Ophthalmology equipment/category information

Mark Callaway made this Freedom of Information request to Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Dear Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust,

Subject
Freedom of Information request - Ophthalmology equipment/category information

Please could you tell me:

1. When is your current VR and Phaco ophthalmology contract due for renewal/expiry?
2. Do you plan to release an OJEU tender for the renewal of this contract?
3. Do you plan to use a national framework for the renewal of this contract? If so which one?
4. How many Phaco machines do you currently have? How many Phaco-Vitrectomy
machines do you have?
a. Does your trust own your current machines, or are they on a leased agreement from your supplier?
5. What is the age of your Phaco machines?
a. do you have a service/maintenance agreement in place for this machine?
6. What is the age of your vitrectomy machines?
a. do you have a service/maintenance agreement in place for this machine?
7. How many phaco handpieces do you have?
8. When do you plan to trial/demo new potential machines/suppliers?
9. Who is the procurement manager/buyer responsible for the ophthalmology category?
10. Who is the person who signs new contracts and what is their job title?
11. What is the total spend on your phaco machine procedure packs per annum?
12. What is the total spend on your VR machine procedure packs per annum?
13. What level of maintenance cover is provided for your phaco and VR equipment? What is
the annual cost of maintenance for your phaco and VR machines?
14. Who is your clinical lead for ophthalmology?
15. How do you intend to implement the new proposed ISO 16672/2020 standards pertaining
to intraocular liquids purity (such as Perfluorocarbon Liquids (PFCLs), and Silicone Oils?
16. Will you plan to use capital or revenue budget to fund the next contract for phaco and VR
equipment, ie capital purchase or consumables based agreement?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Callaway

FOI (BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST), Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) Office at
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.  This is an automated
response that confirms we have received your correspondence.
As you will be aware, the NHS is supporting the country in dealing with
the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The Trust is playing our part in
this important work and therefore our resources are focused on direct
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The ICO supports the position that organisations, especially the NHS, may
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We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
Yours sincerely,
Freedom of Information Office
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

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FOI (BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST), Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Mark Callaway,

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) Office at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. This email confirms that we have received your correspondence.

The NHS continues to face unprecedented challenges associated with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. While we will make every effort to respond to your request for information our staff remain focused on supporting patient care and restoring vital healthcare services.

We will now begin processing your FOI request. Under the terms of the Act the Trust has 20 working days in which to respond. It is important to stress that staff availability for information rights work will remain limited for quite some time. It will not be possible for us to process large FOI requests that require an unreasonable amount of staff resources to complete. We kindly ask that requests for information are kept to a minimum. If you would like to revise or withdraw you request please let us know by emailing the FOI Office at - [email address]

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Office
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

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FOI (BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST), Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Mark Callaway,

 

We are writing with regard to your recent request for information under
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

Your request:

 

1. When is your current VR and Phaco ophthalmology contract due for
renewal/expiry?

2. Do you plan to release an OJEU tender for the renewal of this contract?

3. Do you plan to use a national framework for the renewal of this
contract? If so which one?

4. How many Phaco machines do you currently have? How many
Phaco-Vitrectomy machines do you have?

a. Does your trust own your current machines, or are they on a leased
agreement from your supplier?

5. What is the age of your Phaco machines?

a. do you have a service/maintenance agreement in place for this machine?

6. What is the age of your vitrectomy machines?

a. do you have a service/maintenance agreement in place for this machine?

7. How many phaco handpieces do you have?

8. When do you plan to trial/demo new potential machines/suppliers?

9. Who is the procurement manager/buyer responsible for the ophthalmology
category?

10. Who is the person who signs new contracts and what is their job title?

11. What is the total spend on your phaco machine procedure packs per
annum?

12. What is the total spend on your VR machine procedure packs per annum?

13. What level of maintenance cover is provided for your phaco and VR
equipment? What is the annual cost of maintenance for your phaco and VR
machines?

14. Who is your clinical lead for ophthalmology?

15. How do you intend to implement the new proposed ISO 16672/2020
standards pertaining to intraocular liquids purity (such as
Perfluorocarbon Liquids (PFCLs), and Silicone Oils?

16. Will you plan to use capital or revenue budget to fund the next
contract for phaco and VR equipment, ie capital purchase or consumables
based agreement?

 

Advice provided under Section 16 (duty to assist):

 

The Trust has a responsibility under section 16 of the Act to provide
assistance with FOI requests where possible and reasonable to do so.

 

In its current format, your request is considerable in scope and compiling
this information will require significant research by our staff across a
number of departments in the Trust.  We regret that the Trust does not
have the spare capacity to fulfil such a work intensive request, which is
essentially a large research project.  We have carefully considered your
request and concluded that we are unable to provide the information you
are seeking within the ‘appropriate limit’ as outlined in the Fees
Regulations and the engagement of section 12 exemption [cost limit] under
the FOIA is appropriate at this time.  We will provide further information
about the application of this exemption in our final response where
applicable.

 

In the first instance however, we are writing to you under section 16 of
the Act (duty to assist) to offer you the opportunity to revise and/or
reduce the scope of your request.  If you are able to revise your
application for information so that you are seeking information that is
not exempt from disclosure as outlined above, we will be happy to
reconsider your request.

 

If you require all non-exempt information in the format you have
requested, the Trust can provide you with an estimate of the time needed
to compile this information and issue you with a formal ‘fees notice’ for
the work involved.  Under FOIA legislation the standard charge is £25 per
hour.  Payment will be required prior to undertaking any work relevant to
your request.  Please let us know if you would find this helpful.

 

The Trust and its commissioning partners are required to follow very
specific rules when procuring equipment or services.  It will be therefore
of little benefit to contact our staff directly about such opportunities.
 Information about procurement and tendering can be found on our website -
[1]https://www.bsuh.nhs.uk/about-us/our-spe...

 

The NHS is facing unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic.  The Trust is playing our part in this important work
and therefore our resources are focused on direct patient care and
support.  Staff ordinarily available to assist with Freedom of Information
rights work are currently focused on supporting patient care and
maintaining vital healthcare services.  We appreciate your understanding
at this difficult time. 

 

Please note that the 20 working day clock associated with FOI requests
will restart once we have received a response from you.

 

We look forward to your reply and will respond in due course.  Some
information, however, might be withheld due to exemptions which are
allowed for by the Act. If this is the case, we will tell you that we have
withheld information and why.

 

In the meantime, if we can be of further assistance please do not hesitate
to contact the Trust at: [2][email address]

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Office

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Dear FOI (BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST),

Thank you for your response.

Please could you therefore only answer questions;
1, 3, 4, 4a, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15,.

Could you also inform me how many Cataracts procedures are carried out per annum, and how many VitreoRetinal procedures for the same please?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Callaway

FREEDOMOFINFORMATION (WESTERN SUSSEX HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

1 Attachment

Dear  Mark Callaway,

 

Thank you for your recent request for information under the Freedom of
Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

We are now in a position to respond to your request.

 

Your request:

 

           Please could you tell me:

 

1. When is your current VR and Phaco ophthalmology contract due for
renewal/expiry?

2. Do you plan to release an OJEU tender for the renewal of this contract?

3. Do you plan to use a national framework for the renewal of this
contract? If so which one?

4. How many Phaco machines do you currently have? How many
Phaco-Vitrectomy machines do you have?

a. Does your trust own your current machines, or are they on a leased
agreement from your supplier?

5. What is the age of your Phaco machines?

a. do you have a service/maintenance agreement in place for this machine?

6. What is the age of your vitrectomy machines?

a. do you have a service/maintenance agreement in place for this machine?

7. How many phaco handpieces do you have?

8. When do you plan to trial/demo new potential machines/suppliers?

9. Who is the procurement manager/buyer responsible for the ophthalmology
category?

10. Who is the person who signs new contracts and what is their job title?

11. What is the total spend on your phaco machine procedure packs per
annum?

12. What is the total spend on your VR machine procedure packs per annum?

13. What level of maintenance cover is provided for your phaco and VR
equipment? What is the annual cost of maintenance for your phaco and VR
machines?

14. Who is your clinical lead for ophthalmology?

15. How do you intend to implement the new proposed ISO 16672/2020
standards pertaining to intraocular liquids purity (such as
Perfluorocarbon Liquids (PFCLs), and Silicone Oils?

16. Will you plan to use capital or revenue budget to fund the next
contract for phaco and VR equipment, ie capital purchase or consumables
based agreement?

 

Assistance provided to applicant under section 16 [duty to assist] on
01/03/21

 

In its current format, your request is considerable in scope and compiling
this information will require significant research by our staff across a
number of departments in the Trust.  We regret that the Trust does not
have the spare capacity to fulfil such a work intensive request, which is
essentially a large research project.  We have carefully considered your
request and concluded that we are unable to provide the information you
are seeking within the ‘appropriate limit’ as outlined in the Fees
Regulations and the engagement of section 12 exemption [cost limit] under
the FOIA is appropriate at this time.  We will provide further information
about the application of this exemption in our final response where
applicable.

 

Response received 04/03/21:

 

Please could you therefore only answer questions;

 

1, 3, 4, 4a, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15

 

Could you also inform me how many Cataracts procedures are carried out per
annum, and how many VitreoRetinal procedures for the same please?
(Questions 17 & 18)

 

Our response:

 

Under Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Trust
can confirm that it holds information relevant to your request and this
has been provided where possible below.       

 

            1. August 2021

 

            3. The decision on this has not yet been made so information
is not held to report under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

            4 & 4a.  The Trust owns 2 Phaco Machines and 40 hand pieces.

 

            8. We do not currently know when we will trial new machines so
information is not held to report under the terms of the Act.   

 

9. The Chief Procurement Officer has overall responsibility for these
contracts. They can be reached via the Trust’s main switchboard – 01273
696955.

 

It is important to note that the Trust and its commissioning partners are
required to follow very specific rules when procuring equipment or
services. It will be therefore of little benefit to contact our staff
directly about such opportunities.  Information about procurement and
tendering can be found on our website -
[1]https://www.bsuh.nhs.uk/about-us/our-spe...

 

            11. Exempt from disclosure under S43(2)[Commercial Interest]
exemption of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Section 43(2) of the FOIA states that: “Information is exempt information
if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice
the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority
holding it).” According to ICO guidance, a ‘commercial interest’ is
defined as follows “…a commercial interest relates to a person’s ability
to participate competitively in a commercial activity, i.e. the purchase
and sale of goods or services.” 

 

Should the Trust disclose the details you are seeking, this would put the
organisation at a significant disadvantage when negotiating future
contracts and would likely result in higher costs to the Trust.
Additionally, once disclosed into the public domain this information could
be used by competitors to our current suppliers in order to strengthen
their own bargaining position and gain an unfair advantage in the
marketplace (e.g. when tendering for contracts), regardless of whether
they were bidding on contracts for the Trust or for other organisations.

 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption, therefore the public interest in
withholding the information should outweigh the public interest in its
disclosure. The Trust has carried out the requisite public interest test
and while disclosure of this information would provide additional
transparency about the costs associated with such services, it is not
outweighed by the commercial prejudice disclosure will cause to the Trust
or our current suppliers. Disclosure in this case would undermine the
Trust’s trading position and business aims and ultimately impact on its
ability to negotiate the most cost effective healthcare services for the
taxpayer. For these reasons, the Trust has decided that it is in the
public interest to withhold this information at this time.

 

            12. Exempt from disclosure under S43(2)[Commercial Interest]
exemption of the Freedom of Information Act. – See above for details.

           

            15. The protocol for this is currently being discussed within
the department so is not yet available to provide under the Act.

 

17. 1893 cataract procedures were carried out in 2020.

 

18.  There is no specific coding in our information system to allow us to
report specifically on Vitreoretinal procedures. It appears that this is
quite an umbrella term covering many different conditions. As such we are
not able to provide a meaningful response to this question. Should you
wish to provide a more specific condition that has coding available to
report we will reconsider our response.     

 

[2]Description: Description: Description: Description: Description:
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Freedom of Information Office

Headquarters

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Eastern Road

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The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
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Wilmslow
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Telephone: 0303 123 1113

 

We hope that you find the information provided helpful.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information Office

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

 

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Dear FREEDOMOFINFORMATION (WESTERN SUSSEX HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

I am profoundly grateful for your help, thank you for your responses.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Callaway