Register of payments from pharmaceutical companies to staff

Jonathan Mendel made this Freedom of Information request to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

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

The request was successful.

Dear Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust,

Hospital trusts are reportedly meant to keep a register of payments from pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to staff, in case of conflicts of interest [1]. I am requesting a copy of the register for this Trust - which I would hope includes details of all relevant payments to staff and any related potential conflicts of interest. If it would be possible to have this information in an appropriate structured data format - for example, a CSV file - this would be helpful. If this Trust does not have a complete register, I would request: the release of the information on this topic that the Trust does hold; and an explanation of why the Trust does not hold a complete register.

I am aware that some would view data on pharmaceutical funding as personal data for those staff receiving the funding. Even if some of the information on this register may be classed as personal data (although this is contestable - for example, in some sectors of academia information re funding sources is made public as a matter of course) it would be covered by paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act. The release of these data is "necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed" [2]. Spurling et al's systematic review of how information from pharmaceutical companies impacts physicians' prescribing reported that, of the studies included which looked at total promotional investment, three "found that total promotional investment was positively associated with prescribing frequency...Two...found both positive results and no association...One study did not detect an association" [3]. There is thus a legitimate interest in releasing this register: the available research suggests that it is plausible that payments received influence how public money is spent and the type of care provided to members of the public.

For the reasons given above, there is a strong public interest in releasing this information. While "requests for the personal data of a third party are exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act...if disclosure would contravene section 10 of the Data Protection Act, the right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress" [2], I would argue that, even if some of those named in these documents feel that their release would cause them damage or distress, this is outweighed by the significant public interest served by releasing these data.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Jonathan Mendel

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/a...
[2] http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/info...
[3] http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info...

Hudson Chris, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Mendel,

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

The Trust acknowledges your request and it is being processed as a new
request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you if necessary and you
will be required to pay before I will proceed to deal with your
request.                                                                            

                                                                  

Please find attached a briefing which explains:

·         your rights to request a review by the Trust or to complain to
the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are not satisfied with the
response from the Trust,

·         an outline of the Trust’s policy on the Reuse of Public Sector
Information,

·         a feedback survey.

 

Please complete the feedback survey and send it back to the Trust via this
email address or via post to Freedom of Information Officer, The
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital,
Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8XQ.

 

If you have any queries regarding this email, please contact me and quote
the reference number above in any future correspondence.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Chris Hudson

Communications Officer

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

 

Telephone: 01743 261378

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.sath.nhs.uk

 

This message may contain confidential information. If you are not the
intended recipient please inform the sender that you have received the
message in error before deleting it. Please do not disclose, copy or
distribute information in this e-mail or take any action in reliance on
its contents: to do so is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

 

Follow us on Twitter!

Did you now know that we are now on Twitter? For the latest from The
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, follow [3]@sathNHS. To keep
up-to-date with everything to do with the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and
the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, follow [4]@sathRSH and
[5]@sathPRH.

 

 

 

 

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.sath.nhs.uk/
http://www.sath.nhs.uk/
3. https://twitter.com/#!/sathNHS
https://twitter.com/#!/sathNHS
4. https://twitter.com/#!/sathRSH
https://twitter.com/#!/sathRSH
5. https://twitter.com/#!/sathPRH
https://twitter.com/#!/sathPRH

Hudson Chris, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

3 Attachments

Dear Dr Mendel,

 

Thank your for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. You asked:

 

Hospital trusts are reportedly meant to keep a register of payments from
pharmaceutical companies (and other relevant companies) to staff, in case
of conflicts of interest [1]. I am requesting a copy of the register for
this Trust - which I would hope includes details of all relevant payments
to staff and any related potential conflicts of interest. If it would be
possible to have this information in an appropriate structured data format
- for example, a CSV file - this would be helpful. If this Trust does not
have a complete register, I would request: the release of the information
on this topic that the Trust does hold; and an explanation of why the
Trust does not hold a complete register.

 

Under Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I can
confirm that The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust holds the
information you are requesting.

 

Staff are expected to record any hospitality or gift accepted with a value
of more than £20 on the Trust’s Register of Hospitality and Gifts. This is
in line with Human Resources Policy HR52: Standards of Business Conduct. A
copy of this policy is attached, along with a copy of the Trust’s Register
of Hospitality and Gifts for the last three financial years. Failure to
adhere with this policy could result in disciplinary action.

 

Please also find attached a briefing which explains:

 

·         your rights to request a review by the Trust or to complain to
the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are not satisfied with the
response from the Trust,

·         an outline of the Trust’s policy on the Reuse of Public Sector
Information,

·         A feedback survey.

 

Please complete the feedback survey and send it back to the Trust via this
email address or via post to Freedom of Information Officer, The
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital,
Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8XQ.

 

If you have any queries regarding this email, please contact me and quote
the reference number above in any future correspondence.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Chris Hudson

Communications Officer

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

 

Telephone: 01743 261378

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.sath.nhs.uk

This message may contain confidential information. If you are not the
intended recipient please inform the sender that you have received the
message in error before deleting it. Please do not disclose, copy or
distribute information in this e-mail or take any action in reliance on
its contents: to do so is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

Follow us on Twitter!

Did you now know that we are now on Twitter? For the latest from The
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, follow [3]@sathNHS. To keep
up-to-date with everything to do with the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and
the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, follow [4]@sathRSH and
[5]@sathPRH.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.sath.nhs.uk/
http://www.sath.nhs.uk/
3. https://twitter.com/#!/sathNHS
4. https://twitter.com/#!/sathRSH
5. https://twitter.com/#!/sathPRH