Referrals made by Professor Jacqueline Hayden of doctors with protected characteristics

The request was refused by General Medical Council.

Dear General Medical Council,

I would be grateful for your release of data on the referrals submitted to the GMC by Professor Jacqueline Hayden along with a sub-analysis of the proportion of these referrals which involve BME doctors, doctors with disability and doctors on sick leave.

Yours faithfully,

Jose Nunez

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr Nunez

Your information request F14/6361/ME

Thank you for your email asking for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will consider your request and give you the information as soon as we
can, normally within the 20 working-day limit set by the FOIA.  

Please note that there may be some information which we cannot release to
you under the FOIA. If this is the case, we will let you know why and
state the relevant exemptions given in the FOIA. We will also give you
information about how to appeal our decision. 

I have allocated your request to Mark Ellen. If you have any questions,
please contact him on 0161 923 6347 or email [1][email address]. 

Yours sincerely 

Miss Sadie Jones

Information Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Mark Ellen (0161 923 6347), General Medical Council

Dear Mr Nunez

Reference: IAT/ME/F14/6361

Thank you for your e-mail regarding referrals made by Professor Jacqueline Hayden.

I have now looked at your request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 )FOIA). I consider, however, that the following exemption, set out in the FOIA, applies to the release of the information you seek:

Section 40(5)(b)(i) of the FOIA - This exemption states that the duty to confirm or deny whether information is held does not arise if to do so would breach any of the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This exemption relates to the personal data of any third parties. We believe that to publicly confirm or deny whether or not the information requested is held would breach the first principle of the DPA, which requires that the processing of personal data is fair and lawful. We consider that the conditions in Schedule 2 of the DPA, relating to the processing of personal data, are not met and therefore the release of the information you have requested under the FOIA would be unlawful.

I must also explain that you have the right of appeal against this decision. If you wish to appeal please set out your grounds in writing and send to Julian Graves, Information Access Manager at [email address]
If such an appeal were unsuccessful you have the right of further appeal to the Information Commissioner, the independent regulator of the FOIA and DPA. If appropriate, Mr Graves will provide the relevant details of this further right of appeal.

Yours sincerely
Mark Ellen

Mark Ellen
Information Access Team
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester M3 3AW
Direct Line: 0161 923 6347

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Dear General Medical Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of General Medical Council's handling of my FOI request 'Referrals made by Professor Jacqueline Hayden of doctors with protected characteristics'.

I submit for consideration that my request for information is not in breach of principles of Data Protection as it is extended in view of the following:
- Professor Hayden, as postgraduate dean for the last 17 years, is an individual in a position of considerable authority of medical education and training of junior doctors
- If such doctors are having their training (and by extrapolation, the care they give to patients) affected by Professor Hayden's active use of her role to victimise them for their respective protected characteristics, it is in public interest for such information to be made available, especially if it reveals the concerns are upheld.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jose Nunez

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr Nunez

Thankyou for your email of 17 July asking for an Internal Review reagrding
your request F14/6361/ME.

Your email will receive our attention in line with our comments and
complaints procedure for information requests. This sets us a target
response time of 20 working days. We will endeavour to respond to you
within this timeframe.

Julian Graves will be responding to your email. If you have any queries
please contact him on 0161 923 6351 or email [1][email address].

Yours sincerely

Miss Sadie Jones

Information Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Julian Graves (0161 923 6351), General Medical Council

Dear Mr Nunez

 

As you will be aware from my colleague Sadie Jones’ email of 21 July 2014
I have been responsible for reviewing your request for an internal review
of the response sent by my colleague Mark Ellen on 17 June 2014. 

 

On 1 June 2014 you asked to be supplied with details of referrals made to
the GMC by Professor Jacqueline Hayden alongside some associated
information.  

 

Mr Ellen responded citing the ‘personal information’ exemption at
S.40(5)(b)(i) of the FOIA advising that it was appropriate to neither
confirm nor deny whether the GMC held the requested information.  

 

In your email of 17 July 2014 seeking an internal review you state:

“I submit for consideration that my request for information is not in
breach of principles of Data Protection as it is extended in view of the
following:

-  Professor Hayden, as postgraduate dean for the last 17 years, is an
individual in a position of considerable authority of medical education
and training of junior doctors

-  If such doctors are having their training (and by extrapolation, the
care they give to patients) affected by Professor Hayden's active use of
her role to victimise them for their respective protected characteristics,
it is in public interest for such information to be made available,
especially if it reveals the concerns are upheld.”

 

I have considered the points you have raised. However, I am not persuaded
that they outweigh Professor Hayden’s privacy rights in respect of any
information we may hold. I believe that, other than in certain
circumstances relating to complaints which proceed to a public Fitness to
Practise Panel hearing, those individuals who refer matters to the GMC for
consideration have an expectation that their involvement will not be made
public. Here is a link to our Publication and Disclosure Policy which sets
out our position in relation to the disclosure of information and may be
of interest to you:
[1]http://www.gmc-uk.org/DC4380_Publication...

 

I understand your point regarding the seniority of Professor Hayden, but I
do not believe that this outweighs her privacy rights in this case.

 

I appreciate that you will be disappointed by my response on this matter.
You do, as you may be aware, have a further right of complaint to the
Information Commissioner, the regulator of the FOIA. Their contact details
are as follows:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel. no: 0303 123 1113

Email: [2][email address]

 

Yours sincerely

 

Julian Graves 

 

 

Julian Graves

Information Access Manager

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

Tel. no: 0161 923 6351

Email: [3][email address]

 

 

 

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