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Request for details regarding pre/existing inquests and consultants involved.

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Matthew Blackwood

Dear 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust,

1. Please update the details in FOI 080KD-1718 to present day and also include details for inquests that are still in progress.

Please identify any deaths that occurred whilst the Trust were acting as commissioners of care (eg out of county placements)

2. Noting that FOI 124-1718 identifies Trust consultants, please identify for each death listed in the updated spreadsheet referred to above :

a) the Consultant acting as Responsible Clinician at the time of death ; and

b) Consultants involved with each patient in the 6 months prior to death (Please highlight any involvement that was cover for less than 1 working week)

c) Any consultants involved with the respective patients but who were absent from work or away from normal place of duty (eg sickness or training) for more than 1 working week during the 6 months prior to each death.”

I myself believe this information exists and submit the aforementioned request based upon this belief, I do however understand there are within reasonable time limits and costs to present the data in the form requested.

Yours faithfully,
Matthew Blackwood

Information-Freedom (2GETHER NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. Please note that this
is an automated response. This email address is only monitored during
normal working hours of Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

 

The Trust will reply to all requests within 20 working days, however, if
for any reason we are unable to do so we will notify you immediately. If a
fee is payable for the information you have requested, we will tell you
what that fee is. We cannot provide any information until any applicable
fee is received.

 

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Matthew Blackwood

Dear 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust,

You are now beyond the regulated timeframe for providing the information requested.

Please respond within 5 working days and no later.

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Blackwood

EVANS, Lisa (2GETHER NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Blackwood

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.  Please find the
Trust’s response attached.

 

Kind regards

 

Lisa Evans

Information Governance and Board Committee Officer

^2gether NHS Foundation Trust

Trust HQ

Rikenel

 

Tel:      01452  894266

E-mail: [1][email address]

 

 

 

 

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Matthew Blackwood

Dear 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Request for details regarding pre/existing inquests and consultants involved.'.

Thankyou for the response to my FOI request submitted on 22nd Apr 2018. The Trust has not explained why it has exceeded the mandatory timeframe of 20 working days to provide the response.

I have been informed by the ICO that Authorities should regard the 20 working day limit as a ‘long stop’ – the latest possible date to provide a response – and that the Trust ought to account for and justify why it took so long to respond. Please can the Trust do so.

It would appear very serious that the Trust’s response states that it has previously provided INCORRECT information to another FOI request. On examination, I note this isn’t the first time there have been errors in Trust responses. Has the error identified been notified to the original applicant and fully explained? If not, please explain why not.

Repeating errors but also failing to identify and appropriately address them, potentially indicates serious underlying issues with Information Governance in the Trust – what actions have been taken to review other responses given there are demonstrable errors that applicants (not Trust) have identified?

In its response to me, the Trust states “The Trust estimates that the work involved in collating the data in order to respond would considerably exceed the 18 hours limit, specified in Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act and therefore, exceeds the appropriate limit of £450”.

The Trust does not evidence why it believes it would exceed the limit; nor does it recommend ways in which the request could be amended. I believe that the legislation requires the Trust to demonstrate why effort would exceed the limit rather not just claim it. I would request a written statement of evidence if the Trust persists with the claimed position; however, the position below clarifies that I believe the Trust is incorrect in its assertion.

Clearly, the Trust knows that it holds the information sets requested as it has provided previous versions of them. This request is for updates after a reasonable timeframe and after a number of significant events are believed to have occurred in addition to those originally reported.

It would be unrealistic for the Trust to claim it too difficult to identify records of patients who had died whilst under care it had provided or commissioned. The request identifies both suicides AND suspected suicides and therefore all deaths that may have been self-inflicted should be included, noting the circumstances if an inquest, review or investigation of any kind is planned or on-going. Although a different term to ‘suicide’ or ‘suspected suicide’ would be acceptable to be used, to exclude results due to ongoing process would be an incorrect exclusion to the FOI request.

It would be extremely concerning if the Trust tried to claim that it had applied proper scrutiny and still misidentified a significant number of suicides or suspected suicides in the original FOI response. It would also be worrying if the Trust claimed that records of patient deaths didn’t include the Responsible Clinician at time of death as one of the latter entries. Is this what you are stating?

For identifying Trust consultants involved with care in the 6 months prior to death, if records did not clearly show this, it may indicate flaws in post-death investigations conducted by the Trust; however, it could readily be resolved by searching electronic records the identified patients for known consultant names. Consultant names have been demonstrated as held information. (I believe the Trust uses RiO as a records system which I understand to be electronically searchable).

Even if hard copies are the only records for earlier deaths, requesting current consultants to indicate their involvement from their own records and confirming this would not be over-complicated. So starting at more recent deaths and working back to the earlier records would appear the most efficient approach.

It would seem relatively trivial to clarify with current Trust consultants if their records demonstrate that they were acting as cover or were themselves absent during the identified periods. This could be reflected by colour coding consultants names (eg blue if they acted as short term cover; red if they were absent during the period). To avoid confusion, I am informed that a professional does not have an expectation of privacy in their professional capacity; so I do not believe there is reason to refuse the information in the form requested.

As I understand the Act, the Trust cannot take into account time taken to decide whether exemptions apply, to redact information, or consider public interest aspects. I would therefore challenge the assertion that it would exceed the timeframe and costs allowed under legislation.

As such, I request a review of the original response. For clarity, I am requesting for the ORIGINAL spreadsheet to be used to provide the response to this request. Please add 3 columns to the original:

Responsible Clinician from Trust at time of death;
All Additional Trust Consultants involved with Care or Commissioning during 6 months prior to death;
Comments.

For clarity, please use the Comments field rather than removing rows. I believe that my reiteration of inclusion for ‘suspected suicides’ should cause there to be more rows added – please preserve formatting or highlight potential issues if formatting is disrupted.

Alternatively, I am happy to provide a spreadsheet based on the original FOI response if it would be more convenient for the Trust and they provide an appropriate email address to me.

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,

Matthew Blackwood

Matthew Blackwood

Dear EVANS, Lisa (2GETHER NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

I note that my most recent response requesting an internal review has been received however because you we're 20 days late responding to the original request , please could you promptly indicate when I might receive a response to the internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Blackwood

EVANS, Lisa (2GETHER NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Blackwood

As requested an Internal Review of our response to your Freedom of Information request is being undertaken. I can confirm that you will receive a response by 9 July (20 working days from the receipt of the request).

Kind regards

Lisa Evans
Information Governance and Board Committee Officer
2gether NHS Foundation Trust
Trust HQ
Rikenel

Tel: 01452 894266
E-mail: [email address]

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Information-Freedom (2GETHER NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Blackwood,

Thank you for your request for an internal review of a previous FOI request. That review has now been completed and the Trust's response is attached.

Yours sincerely

John McIlveen
Trust Secretary
2gether NHS Foundation Trust
01452 894166

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