Overarching contract with current Direct Engagement Provider

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH made this Freedom of Information request to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust,

Many thanks for your previous response, and all the work I am sure has gone into this. It is very much appreciated and has been extremely helpful.

I am writing to request further information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I would be interested in any information held by your organisation regarding my request. I understand that I do not have to specify particular files or documents and it is the departments responsibility to provide the information I require. If you need further clarification please contact me via this website (or email). I would like to request the following information:

1) Please disclose the top level overarching contract with your Direct Engagement Scheme provider as named above.

PUBLIC INTEREST TEST REPRESENTATIONS, REGARDING INAPPLICABILITY OF FOIA SECTION 43(1) & SECTION 43(2) EXEMPTIONS:

The NHS trust may be contracting with a non CQC regulated healthcare/medical services provider for the provision of medical/healthcare services to save VAT.

As per our understanding, it may be a criminal offence to provide Healthcare/Medical services, as they are set out under Schedule 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, if not CQC regulated and, as such, the public interest in disclosure is overwhelming if the NHS trust is contracting with a medical service provider which is not CQC registered (the provider in question supplies you with locum health workers through an umbrella which apparently claims to 'wholly employ' thousands of health workers).

You can confirm lack of CQC registration on the CQC's website: www.cqc.org.uk - select 'all services'

Once you have verified the provider is unregulated, if you are still unsure on the public interest front could you please call the CQC and verify if they need registration due to the nature of their supply or if they do not need registration as they are supplying workers as an agency might.

You can call the CQC on this number to do so: 03000616161 (also available on their website under 'contact us')

Once this public interest basis for review has been confirmed at your side you are free to consider whether to claim an exemption but please provide justification for your answer with reference to the above public interest representations should you choose not to disclose the contract (this is a requirement of claiming such an exemption under the act).

I would like the information to be provided by email or on this website in electronic form. If my request is denied in whole or in part I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive fees. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request. I look forward to your response within 20 working days as outlined by the statute. Many thanks for your assistance with this request.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

"Thank you for your e-mail which we will consider under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and respond to you within the specified timescales.

In some circumstances, if we are unable to answer your enquiry directly,
it may be necessary for us to forward your e-mail to another department
who will contact you.

Please note, this mail box is monitored during weekday office hours. "

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust,

Just to clarify , I had not realised this request did not reference the one in which you had named your DE provider.

Thus by 'the direct engagement provider you have named above' I was referring to the one you have named in this FOI:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

2 Attachments

Please find attached the Trust’s response to your request for
information. 

 

We are trying to improve our service and would really appreciate your
feedback on how the Trust has done in handling your request.  I would be
grateful if you could take a few moments of your time to complete the
short survey on the link below:

 

(2018/19 survey link):  [1]https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3TLFXGD

 

Thank you

 

Freedom of Information Team
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Cumberland Infirmary

Carlisle
Cumbria
CA2 7HY
Email: [2][email address]

[3]cid:image001.png@01D3AC84.36C1AFC0

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals,

It seems astounding that the trust would sign a contract for such large sums of money and not retain a copy? Which contract/terms govern your engagement with your Direct Engagement provider? In which document is this set out? It seems completely incompatible with good governance for a trust to not to retain a copy of such a document/file. Could a more thorough search please be undertaken. Else could you explain why no copy is held as this sounds more like an attempt to avoid disclosure.

I would ask that a thorough search for this contract is undertaken and it is either disclosed or justification is given as per the public interest representation above for not disclosing.

With regard to the reply you have given,

The response supplied is not actually what was requested.

In relation to your response:

1) Could the trust confirm that the Trust only attempts to use this provider where an individual would be considered by the trust to be inside IR35?
2) Could you confirm that you are aware you are only procuring healthcare services/medical services from the business providing the locum (either as a sole trader/PSC/or umbrella). As such it is the business which would claim to provide you with healthcare services.

In the first instance you would be procuring healthcare form the locum's PSC (this likely no longer occurs in practice as, to the best of our knowledge, the Trust is not making any outside IR35 assessments).

In the second instance the direct engagement umbrella company in question claims to employ these locums and to supply you with healthcare/medical services.

Can you confirm you are aware the Direct Engagement provider does not have CQC registration? Could you confirm if you have checked if the provider needs such registration as in the initial public interest representation.

--------Additional FOI Request--------
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

Please disclose the Supervision Direction and Control clauses contained in any(/all) framework agreement(s) you use.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for your enquiry which I have forwarded to the relevant lead for consideration.

Yours sincerely

Anne
Anne Gadsden
Information Governance Officer
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Email: [email address] / [email address]

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals,

Thank you! It would also be useful to know whether the procurement was handled in house or outsourced to a procurement organisation/framework and, if so, which one.

Many thanks for looking into this for me.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Heron Rhia (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for your email. Please note that I am now out of the office
until Tuesday 31 July 2018.

If you have an urgent enquiry during office hours, please contact the
communications office on 01228 814344 or email [email address]

If you have an out of hours media enquiry, please call 01228 523444 and
ask to speak to the director on-call.

Otherwise, I will respond to your email as soon as I can.

Best wishes
Rhia

FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

I think one of our previous responses (FoI 004528) perhaps covered this aspect of your query:

"The external company Health Trust Europe (HTE) ran the procurement of the Direct Engagement Scheme on behalf of the Trust; the Trust does not hold this information"

I hope this is helpful

Anne
Anne Gadsden
Information Governance Officer
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Email: [email address] / [email address]

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Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH

Dear FOI.requests (RNL) North Cumbria University Hospitals,

Many thanks for this, sorry I had overlooked this part of the information. Much appreciated.

I will await the rest of the response.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Colin Iain Campbell MBChB FRSPH