The Holloway report into Cardiac Surgery at ST George's Hospital ( circa 2017-18)

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of Health and Social Care should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

There was a report undertaken and completed into "Cardiac Surgery at St George's Hospital" circa 2018. Investigator: Julia Hollywood, Human Resources Consultant. This report is not available through St George's (or GESH) and is not found on the internet. (NB It is distinct from the Bewick Report). I believe the report should be in the public domain given that it concerns a major unit undertaking major cardiac surgery. I have seen a letter from Ms J Totterdell, CEO GESH, which refers to the report only to mention that it was NOT ADOPTED. No clear reason was provided.
1. Is the report available or is it embargoed?
2. If the latter, why was it embargoed?
3. If it is not embargoed may I see a copy?
4. Were any recommendations made and if so were they implemented?

Yours faithfully,

Dr David E Ward

Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ward,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1507148).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Dr David E Ward

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Apologies, I thought I had requested this report but clearly have not. I have requested it just now.

Yours faithfully,

Dr David E Ward

Department of Health and Social Care

This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Your correspondence is being handled by the appropriate team. 

If you have made an FOI request, DHSC is required under section 10(1) of
the FOIA to provide you with a response within 20 working days. If DHSC is
unable to do this, we will contact you nearer the time.

 

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Ward,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1514090).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Dr David E Ward

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 'The Holloway (error, it should be "Hollywood") report into Cardiac Surgery at St George's Hospital (circa 2017-18)'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]
Below are the reasons given by St George's NHS Trust (GESH) for refusing to release the report. I disagree with the reasons.

Response
The Trust can confirm it does hold the information requested, however, it is applying Section 40 and Section 41 exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in response to your request for a copy of the Hollywood Report. The reasons for the application of the two exemptions are set out below.

Section 40 FoIA
The Hollywood Review comprises the personal data of data subjects identifiable from the Review and the Trust considers its disclosure would not constitute fair and lawful processing of such data. It would not be fair to the staff and witnesses involved to release information that could lead to their identification when they participated in the review on the condition of anonymity. Sharing the report would be unfair to them and would likely cause considerable distress to them. In withholding the report, the Trust has also considered the repercussions of identification on staff and witnesses, which we consider to be serious as it pertains to professional and personal lives and reputations, and the Trust considers that releasing this information would be unfair.

Section 41 FoIA
The Hollywood Review was obtained by the Trust from a third party and disclosure of the Hollywood Review would constitute an actionable breach of confidence. Section 41 is an absolute exemption which prohibits a public body from disclosing information obtained from another person if the disclosure of this information to the public would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person. An actionable breach of confidence may not arise if an individual cannot be identified from the information that has been disclosed. However, if those engaging are told that their information, either their own personal data or the personal data of third parties that they are providing, is given in absolute confidence and will not be disclosed, then the Trust must be sure that there is no risk that anyone could be identified from the information that is released.

The information supplied is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purpose of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.

The Trust publishes Access to Information requests and responses on its online Disclosure Log. Only requests deemed to be in the public interest will be included and any request included within this log will be redacted accordingly.
***********************************************************************************************************

I, Dr David E Ward, do not accept these reasons because they could apply to almost any report.

Section 40. Personal data/information.
It is my understanding that this is amenable to "redaction" which is standard practise.

Section 41. (1) Information is exempt information if —
(a) it was obtained by the public authority from any other
person (including another public authority), and,
(b) the disclosure of the information to the public
(otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority
holding it would constitute a breach of confidence
actionable by that or any other person.
My comments on Section 41:
1. The report is not being disclosed to the public but to an individual, Dr David E Ward. It will not be shared with any public body or posted on any platform. In any case names of individuals could be redacted in any release.
2. All external reports (which the Hollywood report is) are, by definition, obtained from a third party.
3. It seems to me, a lay observer, that Section 41 could be interpreted in such a manner so as to be applicable to any body of information or report. If so section 41 appears to be insurmountable.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dr David E Ward

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Ward,

Your requested internal review of FOI-1507148 and FOI-1514090 is now
complete. Please see the attached letter for the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Internal Reviews
Department of Health and Social Care
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.

Dr David E Ward

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,
I did make a direct request for this report to St George's NHS Trust. It was refused. This is the "another public body" you refer to and was so obvious in my response which you misread (take another look please). SGH does have the report. The Section 40 and 41 of The FOI were invoked by St George's in their reply to my direct request. I did not state that DHSC referred to Sections 40 and 41. SGH quoted the exclusions as follows:
"The Trust can confirm it does hold the information requested, however, it is applying Section 40 and Section 41 exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in response to your request for a copy of the Hollywood Report. The reasons for the application of the two exemptions are set out below."
These exclusions are about disclosing "personal data". In other words "catch all" clauses to prevent disclosure.
Most unsatisfactory and obfuscatory to say the least.
Question: I am now asking you, the DHSC, to assist me in getting to see the report. If sections 40 and 41 are being invoked as "catch-all" exclusions to refuse disclosure of the Holloway Report (which St George's has and has refused to release to me) how do I get to see a copy?

Yours faithfully,
Dr David E Ward