Dear NHS England,

I refer to the Written Answer of Nicola Blackwood MP dated 10 March 2017 to Commons Written Question 66335 "NHS Shared Business Services: Postal Services" (Jonathan Ashworth MP).

In this context, Ms Blackwood mentioned an investigation by NHS England's Internal Audit Team which was launched on 1 April 2016.

I would like to request access to the report of this investigation ("the First Request"). If there was one or several interim or partial reports besides the final report, please provide access to all. Please provide annexes or appendices if applicable.

Ms Blackwood further mentioned that NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) had itself carried out a full investigation into the incident. I am fully aware that NHS SBS itself is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, I assume that NHS England has received a copy of the report of the investigation conducted by NHS SBS and holds this in its files. Hence, I also request access to the report of the NHS SBS Investigation ("the Second Request"). If there was one or several interim or partial reports besides the final report, which were given to NHS England by NHS SBS, please provide access to all. Please provide annexes or appendices if applicable and if these were given to NHS England.

Please provide a short acknowledge of receipt for this request. I look forward to hearing from you, many thanks in advance for your response.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Bimmler

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

Thank you for your communication dated 14 March 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 here.

 

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.

 

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, [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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

We are writing further to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated
14 March 2017.

 

We have determined that Section 43(2) (commercial interests) of the FOI
Act applies to the information requested. Section 43 is a qualified
exemption and as a result we need to consider the balance of the public
interest test in the information’s disclosure or non-disclosure. However,
in determining this we require more time to consider the public interest
test and consequent arguments in its release or refusal.

 

By virtue of Section 10(3), where public authorities have to consider the
balance of the public interest in relation to a request, they do not have
to comply with the request until such time as is reasonable in the
circumstances.

 

NHS England has not yet reached a decision on the balance of the public
interest. Due to the need to consider, in all the circumstances of the
case, where the balance of the public interest lies in relation to the
information that you have requested, NHS England will not be able to
respond to your request in full within 20 working days.

 

We hope to provide a response before close of play 12 May 2017.

 

We hope you find this information helpful. 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, [1][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: [2][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

Re: Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-052944)

 

We are writing further to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated
14 March 2017.  

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
NHS England is not in a position to respond to your request at this time.
We are still in the process of assessing your request and will provide you
with a full response as soon as possible. We will write to provide a
further update on or before 26 May 2017, if your response is not complete
by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware that
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: [1][email address]  

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]
4. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

Re: Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-052944)

 

We are writing further to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated
14 March 2017.  

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
NHS England is not in a position to respond to your request at this time.
We are still in the process of assessing your request and will provide you
with a full response as soon as possible. We will write to provide a
further update on or before 8 June 2017, if your response is not complete
by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware that
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: [1][email address]  

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]
4. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

Re: Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-052944)

 

We are writing further to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated
14 March 2017.  

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
NHS England is not in a position to respond to your request at this time.
We are still in the process of assessing your request and will provide you
with a full response as soon as possible. We will write to provide a
further update on or before 22 June 2017, if your response is not complete
by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware that
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: [1][email address]  

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]
4. mailto:[NHS England request email]

M Bimmler left an annotation ()

Upon a complaint by me to the ICO, the ICO had asked NHS England to respond by 4 July latest. It is now after COB on 4 July and there has not been any response. I have re-referred this to the ICO.

M Bimmler left an annotation ()

Decision Notice for non-compliance issued:
FS50685296

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

Thank you for your request dated 14 March 2017, made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA) for disclosure of the following documents
relating to the incident regarding processing of clinical correspondence
by NHS SBS:

 

 1. Report of NHS England's Internal Audit Team on the investigation which
was launched on 1 April 2016.

 

 2. Report(s) of NHS SBS's internal investigation into the incident

 

 

Your request confirmed that you are seeking all reports, including final
reports and any interim or partial reports prepared at an earlier stage. 
We have interpreted your reference to interim or partial reports as
referring not to drafts but to reports presented for consideration which
related only to some aspects of the incident (partial) or were presented
as initial findings and to be followed by a further report into the same
aspects at a later date (interim). 

 

We apologise for the delay in responding to your requests.  The underlying
matters to which your request relates are serious and complex. Activities
to respond to and manage the incident and investigations into the incident
are both ongoing.  In particular the National Audit Office (NAO) has
recently undertaken an investigation of the incident under its statutory
powers of investigation.  The NAO's report was published on 27 June 2017,
and there is the potential for further scrutiny to be undertaken by the
Public Accounts Committee which will receive the report.  It has therefore
been necessary to carefully consider the potential impact of disclosing
the requested information at this stage, and in particular to balance the
public interest factors for and against disclosure.

 

We confirm that, as at the date of your request, NHS England holds
material within the scope of your request, specifically:

 

o Within part 1 of your request, four reports (three interim and one
final) prepared by NHS England's internal auditors as internal
auditors of NHS England, in relation to the investigation referred to
in your request. 

 

o Within part 2 of your request, three reports prepared by BDO as
internal auditors of NHS SBS, in relation to different aspects of
their investigation into this incident.  In the case of one of these
reports, we hold an interim and final version. 

 

We consider that these reports are currently exempt from disclosure under
FOIA, applying exemptions as set out below.  This reflects the current
position with regard to other investigations into this incident and
relations between NHS England and others. 

 

This view on disclosure will be kept under review as matters develop.  NHS
England notes that exemptions must be applied in light of the
circumstances at the time of the request. We acknowledge that the position
on prejudice and the balance of the public interest may change over time.

 

NHS England considers that the following FOIA exemptions apply:

 

 

Section 31(1)(g) with sections 31(2)(a) to (c) and (j)

 

Section 31(1)(g) applies where disclosure of information would or would be
likely to prejudice any authority's exercise of functions for purposes
specified in section 31(2).  NHS England is concerned that disclosure of
the reports at this stage would be likely to prejudice the conduct of
functions for the purposes of:

 

o ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law
[31(2)(a)]
o ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which
is improper [31(2)(b)]
o ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory
action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise [31(2)(c)]
o protecting persons other than persons at work against risk to health
or safety arising out of or in connection with the actions of persons
at work [31(2)(j)] [this is accepted as applying to risks to patient
safety arising from the actions of individuals].

 

In respect of (a) to (c) we consider that the exemption applies in respect
of both NHS England's own functions of oversight in respect of the NHS and
delivery of services to the NHS, and in respect of the functions of other
authorities in investigating this incident and similar incidents in the
future.  The Information Commissioner, whose investigation into the
incident is ongoing and will result in a decision as to whether regulatory
action under the Data Protection Act 1998 should be taken against any
organisation. The concern is that disclosure of the reports at this stage,
while other investigations are still in progress and the possibility of
further investigations is still to be determined, would be likely to
prejudice the completion of investigations into these incidents. Where
investigations by national statutory regulators or auditors are still in
progress, it is clearly very important that those investigations can
conclude effectively and that those other organisations are able to take
decisions as to the information which should be put into the public
domain.  

 

In addition, NHS England is concerned that disclosure of the reports at
this stage is likely to discourage individuals or organisations from
carrying out, fully participating in or sharing the outcome of internal
investigations in the future.  This is because disclosure is likely to
lead to considerable public/media scrutiny of the actions of individuals
and the organisations as referred to in the reports.   Such an impact
would be to the detriment of the interests referred to in 31(2)(a) to
(c).  We understand that NHS SBS and BDO would not support placing their
reports in the public domain. 

 

The same arguments would apply under section 31(2)(j), in respect of NHS
England's duty to exercise its functions with regard to patient safety. 
Concern about patient safety lies at the heart of this incident and NHS
England's response to it.  NHS England is concerned that disclosure of the
reports at this stage would prejudice future conduct of effective
investigations into other incidents which might affect patient safety, by
deterring individuals and organisations from carrying out, fully
participating in or sharing the outcome of internal investigations in the
future.

 

Section 31 is subject to the public interest test. This means that NHS
England can only rely on the exemption if it is satisfied that the public
interest in avoiding the prejudice identified above outweighs the public
interest in disclosure of the materials. 

 

NHS England acknowledges that there is a very substantial public interest
in understanding the causes of this incident and in ensuring appropriate
scrutiny as to how the incident happened and how the organisations
involved responded.  NHS England also acknowledges the importance of
transparency about the way in which public money is spent under contracts
entered into by public authorities. 

 

However the NAO has recently concluded an investigation into the incident,
which fully meets these interests and provides a very high degree of
accountability for the incident.  The NAO investigators have had access to
all material relevant to the scope of their investigation.  The report on
the investigation represents a fully independent view of the incident from
the organisation with a statutory function of carrying out such reviews,
and which therefore has very considerable expertise in identifying and
understanding the causes of the incident.  That report was published on 27
June 2017.  As noted above, following publication of the report there is
also the potential for further scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee.
The Public Accounts Committee may decide to hold hearings and hear oral
evidence from witnesses about the matters in the NAO's report.  In
addition, the ICO is investigating the incident as noted above.

 

In the circumstances NHS England considers that it would not be
appropriate to publish these individual reports at this stage, and that
the public interest in accountability for this incident is best served by
the NAO report being published as the most complete and authoritative
review of the incident. Publication of additional material after that will
need to be considered in light of the findings of the NAO report and any
further disclosures which might be made by the NAO or in the context of
Public Accounts Committee proceedings.  It should also take into account
the outcome of the Information Commissioner's investigation.  Therefore
NHS England considers that the public interest in preventing prejudice as
described above currently outweighs the public interest in disclosing the
requested materials. 

 

 

Section 40(2)

 

This exemption applies where information requested under FOIA is "personal
data" to which the Data Protection Act (DPA) applies and where disclosure
of that personal data would breach the Data Protection Principles (DPPs).
The DPPs are the requirements under the DPA as to how personal data should
be handled and disclosed, including a requirement for any disclosure of
data to be "fair".  "Personal data" is data which relates to an
identifiable living individual. 

 

The reports you have requested contain some personal data of individuals. 
NHS England considers that it would not be fair to those individuals to
disclose their personal data in the reports at this time.  In reaching
this view NHS England has had regard to the information available to it
regarding the basis on which individuals participated in the
investigations and the potential for disclosure at this stage to generate
considerable scrutiny of individuals mentioned within them or identifiable
from the report. 

 

 

We hope this information is helpful. However, if you are dissatisfied, you
have the right to ask for an internal review by writing to us, within two
months of the date of this letter, to:

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Email: [1][NHS England request email]

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-052944 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: [2][email address]  

Website: [3]www.ico.gov.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, [4][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: [5][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

Dear NHS England,

I am writing to request an internal review of NHS England's handling of my FOI request 'NHS SBS / Unprocessed letters', your reference FOI-052944.

I am grateful for your thorough (if very delayed) consideration of my request. However, I'm afraid I remain unconvinced that the s31(1)(g) (applied here in relation to s31(2)(a) to (c) and (j)) exemption can be applied to the entirety of the reports you hold. I do understand that there might be a basis to make partial redactions of the report, especially where they might make reference to the identity of certain decision-makers or would reveal certain decision chains - this could be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, I cannot see how the entirety of the files named by you would fall under the above exemptions and how the public interest would be in favour of withholding the entirety of the records held.

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

Yours faithfully,

M Bimmler

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,  

 

Thank you for email of 16 August 2017. 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.

 

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, [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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

 

 

Dear NHS England,

could you update me on the progress of my Internal Review request (your reference FOI-052944)?

Yours sincerely,

M Bimmler

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

We write further to your email of 27 September 2017 with regard to your
Freedom of Information Internal Review request reference FOI-052944.

 

As outlined in our acknowledgement email of 18 August 2017, it is
occasionally necessary to extend the timeframe for responding to an
Internal Review request to 40 working days. This has proved to be
necessary in this case. As such, NHS England now intends to respond to
your request on or before 12 October 2017, and will update you on this
date if a response is not complete by this time.

 

We hope that this information is helpful.

 

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, [1][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: [2][NHS England request email]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

 

Freedom of Information Internal Review request reference FOI-052944

Dear NHS England,

I understand you had wanted to reply to this Internal Review request more than two weeks ago (this being an extended response deadline already). Please could you clarify urgently when you intend to respond?

Yours sincerely,

M Bimmler

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

We are writing with regard to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request
dated 15 August 2017.

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
NHS England is not in a position to respond to your request at this time.
We are still in the process of assessing your request and will provide you
with a full response as soon as possible. We will write to provide a
further update on or before 15 November 2017, if your response is not
complete by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware that
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: [1][email address]  

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

We hope that this information is helpful.

 

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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Mr Bimmler,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information Internal Review outcome

(Our Ref: FOI-052944 IR)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) Internal Review request
dated 16 August 2017.

 

Your original FOI request was received by NHS England on 14 March 2017,
and read:-

 

“I refer to the Written Answer of Nicola Blackwood MP dated 10 March 2017
to Commons Written Question  66335 "NHS Shared Business Services: Postal
Services" (Jonathan Ashworth MP).

 

In this context, Ms Blackwood mentioned an investigation by NHS England's
Internal Audit Team which was launched on 1 April 2016.

 

I would like to request access to the report of this investigation ("the
First Request"). If there was one or several interim or partial reports
besides the final report, please provide access to all. Please provide
annexes or appendices if applicable.

 

Ms Blackwood further mentioned that NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS)
had itself carried out a full investigation into the incident. I am fully
aware that NHS SBS itself is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act
2000. However, I assume that NHS England has received a copy of the report
of the investigation conducted by NHS SBS and holds this in its files.
Hence, I also request access to the report of the NHS SBS Investigation
("the Second Request"). If there was one or several interim or partial
reports besides the final report, which were given to NHS England by NHS
SBS, please provide access to all. Please provide annexes or appendices if
applicable and if these were given to NHS England.”

 

Your Internal Review request was received by NHS England on 16 August
2017, and read:-

 

“I am grateful for your thorough (if very delayed) consideration of my
request. However, I'm afraid I remain unconvinced that the s31(1)(g)
(applied here in relation to s31(2)(a) to (c) and (j)) exemption can be
applied to the entirety of the reports you hold. I do understand that
there might be a basis to make partial redactions of the report,
especially where they might make reference to the identity of certain
decision-makers or would reveal certain decision chains - this could be
considered on a case-by-case basis. However, I cannot see how the entirety
of the files named by you would fall under the above exemptions and how
the public interest would be in favour of withholding the entirety of the
records held.”

 

The FOI Management team have reviewed your request and this letter
provides the outcome of this review.

 

It was noted that your original response was issued over the statutory
guidelines of 20 working days. We would like to apologise for the length
of time it took to provide you with a response to your FOI request. This
fell short of our standards and we would like to offer our sincere
apologies for the delay incurred.

 

We have also assessed whether you received an appropriate response to your
request and considered the application of the exemption set out at section
31 of the FOI Act.

 

It is the conclusion of this review that NHS England’s original response
to this request was accurate and appropriate.

 

We conclude that the use of section 31 was appropriate at the time your
request was made. Further, we consider that, as this situation remains
live, section 31 continues to be applicable to this information.

 

In line with the above, we uphold our original response.

 

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: [1][email address]  

Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-052944 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, [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]

 

‘High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

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