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Performance statistics etc - transfer of medical records between GPs

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Dear NHS England,

I am informed that my medical records were not available to my new GP for WEEKS.
They only had to move from Highbridge to Burnham-on-Sea - a 20 minute walk.

Is this experience commonplace?

May I please be informed whether you have / check performance statistics for the transit firm/s you commissioned, and if yes, what were they for the last 3 months or as recently as are available?

Yours faithfully

J. C. Gorman

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,  

 

Thank you for your communication dated 30 September 2016.

 

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’

 

 

 

show quoted sections

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 Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

We are writing further to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated
30 September 2016.  

 

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 4 November 2016, if your response is not
complete by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware, if you
are dissatisfied with the handling of your request 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 your reference number as provided above.

 

Please note, that as you have not yet received a response to your request,
any Internal Review will only be able to review the handling of your case
to date, and is unlikely to expedite a response.

 

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 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’

 

show quoted sections

References

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

Dear FOI England (NHS ENGLAND),

Thank you for the courtesy of your update, and for apologising. However you offer no explanation.

By law you must respond promptly. The Freedom of Information Act says:
"A public authority must comply with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt." Therefore, with respect, you are in breach.

You knew, or ought to have known, straight away, the answer to part of my request "May I please be informed whether you have / check performance statistics for the transit firm/s you commissioned," as it merely asked what existed within your area of authority.

Sadly, therefore, if you do not at least answer that part without further delay, absent any credible explanation, I shall have no alternative but to take this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

J. C. Gorman

FOI England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

We are writing further to our email dated 28 October 2016.  

 

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 11 November 2016, if your response is not
complete by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware, if you
are dissatisfied with the handling of your request 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 your reference number as provided above.

 

Please note, that as you have not yet received a response to your request,
any Internal Review will only be able to review the handling of your case
to date, and is unlikely to expedite a response.

 

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 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’

 

show quoted sections

References

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

Dear NHS England,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of NHS England's handling of my FOI request 'Performance statistics etc - transfer of medical records between GPs'.

The authority stated that it had assessed the request under the Freedom of Information Act, then a month later stated that it was in the process of assessing the request (under we now know not what).

My reasoned request for part reply was ignored.
My invitation to explain delay was ignored.

The authority has not provided any of the requested information in the time allowed, or at all.

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

Yours faithfully,

J. C. Gorman

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Thank you for email dated 4 November 2016. 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’

 

show quoted sections

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 Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

We are writing further to our email dated 4 November 2016.  

 

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 18 November 2016, if your response is not
complete by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware, if you
are dissatisfied with the handling of your request 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 your reference number as provided above.

 

Please note, that as you have not yet received a response to your request,
any Internal Review will only be able to review the handling of your case
to date, and is unlikely to expedite a response.

 

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 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’

 

show quoted sections

References

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

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

We are writing further to our email dated 11 November 2016.  

 

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 25 November 2016, if your response is not
complete by this time.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please be aware, if you
are dissatisfied with the handling of your request 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 your reference number as provided above.

 

Please note, that as you have not yet received a response to your request,
any Internal Review will only be able to review the handling of your case
to date, and is unlikely to expedite a response.

 

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 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’

 

show quoted sections

References

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

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 30 September
2016.

 

We would like to apologise for the length of time it has taken to provide
you with a response to your FOI request. This has fallen short of our
standards and we would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay
incurred.

 

Your exact request was:

“I am informed that my medical records were not available  to my new GP
for WEEKS.

They only had to move from Highbridge to Burnham-on-Sea - a 20 minute
walk.

 

Is this experience commonplace?

 

May I please be informed whether you have / check performance statistics
for the transit firm/s you commissioned, and if yes, what were they for
the last 3 months or as recently as are available?”

 

NHS England holds some information relevant to your request.

 

It may help if we explain that Primary Care Support England (PCSE), which
is responsible for moving medical records between GP practices, is now run
by Capita on behalf of NHS England. PCSE moves about 90,000 records per
week.  The process for PCSE retrieving a medical record works as follows:

 

·         The current GP informs PCSE of a record movements request and a
pick up is arranged from the named Practice at the next scheduled time.

·         The record is onward transferred to our national processing
facility where the record is summarily checked against the ID ‘bag and
tag’, recorded for onward movement, and transferred to the new GP surgery.

 

When Capita took on the service from NHS England in September 2015, the
average process turnaround is estimated to have been around 6 weeks. Under
PCSE the average process time is now normally 3 to 4 weeks.

 

However, during the summer, problems were experienced with this service,
and in some cases there were significant additional delays in moving
records between practices. It may be that these delays impacted the
movement of your record.  However, the service has now been recovered and
should be operating to an acceptable standard. 

 

Capita are tracking performance of the medical records movements service
including things like measuring the consistency of deliveries and
collections.  There is not yet an end to end measure as records are not
currently timed from collection through to delivery. As such, NHS England
does not hold any performance statistics in relation to your request.
However, from measuring each aspect of the process we are able to
determine that the PCSE average process is 3-4weeks. 

 

Copyright: NHS England operates under the terms of the open government
licence. Please see the NHS England Terms and conditions on the following
link [1]http://www.england.nhs.uk/terms-and-cond...

 

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: [2][NHS England request email]

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-018108 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: [3][email address]  

Website: [4]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, [5][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: [6][NHS England request email]

 

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

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.england.nhs.uk/terms-and-cond...
2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
5. mailto:[NHS England request email]
6. mailto:[NHS England request email]

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

We are working to provide a response to your Internal Review request dated
4 November 2016. However, given that the response to your Freedom of
Information (FOI) request was issued yesterday, we are keen to understand
whether you still require an Internal Review.

 

We are happy to complete the Internal Review but would be grateful if you
could confirm if you still require this.

 

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: [1][NHS England request email]

 

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

 

From: FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND)
Sent: 23 November 2016 11:37
To: '[FOI #362256 email]'
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Response (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: FOI-018108)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 30 September
2016.

 

We would like to apologise for the length of time it has taken to provide
you with a response to your FOI request. This has fallen short of our
standards and we would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay
incurred.

 

Your exact request was:

“I am informed that my medical records were not available  to my new GP
for WEEKS.

They only had to move from Highbridge to Burnham-on-Sea - a 20 minute
walk.

 

Is this experience commonplace?

 

May I please be informed whether you have / check performance statistics
for the transit firm/s you commissioned, and if yes, what were they for
the last 3 months or as recently as are available?”

 

NHS England holds some information relevant to your request.

 

It may help if we explain that Primary Care Support England (PCSE), which
is responsible for moving medical records between GP practices, is now run
by Capita on behalf of NHS England. PCSE moves about 90,000 records per
week.  The process for PCSE retrieving a medical record works as follows:

 

·         The current GP informs PCSE of a record movements request and a
pick up is arranged from the named Practice at the next scheduled time.

·         The record is onward transferred to our national processing
facility where the record is summarily checked against the ID ‘bag and
tag’, recorded for onward movement, and transferred to the new GP surgery.

 

When Capita took on the service from NHS England in September 2015, the
average process turnaround is estimated to have been around 6 weeks. Under
PCSE the average process time is now normally 3 to 4 weeks.

 

However, during the summer, problems were experienced with this service,
and in some cases there were significant additional delays in moving
records between practices. It may be that these delays impacted the
movement of your record.  However, the service has now been recovered and
should be operating to an acceptable standard. 

 

Capita are tracking performance of the medical records movements service
including things like measuring the consistency of deliveries and
collections.  There is not yet an end to end measure as records are not
currently timed from collection through to delivery. As such, NHS England
does not hold any performance statistics in relation to your request.
However, from measuring each aspect of the process we are able to
determine that the PCSE average process is 3-4weeks. 

 

Copyright: NHS England operates under the terms of the open government
licence. Please see the NHS England Terms and conditions on the following
link [2]http://www.england.nhs.uk/terms-and-cond...

 

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: [3][NHS England request email]

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-018108 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: [4][email address]  

Website: [5]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, [6][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: [7][NHS England request email]

 

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

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[NHS England request email]
2. http://www.england.nhs.uk/terms-and-cond...
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
6. mailto:[NHS England request email]
7. mailto:[NHS England request email]

Dear FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND),

Yes, please carry out the internal review.

(1) As an administrative principle I consider it appalling that it should take NHS England so long to say what they knew, or should have known, long before I asked.

(2) I would suggest that as to custody of people's health records, NHS England has an ultimate Duty of Care, both in the choice of transport organisation and as regarding that organisation's performance. For many of us, unavailability of our records for weeks (actually in my case I am told it was months!) means that we cannot promptly access essential treatment, and it is frightening to think that in so many thousands of cases, medical professionals both at GPs' surgeries and in our hospitals are working "in the dark". For some of us, the implications are sinister.

(3) I fear that such a long delay in communicating what IS, bodes hopeless for executive action to achieve what SHOULD BE in the forseeable future.

Does NHS England wish to comment?

Yours sincerely,

J. C. Gorman

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND), NHS England

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Thank you for your email dated 29 November 2016. 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’

 

show quoted sections

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 Sir or Madam,

 

Re:      Freedom of Information Internal Review outcome

(Our Ref: FOI-018108IR)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) Internal Review request
dated 29 November 2016.

 

Your exact request was:-

 

“I am informed that my medical records were not available  to my new GP 
for WEEKS.

 

They only had to move from Highbridge to Burnham-on-Sea - a 20 minute 
walk.

 

Is this experience commonplace?

 

May I please be informed whether you have / check performance statistics 
for the transit firm/s you commissioned, and if yes, what were they for 
the last 3 months or as recently as are available?”

 

Your Internal Review request read:-

 

            “Yes,  please carry out the internal review.

 

(1)  As an administrative principle I consider it appalling that it should
take NHS England so long to say what they knew, or should have known, long
before I asked. 

 

(2)  I  would suggest that as to custody of people's health records,  NHS
England has an ultimate Duty of Care, both in the choice of transport
organisation and as regarding that organisation's performance.  For many
of us, unavailability of our records for weeks (actually in my case I am
told it was months!)  means that we cannot promptly access essential
treatment,  and it is frightening to think that in so many thousands of
cases,  medical professionals both at GPs' surgeries and in our hospitals
are working "in the dark".  For some of us, the implications are sinister.

 

(3)  I  fear that such a long delay in communicating what IS,  bodes
hopeless for executive action to achieve what SHOULD BE in the forseeable
future.

 

Does NHS England wish to comment?”

 

Please note, as NHS England has previously conducted a review into the
time taken to respond to your request, those issues will not be revisited
here, although we would like to take this opportunity to repeat our
apologies for the delay in responding to your request.

 

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

 

It is the position of NHS England that our original decision is correct,
in that the information requested by the applicant is held in full by NHS
England. As such, it is the decision of the Internal Review that NHS
England’s original response was correct.

 

However, we hope that the following further comments and context to the
specific points raised in your Internal Review request are helpful.

 

We can only apologise for the original delays in responding to the
request.  We have recently been receiving a higher than normal volume of
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and this protracted our response
back to you, for which we are sorry.

 

NHS England takes very seriously its duty as data controller for patient
medical records.  We are working with Capita, who provide this service for
us, to introduce a new way of moving medical records.  We know that the
arrangements for moving medical records can, and need to be, improved as
the situation for many years has been that records can take a number of
months to move from one GP practice to another.  Our new approach will
enable each record to be bar coded and tracked from collection at one GP
practice to delivery at the next.  Once we introduce this it will also
enable records which only need to be moved between local practices to be
processed through a regional hub, rather than having to travel all the way
to a national centre for sorting.  These changes will make the service
more secure and quicker and enable us to produce detailed performance
information regarding the movement of records. Ahead of introducing these
changes Capita we have been working very closely with Capita to improve
the current systems and processes to minimise the time it takes for a
record to move and the service has significantly improved.

 

However, there are arrangements in place which should ensure GPs have
access to the information they need to provide appropriate care for their
patients. Firstly GPs can request records to move urgently, within 48
hours.  That arrangement is now in place and working. In addition, if
there is a delay in access to physical record, while a GP is waiting for
the physical patient medical record to arrive they have the option, in
many cases, to request the electronic record from the former practice –
this can be transferred electronically between the GP’s systems. In the
event that a GP practice can support electronic transfer of information
then we provide a service for GPs to request records urgently.  We
endeavour to assist the GP to access information in these cases within 48
hours. The absence of the paper medical record is not a barrier to access
to assessment or treatment within primary care.

 

We hope that this satisfactorily addresses and explains our handling and
response to your FOI request. 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: www.ico.gov.uk

 

Please note there is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-018108 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’

 

 

 

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References

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2. mailto:[NHS England request email]
3. mailto:[NHS England request email]

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