Trust losses and special payments: FOIA
Dear Sir or Madam,
This is a FOIA request. The Trust is required to provide information on losses and special payments in its annual report. I am writing to request additional, more detailed information regarding these losses and payments. I am making this request because I believe there is a clear and compelling public interest in understanding more about the types of losses and special payments the Trust makes.
1. Losses and special payments
Please provide a copy of your losses and special payments register or database for the year 2016-17. I would expect this information to include, but not necessarily be limited to:
a) Category of loss or special payment (e.g. bad debt, fruitless payment, compensation payment made under legal obligation) as defined in relevant losses and special payments policy or procedure documents.
b) A summary of the loss
c) Amount paid out in £ Sterling (or other currency)
d) Debtor name (where that debtor is a company or disclosure of a person’s name is permitted by the data protection provisions of s.40)
2. Bad debts
a) Please state how much bad debt was written off in the year 2016-17.
b) If, and only if, you hold the information in an easily retrievable format, i.e. not in individual case files, please state how much of this bad debt was non-NHS and/or private patient debt write offs and/or overseas visitors related.
This request is only concerned with information which is easily exportable and does not require the Trust to review individual case files, which might trigger the cost threshold (s.12). I am interested in any and all relevant information which is easily exportable and that provides greater clarity on how losses were accrued and special payments were made, but which is not published in your annual report. The information I am requesting should not, therefore, be caught by s.21 or s.22.
If you consider that some information is exempt from disclosure please cite the section of the FOIA you are using to redact information. Please also ensure any redactions you make are sufficiently granular and do not withhold information on a 'blanket' basis. When applying exemptions which contain a public interest test, please also explain, in line with the guiding principles of the Information Tribunal, how the public interest would be, or would be likely to be, materially prejudiced by disclosure.
I would be grateful if you could be mindful of your statutory duty to provide advice and assist to requesters (s.16) when responding to this request. I would prefer to receive all information electronically and in machine-readable formats (such as .xls) where applicable. I would also be grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of this request.
Thank you for the time you will invest in providing a response.
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 5 September 2017.
Your request will be processed not later than the twentieth working day following the date we received your request unless you are otherwise informed.
As this is only a standard acknowledgement of your request, at this moment we are unaware of any fees, charges or exemptions that may be applied to your request. If during the course of processing your application it becomes clear that fees will apply, we will inform you of this. In the event that costs are applicable, no information will be provided unless the costs are paid within three months of us informing you. In the event that some or all of the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure, we will notify you of this.
We will also contact you if, during the process to locate and supply the information, it emerges that we do not have sufficient detail to be able to do so, or we are unclear exactly what it is that you have requested.
If some or all of the information you are requesting is accessible via the internet we will direct you to this. If this happens and you do not have internet access please let us know.
Any information we provide following your request under the Freedom of Information Act will not confer an automatic right for you to re-use that information, for example to publish it. If you wish to re-use the information that we provide and you did not specify this in your initial application for information then you must make a further request for its re-use as per the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. This will not affect your initial information request.
We will keep you up-to-date with any other developments.
Freedom of Information Officer
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (2000), which was received by the Trust on 5 September
2017. The information you are seeking is exempt under Section 21 of the
Freedom of Information Act in that it is already publicly available wthin
the Trust's annual accounts. These can be found on the Trust's
website. With regard to point 1d of your request, we believe this
information is exempt under Section 41 in that it was provided in
confidence and satisfies the conditions set out in section 41.
Section 41 of the Act states that information is exempt information if:
a. It was obtained by the public authority from any other person.
a. The disclosure of the information to the public by the Trust would
constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other
a. The information concerned has a legitimate expectation on the part of
the persons who provided the information that it would be kept
confidential. Section 2(3)(g) states this exemption is absolute.
Therefore, the Trust does not have to apply a public interest test
under the FOIA in order to withhold the information.
I also attach a link to a feedback questionnaire and would be grateful
if you could spare the time to complete and return.
On behalf of Freedom of Information Officer
If you are unhappy with our decision you have a right to complain to us by
writing to the address below. Our Help & Advice Manager will have details
of our complaints procedures as outlined in our Publication Scheme and can
be contacted at:
Help & Advice Service Manager
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Sunderland Royal Hospital
Sunderland SR4 7TP
Tel: (0191) 569 9666
Under Section 50 of the Act, if you choose to use our complaints procedure
and are unhappy with the outcome you also have a right to then complain to
the Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF www.ico.org.uk We will remind you of this when responding to any
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