Request Minutes of meeting concerning airborne Covid-19 and RPE for HCWs

David Osborn made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

I refer to a meeting which was held in June 2021 at which representatives from Government (DHSC and PHE), accompanied by members of the IPC Cell, met with representatives from several medical professional institutions, colleges and trade unions.

At this meeting it seems that a presentation was made to you (a) confirming that COVID-19 is transmissible via the airborne route, (b) informing you that UK healthcare workers were experiencing higher levels of infection and mortality rates than other countries and (c) making the case for proper respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to be provided whilst caring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases instead of fluid resistant surgical masks.

The presentation which was made to you may be found here :

Please provide the minutes or notes of that meeting, together with any transcript that may have been made of that meeting;

Thanking you in anticipation.
Yours faithfully,

David Osborn

Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Osborn,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1457894).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'Request Minutes of meeting concerning airborne Covid-19 and RPE for HCWs'. Your reference: FOI-1457894

You have stated that DHSC does not hold the information requested.

Please check again. I believe you are are mistaken.

It may help if I provide some further information about the meeting.
It was held online (zoom or teams) on 3 June 2021.
The meeting was organised and chaired by DHSC personnel - including a senior manager or Director of the PPE Policy Briefing and Engagement Department.

Respecting the need for confidentiality of your personnel, it would not be appropriate for me to mention his name, nor any other DHSC individuals' names who were involved in the meeting. You therefore need to speak with people in that Department who will undoubtedly recall the meeting in question.

It was a particularly important meeting since it concerned the health and safety of healthcare workers and the protection (or lack of it) being provided to them (e.g. surgical masks as opposed to respirators).
Organisations who met with you represented over a million UK healthcare workers who were considered to be at risk from COVID-19 as a result of inadequate provision of PPE (specifically concerned with respiratory protection).

It seems to me that there are two possibilities:
1) You do have minutes or notes of the meeting and are either refusing to provide them or simply haven't looked hard enough for them; or
2) No notes, minutes, recording or transcript were made of the meeting.

If (1) above, then I remind you that concealing information which is requested as a FoI represents an offence under section 77 subsection 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If (2) above, then this would be wholly unsatisfactory and in breach of Government codes of practice and governance which requires records to be made of important meetings. This is all part of open, honest and transparent government of which this nation is so proud.

If there is a third possibility which I have not considered then please let me know.

I shall not redirect my enquiry to UK-HSA as you suggest. Since the meeting was, in fact, convened and hosted by DHSC this would represent a complete waste of my time.

The full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

David Osborn

Department of Health and Social Care

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Osborn,

Your requested internal review of FOI-1457894 is now complete. Please see
the attached letter for the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Internal Reviews
Department of Health and Social Care

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