Transfer of FHS services to Shared Business Services

Paul Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)

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 Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT),

With reference to the paper presented to NHS Gloucestershire's Board in July 2011 (see http://www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/?wpfb_dl=1738), I understand that the Chief Executive of NHS Wiltshire is leading a South West Project Steering Group which is looking at a proposal for the Family Health Service functions of PCTs in the South West to be transferred to NHS Shared Business Services.

Please provide me with (a) copies of any proposal documents or business plans submitted by NHS Shared Business Services for the provision of FHS services, (b) details of any responses to those proposals or plans sent by the South West PCTs to SBS, and (c) the notes or minutes of all meetings of the South West Project Steering Group.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Jones

Rutland Anne, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jones

Please find attached our acknowledgement of your FOI request.

Anne

Anne Rutland
PA/Senior Administrator & FOI Co-ordinator
Communications & Community Engagement
Directorate of Corporate Affairs
Email: [email address]
Tel: 01380 733830
Southgate House Pans Lane Devizes SN10 5EQ

show quoted sections

Rutland Anne, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jones

Please find attached our response to your FOI request.

Anne
 
Anne Rutland
PA/Senior Administrator & FOI Co-ordinator
Communications & Community Engagement
Directorate of HR, Communications and Corporate Affairs
Email:  [email address]
Tel: 01380 733830
Southgate House Pans Lane Devizes SN10 5EQ

show quoted sections

Paul Jones left an annotation ()

I will be considering how to respond to the PCT's refusal of my request. In the meantime, anyone who is interested in this subject may also wish to see a response provided by NHS South West to a related FOI request: see http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr...

Dear NHS Wiltshire,

I wish to request an internal review of your response to my FOI request regarding the transfer of FHS services to Shared Business Services (your ref: FOI 187). Please review all aspects of your response to my request, but in particular I would request that the internal review addresses the following points:

(1) With regard to your refusal of part (a) of my request:

* You have cited the exemption under section 43 of the FOI Act, which is a qualified exemption, and so is subject to the public interest test – but you have not made any reference in your response to indicate whether or how you have considered the public interest test. The Information Commissioner’s guidance on the section 43 exemption states that a public authority “can only refuse to provide the information if it is satisfied that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. The bias is in favour of disclosure and there will be occasions where information is released even though it is a trade secret or is likely to prejudice someone’s commercial interest.” I would request that you explain how you have applied the public interest test, including setting out what factors you consider to be in favour of disclosure and what factors you consider to be in favour of withholding the information.

* I would query whether SBS is operating in a competitive environment. From the information contained in the paper presented to NHS Gloucestershire’s Board, and also from the various documents released by NHS South West (see http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr...), it does not appear that there is a competitive tendering process: the only competitor to SBS appears to be a group of current FHS providers. If, as I believe it does, this means some of the South West PCTs themselves such as NHS Gloucestershire, they will presumably have already had sight of any business plans submitted by SBS. If the only competitor has already had sight of the information, then I cannot see how disclosure would be prejudicial.

(2) Regarding your response to part (c) of my request:

* I note from the information released by NHS South West that there appear to have been TWO project steering groups – one led by Torbay Care Trust (which is referred to in the minutes of the NHS South West Primary Care Trust Directors of Finance meeting of 28 January 2011, and for which NHS South West have provided the terms of reference – I note that it appears to have lasted until 30 March 2011), and a second group led by NHS Wiltshire (being the group referred to in the NHS Gloucestershire paper, and also referred to in the minutes of the Directors of Finance meeting held on 24 May 2011 released by NHS South West). I believe that, as part of your duty to provide advice and assistance to a person making an FOI request, you should have advised me of this so that I could clarify whether I also wished to receive the notes of the earlier group – which I do.

* Also, I notice that a note to PCT Cluster Chief Executives from Jeff James dated 28 June 2011, also released by NHS South West, states "I am writing to let you know the outcome of Monday's FHS project Board Meeting. Minutes will be circulated shortly ...". This seems at variance with your own response that "there was an initial meeting in May but notes from this meeting were not recorded", and your failure to mention any subsequent meetings. Please check the accuracy of your response to my request.

(3) Generally, please consider whether your response is still appropriate in the light of the information released by NHS South West and available at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr....

Yours faithfully,

Paul Jones

Dear NHS Wiltshire

Your Ref: FOI 187

I have not had any response to my request for internal review, sent to you on 26 October 2011 (copy below). I would be grateful if you would respond as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Jones

--- Previous email sent 26 October 2011 ---

Dear NHS Wiltshire,

I wish to request an internal review of your response to my FOI
request regarding the transfer of FHS services to Shared Business
Services (your ref: FOI 187). Please review all aspects of your
response to my request, but in particular I would request that the
internal review addresses the following points:

(1) With regard to your refusal of part (a) of my request:

* You have cited the exemption under section 43 of the FOI Act,
which is a qualified exemption, and so is subject to the public
interest test – but you have not made any reference in your
response to indicate whether or how you have considered the public
interest test. The Information Commissioner’s guidance on the
section 43 exemption states that a public authority “can only
refuse to provide the information if it is satisfied that the
public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public
interest in disclosing it. The bias is in favour of disclosure and
there will be occasions where information is released even though
it is a trade secret or is likely to prejudice someone’s commercial
interest.” I would request that you explain how you have applied
the public interest test, including setting out what factors you
consider to be in favour of disclosure and what factors you
consider to be in favour of withholding the information.

* I would query whether SBS is operating in a competitive
environment. From the information contained in the paper presented
to NHS Gloucestershire’s Board, and also from the various documents
released by NHS South West (see
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr...),
it does not appear that there is a competitive tendering process:
the only competitor to SBS appears to be a group of current FHS
providers. If, as I believe it does, this means some of the South
West PCTs themselves such as NHS Gloucestershire, they will
presumably have already had sight of any business plans submitted
by SBS. If the only competitor has already had sight of the
information, then I cannot see how disclosure would be prejudicial.

(2) Regarding your response to part (c) of my request:

* I note from the information released by NHS South West that there
appear to have been TWO project steering groups – one led by Torbay
Care Trust (which is referred to in the minutes of the NHS South
West Primary Care Trust Directors of Finance meeting of 28 January
2011, and for which NHS South West have provided the terms of
reference – I note that it appears to have lasted until 30 March
2011), and a second group led by NHS Wiltshire (being the group
referred to in the NHS Gloucestershire paper, and also referred to
in the minutes of the Directors of Finance meeting held on 24 May
2011 released by NHS South West). I believe that, as part of your
duty to provide advice and assistance to a person making an FOI
request, you should have advised me of this so that I could clarify
whether I also wished to receive the notes of the earlier group –
which I do.

* Also, I notice that a note to PCT Cluster Chief Executives from
Jeff James dated 28 June 2011, also released by NHS South West,
states "I am writing to let you know the outcome of Monday's FHS
project Board Meeting. Minutes will be circulated shortly ...".
This seems at variance with your own response that "there was an
initial meeting in May but notes from this meeting were not
recorded", and your failure to mention any subsequent meetings.
Please check the accuracy of your response to my request.

(3) Generally, please consider whether your response is still
appropriate in the light of the information released by NHS South
West and available at
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tr....

Yours faithfully,

Paul Jones

DeLancey Zita, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)

Dear Mr Jones

Thank you for your email. The internal review has been carried out and is awaiting sign off by the Chief Executive. This should be with you next week.

Kind regards & happy Christmas

Zita

Zita de Lancey
FOI Co-ordinator
Southgate House, Pans Lane
Devizes
SN10 5EQ
Tel: 01380 733940
Fax: 01380 733856
Email: [NHS Wiltshire request email]
Working hours: Monday - Thursday 10.00am - 2.30pm
Please reply to FOI inbox

show quoted sections

DeLancey Zita, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones

Please find attached our reply to your request for Internal Review.

Kind regards
Zita

Zita de Lancey
FOI Co-ordinator
Southgate House, Pans Lane
Devizes
SN10 5EQ
Tel: 01380 733940
Fax: 01380 733856
Email: [NHS Wiltshire request email]
Working hours: Monday - Thursday 10.00am - 2.30pm
Please reply to FOI inbox

show quoted sections

Paul Jones left an annotation ()

Following the internal review, the PCT have released some project group meetings, but with redactions - they are still relying on section 43 (commercial interests) and are now also invoking section 36 (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs). No business plans etc have been released.

Paul Jones left an annotation ()

This request has been referred to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Long Susannah, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Further to your correspondence with the ICO, please find attached a letter
from NHS Wiltshire and relevant attachments.

 

Kind regards,

 

Susannah

 

Susannah Long

Governance & Risk Manager

Wiltshire Primary Care Trust

 

Telephone 01380 733879

Working hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm

 

Information in this message is confidential and may be legally privileged.
It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are
not the intended recipient please notify the sender, and please delete the
message from your system immediately. This e-mail and any attachments have
been checked for viruses however you should carry out your own check
before opening any of the attachments.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul Jones left an annotation ()

The Information Commissioner has issued a decision notice regarding this request, no FS50431349, upholding my complaint about the use of the commercial interests exemption. The notice requires NHS Wiltshire to release two additional documents:

* ‘Transforming and Modernising Family Health Services in the South West Region – NHS SBS Proposal’

* ‘Transforming and Modernising Family Health Services in the South West Region – Programme Update 20th June 2011’ PowerPoint presentation

The decision notice is available at http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

Long Susannah (WILTSHIRE PCT),

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones,
 
With reference to the ICO Decision Notice, please find attached a letter
from NHS Wiltshire and relevant attachments.
 
Kind regards,
 
Susannah
 

Susannah Long

Governance & Risk Manager

Wiltshire Primary Care Trust

 

Telephone 01380 733879

 

[email address]

 

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Long,

Thank you for finally releasing this information. Its a shame that it took almost 11 months.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Jones

Steven King left an annotation ()

Paul, congratulations on your perseverance !! I have recently made some FOI requests through this website myself to W P C T , that have yet to be acknowledged ! Maybe they want to push their luck again with the ICO !