 

This request is being coordinated by: Russell Wynn, Telephone No: 0191
2333587

 

Dear Mr Turner

 

We write to acknowledge receipt of your request for information dated 24
June 2013.

 

Your request is as follows:

 

“1.All notes, drafts, memos and e.mails concerning the report: "Review of
Regulatory Activity at the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS
Foundation Trust".

2. Instructions for re-drafting of the said report and/or further work
prior to re-drafting.

3. Arrangements for publication of the said report and decisions relating
thereto.

4. Minutes of discussions of the said report at full CQC Board meetings.
Submissions of the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Chairman to
the Board concerning the said report and lessons to be learnt.”

 

We can confirm that your request is now being processed in accordance with
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

CQC will respond to you as soon as possible, but in any event, within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days, from the date we received your
request as outlined by the Act.

 

You can therefore expect a response by close of business 22 July 2012
respectively, subject to the information not being exempt from disclosure
or containing reference to third party individuals. Should this occur, you
will be notified accordingly when we write to you next.

 

In certain circumstances CQC may be unable to provide the information
within statutory timescale. We will then inform you of the revised
timescale prior to the deadline.

 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the team, on the
telephone number provided, quoting our reference number.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Russell Wynn

 

Senior Information Access Officer

Legal Services & Information Rights

Care Quality Commission

Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE1 4PA

 

Telephone: 0191 233 3587

Internal: 333587

Fax: 01484 772 992

 

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it
really necessary to print this email?

 

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information
legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 should be sent to [1][CQC request email].

 

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References

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1. mailto:[CQC request email]
mailto:[CQC request email]

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

23 July 2013

 

Our Ref: CQC IAT 2013 0612

 

Dear Mr Turner

 

We write to provide an update with regards to your request for information
made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). We
note our response was due on 22 July 2013.

 

Unfortunately, CQC is not currently in a position to respond to your
request for information.

 

It is occasionally necessary to exceed the 20 working day statutory time
limit required for a response. In the case of your request, we can inform
you that we will exceed the statutory time limit due to the high volume of
requests we are currently handling.

 

We recognise that failure to issue a response within 20 working days of
receipt of clarification of your request is a breach of section 10 the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Please accept our sincere
apologies on behalf of CQC for the delay in responding to your request. We
appreciate your patience in this matter.

 

We hope to let you have a response as soon as possible and can assure you
that CQC is making every effort to respond positively to your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Russell Wynn

Senior Information Access Officer

Legal Services & Information Rights

Care Quality Commission

Citygate

Gallowgate

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE1 4PA

Telephone: 0191 233 3587

Internal: 333587

Fax: 01484 772 992

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it
really necessary to print this email?

 

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information
legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 should be sent to [CQC request email].

 

show quoted sections

Dear Information Access,

Thankyou for your e-mail of 23rd July. Can you please give an indication of by what date you are going to be in a position to answer my request?

Yours sincerely,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

4 Attachments

  • Attachment

    20130726 FOIA Response Document v2 CQC IAT 2013 0612.pdf

    26K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    20130623 1833 Internal review into regulatory actions at UHMB CQC IAT 2013 0612.pdf

    19K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    20130620 1434 Internal review into regulatory actions at UHMB CQC IAT 2013 0612.pdf

    20K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    20130620 1446 Internal review into regulatory actions at UHMB CQC IAT 2013 0612.pdf

    18K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Turner

I attach a response to your Freedom of Information request. One part of your request remains outstanding and we expect to provide a response to that part within the next week. I sincerely apologise for this delay.

Kind regards

Simon

Simon Richardson
Legal Services & Information Rights
Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. www.cqc.org.uk. For general enquiries, telephone the National Contact Centre: 03000 616161.
Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, should be sent to: [CQC request email]

show quoted sections

Dear Information Access,

Thankyou for your e.mail with enclosures. Please would you let me know:-
1. What the legal issues are over the disclosure of the handwritten note?
2. Why it should be considered credible that there is no paper trail relating to the commissioning, preparation and discussion of this report other than that one hand-written note?
3.I note the discussions at the Board meetings of 15/2/13 and 19/6/13. This was under the current regime. What about Board meetings under the former regime?

Yours sincerely,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    20130718 Transcribed copy of LD contemporaneous note of 12 and 13 March 2012.pdf

    51K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    20130718 Copy of LD contemporaneous note of 12 and 13 March 2012.pdf

    132K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Turner

Further to you email of 29 July 2013, please see attached a copy of the original handwritten note and a transcription for your information.

This is the note made by one of the four attendees at the meeting on 12 March 2012; it is not an agreed or formal minute of that meeting. I sincerely apologise for this delay in providing this to you.

With reference to the further issues you have raised, we can confirm we are looking into these and will respond in due course.

Russell Wynn
sincerely apologise for this delay
Senior Information Access Officer
Legal Services & Information Rights
Care Quality Commission
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

Telephone: 0191 233 3587
Internal: 333587
Fax: 01484 772 992 (note this will change to 03000 200 240 from 12 August 2013)

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it really necessary to print this email?

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be sent to [CQC request email].

show quoted sections

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

1 Attachment

Our Ref: CQC IAT 2013 0612

 

Dear Mr Turner

 

We are writing to you in response to your email below. We shall provide a
response to each of the points you have raised below.

 

1. What the legal issues are over the disclosure of the handwritten note?

 

In considering disclosure of the note, we were required to be mindful that
a referral had been made to the Police relating to an alleged offence of
misconduct in public office in relation to the handling of the internal
report and the meeting recorded in the handwritten notes. Therefore, we
could not disclose the note until we had assessed whether disclosure was
likely to prejudice any police investigation.

 

We were also mindful that other attendees dispute the account of the
meeting recorded by Louise Dineley. We therefore had to consider whether
disclosure of the note under FOIA may have resulted in, or prejudiced, any
potential action arising from publication of the Grant Thornton report.

 

2. Why it should be considered credible that there is no paper trail
relating to the commissioning, preparation and discussion of this report
other than that one hand-written note?

 

We have noted your comments here, and conducted further searches for the
information. We can therefore now include the attached emails which were
located following these searches. I apologise that human error resulted in
these emails were not being identified within our original search. I
appreciate that these emails should have been provided to you at the time
of our original response, and that we have therefore breached the time
limit under section 10 of the Act.

 

3. I note the discussions at the Board meetings of 15/2/13 and 19/6/13.
This was under the current regime. What about Board meetings under the
former regime?

 

Firstly I can clarify that the discussion at the February Board Meeting
was in 2012 and not 2013. This was therefore conducted when the now
departed executive team members were employed by CQC. CQC can also confirm
that Grant Thornton were given access to all board meetings papers, and
they have highlighted in the report that no discussions of the Internal
Review report were made at board meetings, apart from those we have
previously identified. CQC considered all board meetings including those
of our previous executive team members when responding.

 

We hope this clarifies the matters you have raised and please accept our
apologies for the information we failed to disclose initially and the
delay in providing this response to you.

 

Kind Regards

 

Russell Wynn

 

Senior Information Access Officer

Legal Services & Information Rights

Care Quality Commission

Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE1 4PA

 

Telephone: 0191 233 3587

Internal: 333587

Fax: 03000 200 240

 

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it
really necessary to print this email?

 

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information
legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 should be sent to [1][CQC request email].

 

show quoted sections

Dear Information Access,CQC,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 13/9/2013 with enclosure.

I have looked at the Grant Thornton report and the following e-mails that you have just disclosed do not seem to appear in that report:-
1. Cynthia Bower to others dated 16/10/11.
2. Louise Dineley to Amanda Sherlock dated 7/3/11.
3. Jill Finney to Louise Dineley dated 9/3/11.

Whilst there may be a very good explanation for why they do not appear in that report, it does raise the question as to whether any other pertinent e-mails have been missed?

Could you carry out another search?

Yours sincerely,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

Dear Mr Turner

We write further to you e-mail below and we can advise you of the following. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a public authority is required to perform searches in order to determine what information may fall within the scope of a request for information.

However, any search which is performed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, must "consider, in light of the evidence placed before us, whether the scope, quality, thoroughness and results of those searches entitles us to conclude that the [public authority] does not hold further information falling within the scope of the original request….” (para 12) Bromley v Environment Agency.

The tribunal in the above case went on to consider that a decision no information was held is based upon “…the balance of probabilities…” (para 10) because “…there can seldom be absolute certainty that information relevant to a request does not remain undiscovered somewhere within a public authority’s records…” (para 13).

Therefore, CQC should consider whether the searches it has conducted in relation to the report were sufficient to make such a conclusion.

We can confirm that in order to consider what information was held by CQC in relation to this request, we searched the information that had been provided to Grant Thornton when conducting their review and asked any existing employees who were referred to in relation to the "Review of Regulatory Activity at the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust" to confirm what records they held in relation to the request..

For employees who had left CQC prior to the request being made, their mailboxes would have been removed from the system in line with CQC's IT policies, although, some mailboxes had already been restored in order to provide information to the Grant Thornton review team, and CQC conducted searches on these.

For any mailboxes which had not been restored, CQC would not have been able to conduct any searches on these as the process of recovering such information, along with performing any searches already outlined above, would have exceeded the cost limit under FOI.

We are therefore confident that any searches which were carried out were sufficiently thorough, and we will not be conducting any further searches in relation to this request, as on the balance of probabilities we do not hold any further information.

If you are unhappy with the searches that have been conducted, then you can of course, exercise your right to an Internal Review, which will review whether we have complied with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to your request.

Should you remain unhappy with the outcome of any review, you would then be able to complain under section 50 of the Act to the Information Commissioners Office, whose details are as follows:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone Helpline: 01625 545 745
Website: www.ico.org.uk

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Information Access, Care Quality Commission

Dear Mr Turner

We write further to you e-mail below and we can advise you of the following. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a public authority is required to perform searches in order to determine what information may fall within the scope of a request for information.

However, any search which is performed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, must "consider, in light of the evidence placed before us, whether the scope, quality, thoroughness and results of those searches entitles us to conclude that the [public authority] does not hold further information falling within the scope of the original request….” (para 12) Bromley v Environment Agency.

The tribunal in the above case went on to consider that a decision no information was held is based upon “…the balance of probabilities…” (para 10) because “…there can seldom be absolute certainty that information relevant to a request does not remain undiscovered somewhere within a public authority’s records…” (para 13).

Therefore, CQC should consider whether the searches it has conducted in relation to the report were sufficient to make such a conclusion.

We can confirm that in order to consider what information was held by CQC in relation to this request, we searched the information that had been provided to Grant Thornton when conducting their review and asked any existing employees who were referred to in relation to the "Review of Regulatory Activity at the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust" to confirm what records they held in relation to the request..

For employees who had left CQC prior to the request being made, their mailboxes would have been removed from the system in line with CQC's IT policies, although, some mailboxes had already been restored in order to provide information to the Grant Thornton review team, and CQC conducted searches on these.

For any mailboxes which had not been restored, CQC would not have been able to conduct any searches on these as the process of recovering such information, along with performing any searches already outlined above, would have exceeded the cost limit under FOI.

We are therefore confident that any searches which were carried out were sufficiently thorough, and we will not be conducting any further searches in relation to this request, as on the balance of probabilities we do not hold any further information.

If you are unhappy with the searches that have been conducted, then you can of course, exercise your right to an Internal Review, which will review whether we have complied with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to your request.

Should you remain unhappy with the outcome of any review, you would then be able to complain under section 50 of the Act to the Information Commissioners Office, whose details are as follows:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone Helpline: 01625 545 745
Website: www.ico.org.uk

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Dear Information Access,CQC,

Thankyou for your e-mail of 26.9.13.

Please can you answer the following:-
1. Were ALL the e-mails contained in your recent disclosure, provided to Grant Thornton for the preparation of their report because three of them do not seem to be referred to in the report?
2. When you say that some Mail Boxes were removed from your system when those employees left, is this standard practice? Were any of the Mail Boxes of any of the key participants removed and then not restored fully or at all? If so, why?

Please take the above as my request for an Internal Review to answer these specific points.

Yours sincerely,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

Dear Mr Turner

Thank you for your e-mail of 26 September 2013.

I acknowledge receipt of this and can confirm that as your email does not appear to challenge the information we have provided to you, but is asking further questions relating to what has been provided we will consider this as a new request for information which requires CQC to clarify our original response to you.

The internal review process looks at whether CQC have complied with the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your request asks whether the emails in our disclosure were provided to Grant Thornton, about our procedures for removing mailboxes of former staff and whether all were restored in relation to Grant Thornton.

You can therefore expect a response no later than 24 October 2013.

Kind Regards

Russell Wynn

Senior Information Access Officer
Legal Services & Information Rights
Care Quality Commission
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

Telephone: 0191 233 3587
Internal: 333587
Fax: 03000 200 240

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it really necessary to print this email?

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be sent to [CQC request email].

show quoted sections

Dear Information Access,CQC,

Thankyou for your e-mail dated 1.10.13.

I note that you will be responding on the basis of a new request.

Please note that I am asking not only what e-mails were disclosed to Grant Thornton in respect of the key participants, but also what SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I need some assurance on this.

I also need to know in relation to restoration of Mail Boxes whether you are saying that this was not done for reasons of :-
1. Cost.
2. Some other reason.

Yours sincerely,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

Dear Mr Turner

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail and note the additional points of clarification you have provided.

We shall address those in our response to you as soon as possible.

Kind Regards

Russell Wynn

Senior Information Access Officer
Legal Services & Information Rights
Care Quality Commission
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

Telephone: 0191 233 3587
Internal: 333587
Fax: 03000 200 240

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it really necessary to print this email?

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be sent to [CQC request email].

show quoted sections

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

25 October 2013

 

Our Ref: CQC IAT 2013 0962

 

Dear Mr Turner

 

We write to provide an update with regards to your request for information
made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). We
note our response was due on 24 October 2013.

 

Unfortunately, CQC is not currently in a position to respond to your
request for information.

 

It is occasionally necessary to exceed the 20 working day statutory time
limit required for a response. In the case of your request, we can inform
you that we will exceed the statutory time limit as we are not yet in a
position to issue a final response.

 

We recognise that failure to issue a response within 20 working days of
receipt of clarification of your request is a breach of section 10 the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

Please accept our sincere apologies on behalf of CQC for the delay in
responding to your request. We appreciate your patience in this matter.

 

We hope to let you have a response as soon as possible and can assure you
that CQC is making every effort to respond positively to your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Russell Wynn

 

Senior Information Access Officer

Legal Services & Information Rights

Care Quality Commission

Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE1 4PA

 

Telephone: 0191 233 3587

Internal: 333587

Fax: 03000 200 240

 

It takes 24 trees to produce 1 ton of office paper! Think .... is it
really necessary to print this email?

 

Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information
legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 should be sent to [1][CQC request email].

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[CQC request email]
mailto:[CQC request email]

Dear Information Access,

Can you update me as to progress please?

Yours sincerely,

Aidan Turner

Information Access, Care Quality Commission

Dear Mr Turner

I'm sorry for the delay to this response.

On 26 September, you made the following request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

“Please can you answer the following:-

1. Were ALL the e-mails contained in your recent disclosure provided to Grant Thornton for the preparation of their report because three of them do not seem to be referred to in the report?

2. When you say that some Mail Boxes were removed from your system when those employees left, is this standard practice? Were any of the Mail Boxes of any of the key participants removed and then not restored fully or at all? If so, why?

On 3 October, you asked a further question:

3. I also need to know in relation to restoration of Mail Boxes whether you are saying that this was not done for reasons of :- 1. Cost. 2. Some other reason.

I sincerely apologise that the time taken to make my enquiries into this matter have resulted in a failure to meet the statutory deadline under FOIA.

In response to your questions, I can advise you that:

1. Having undertaken a search and a range of enquiries, I can advise you that all of the emails we provided to you were provided to Grant Thornton in November 2012, and were therefore available to Grant Thornton in preparation for their report.

The following emails, which were provided to you in response to your previous request, are directly and clearly referred to within the report:

• Amanda Sherlock’s email of 14 October 2011 at 16:11.
• Louise Dineley’s email of 15 December 2011 at 10:05
• The email to Louise Dineley, from a Compliance Manager, on 14 December 2011 at 22:44
• Amanda Sherlock’s email of 7 March 2012 at 10:51
• Louise Dineley’s email of 7 March 2012 at 10:21

The following 3 emails are not directly and clearly referred to in the report:

• Cynthia Bower’s email of 16 October 2011 at 11:12
• Jill Finney’s email of 9 March 2012 at 17:09
• Louise Dineley’s email of 7 March 2012 at 13:00

On 6 November 2012, CQC provided a securely encrypted laptop to Grant Thornton which contained copies of Cynthia Bower and Jill Finney’s email accounts, restored from back-up tapes.

Under our processes at the time, all CQC email accounts were copied to back-up tapes on a monthly basis and these back-ups were retained for 12 months. Emails which had already been deleted prior to the back-up being made would not form part of the retained back-up.

Those back-up tapes had been recovered from off-site storage on, or shortly before, 19 October 2012. Following completion and publication of the Grant Thornton report, the laptop was returned to CQC.

Our records show that all three of the email listed above, whilst not quoted in the report, were provided to Grant Thornton as part of this exercise.

Grant Thornton also had access to our records system in which we store documents, including emails which have been identified and stored as relevant ‘records’ in accordance with our records retention policies. This means that Grant Thornton had access to many emails and records in addition to the emails that were restored from back-up.

In addition to this, individuals being interviewed by Grant Thornton directly provided them with copies of emails that they considered relevant to the matters at hand.

2. It is standard practice to remove the email accounts of CQC employees when they leave the organisation.

It is not clear what you mean by ‘key participants’. I have taken this to mean members of the Board and Executive Team who were identified by pseudonyms (Mr B, Mr C, Mr D etc) at the time when the report was originally published. At the time that the emails referred to were restored from back up and provided to Grant Thornton (6 November 2012), only Cynthia Bower had left CQC, therefore those other accounts had not been removed.

For most employees, IT personal accounts - including email - are closed down and removed from the live system when they leave CQC. Any files stored in the CQC records system (Y:\ drive) remain there until removed in accordance with CQC’s records management policy. On request ICT will suspend accounts, but not delete them, for an agreed period. This is to allow authorised personnel to access to information held in those accounts, usually to facilitate transfer to the CQC records system. Following publication of the GT report, our ICT team has - at the request of the Commission - suspended the destruction of email back-up accounts for the time being.

Grant Thornton requested on 9 October 2012 that email accounts for Amanda Sherlock and Cynthia Bower were restored as part of their UHMB investigation. These accounts were duly restored and provided to GT in November 2012.

3. The email accounts of Cynthia Bower and Amanda Sherlock were restored from back-up because these were the ones requested by Grant Thornton. Although Ms Sherlock was still employed by CQC at that time (and therefore her email account had not been removed) this allowed for the retrieval of contemporaneous emails which may not have been retained by Ms Sherlock within her email account or other records.

I hope that this further information is of use to you.

Yours sincerely

Simon

Simon Richardson
Information Rights Manager
Legal Services & Information Rights
Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. www.cqc.org.uk. For general enquiries, telephone the National Contact Centre: 03000 616161.
Statutory requests for information made pursuant to access to information legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, should be sent to: [CQC request email]

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