Various usage statistics for radiotherapy machines at Velindre site

Michael Corbett made this Freedom of Information request to Velindre NHS Trust

The request was partially successful.

From: Michael Corbett

10 November 2010

Dear Velindre NHS Trust,

Please could you tell me the following re radiotherapy at Velindre
in the 12 month period October 2009 - October 2010:

a) Total number of radiotherapy machines including names (e.g. LA4,
LA5 etc) that were in operation at Velindre during that period.
b) Number of radiotherapy patients processed by machine by month
and total number of patient treatments (i.e. if a single patient
was treated 10 times in a month then that would count as 10 patient
treatments).
c) Average waiting time experienced by patients by machine by
month. (Waiting time measured as the time between the patient's
scheduled appointment and the time that they start receiving the
radiotherapy treatment. Just to avoid confusion, this is the
waiting time that patients experience every day of their
radiotherapy treatment as opposed to the waiting list that they
have to go on in order to be referred for radiotherapy treatment.)
d) Scheduled operating hours for each machine by month. (Excluding
planned downtime.)
e) Unplanned downtime by machine by month.
f) The job title of the person responsible for your ISO9000:2008
certification (licence number: FS 37622) and their level of
seniority within the organisation.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Corbett

Link to this

From: Corporate Services (Resource)

10 November 2010

Dear Mr.Corbett

Thank you for your FOI request in relation to Radiotherapy at Velindre in the 12 month period October 2009 - October 2010.

We are currently processing your request and will be contact with you shortly.
In the meantime if you have any further queries or questions please contact me at the address shown below.

Many thanks

Julie Heydon-Mann
Velindre NHS Trust HQ / Pencadlys Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Felindre
Communication and Compliance Officer / Swyddog Cyfathrebu a Chydymffyrfiad
2, Charnwood Court / 2 Cwrt Charnwood
Heol Billingsley
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff / Caerdydd
CF15 7QZ
Tel / Ffon - 029 20316951
Fax / Ffacs- 01443 841878
Email/ E-bost: [email address]
 Please consider the environment before printing this email/A wnewch chi ystyried yr amgylchedd cyn argraffu’r neges hon.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Julie Heydon-Mann (Velindre - Corporate Services)

6 December 2010


Attachment CORP 222 VCC DATA.doc
107K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Corbett

Further to your request for the following information which we received on
10/11/2010.

Please could you tell me the following re radiotherapy at Velindre

in the 12 month period October 2009 - October 2010:

a) Total number of radiotherapy machines including names (e.g. LA4,

LA5 etc) that were in operation at Velindre during that period.

b) Number of radiotherapy patients processed by machine by month

and total number of patient treatments (i.e. if a single patient

was treated 10 times in a month then that would count as 10 patient

treatments).

c) Average waiting time experienced by patients by machine by

month. (Waiting time measured as the time between the patient's

scheduled appointment and the time that they start receiving the

radiotherapy treatment. Just to avoid confusion, this is the

waiting time that patients experience every day of their

radiotherapy treatment as opposed to the waiting list that they

have to go on in order to be referred for radiotherapy treatment.)

d) Scheduled operating hours for each machine by month. (Excluding

planned downtime.)

e) Unplanned downtime by machine by month.

f) The job title of the person responsible for your ISO9000:2008

certification (licence number: FS 37622) and their level of

seniority within the organisation.

We do hold the information and I am pleased to enclose the information you
requested.

If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us
at the address given.

Should you not be satisfied with the information supplied or the process
of supplying it, you have a right to complain and request a review. You
should forward your complaint to:-

Darren Lloyd

FOI Coordinator

Health Solutions Wales (Velindre NHS Trust)

Brunel House,

2 Fitzalan Road,

Cardiff.

CF24 0HA

Should you wish to take your complaint further, if you are still unhappy
with the decision after review, you can contact the:-

Information Commissioner's Office - Wales

Cambrian Buildings,

Mount Stuart Square,

Cardiff,

CF10 5FL
Telephone: 029 2044 8044
fax: 029 2044 8045
email: [1][email address]

If you wish to re-use the information you have requested, in whole or in
part, please write to me at the address given below stating the purpose(s)
you wish to re-use the information for. We will then respond within 20
working days of receiving your request with any pertinent conditions in
line with the `Re-use of Public Sector information Regulations 2005 (SI
2005 No. 1515)'.

Please note should you wish to utilise this information for only a
personal and/or non- third party disclosure purpose i.e. private research,
study or in-house use, then Velindre NHS Trust would like to state that
necessary approval is granted for its use. Additionally this approval
extends to any information/documentation covered under Crown Copyright and
to the person/organisation in possession of an authorised `Click or PSI'
license, available at
[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor....

In the meantime if you have any queries then please contact us at the
address shown below.

Yours sincerely

Julie Heydon-Mann

Communication and Compliance officer

Velindre NHS Trust

2 Charnwood Court

Heol Billingsley

Parc nantgarw

Cardiff

CF15 7QZ

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Michael Corbett

10 December 2010

Dear Velindre NHS Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Velindre NHS Trust's
handling of my FOI request 'Various usage statistics for
radiotherapy machines at Velindre site'.

I asked for the following information
a) Total number of radiotherapy machines including names (e.g. LA4,
LA5 etc) that were in operation at Velindre during that period.
b) Number of radiotherapy patients processed by machine by month
and total number of patient treatments (i.e. if a single patient
was treated 10 times in a month then that would count as 10 patient
treatments).
c) Average waiting time experienced by patients by machine by
month. (Waiting time measured as the time between the patient's
scheduled appointment and the time that they start receiving the
radiotherapy treatment. Just to avoid confusion, this is the
waiting time that patients experience every day of their
radiotherapy treatment as opposed to the waiting list that they
have to go on in order to be referred for radiotherapy treatment.)
d) Scheduled operating hours for each machine by month. (Excluding
planned downtime.)
e) Unplanned downtime by machine by month.
f) The job title of the person responsible for your ISO9000:2008
certification (licence number: FS 37622) and their level of
seniority within the organisation.

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

My response to each point is as follows:
a) full information given, thanks very much.

b) I used the term patients/treatments but Velindre used the term
“courses and fractions”. Assuming that these two things are the
same then the information was supplied. Thank you.

c) Velindre say that the average waiting time is NOT information
they hold.
I have been told by staff at Velindre that this information does
not exist in explicit form but we know that it does exist
implicitly.  There is one set of data that correlates a unique
patient identifier (possibly hospital number) with the time of
their appointment.  We know that this exists, otherwise Velindre
wouldn't be able to offer patients appointments on a given day at a
given time.  We also know that the usage of the radiotherapy
machines is tightly controlled and that there is another set of
data that correlates a unique patient identifier (possibly hospital
number) with various radiotherapy machine statistics (e.g. time on
machine, time off machine, dosage administered etc). Failure to
keep that information would be irresponsible because it could
impact on patient safety.

The above facts means there is one table of data that records
appointment times and another table that records the time at which
the patient started receiving treatment. It is a relatively simple
matter to join these two tables (using patient identifier as the
primary key) and therefore derive the average wait time. A
competent Access programmer could do that in a few hours (similar
times for other software systems), certainly well within the time
limits specified by the FOI legislation.

I therefore believe that this information SHOULD be released by
Velindre NHS Trust.

d) Again, Velindre say that this is NOT information they hold. This
is a puzzling response since Velindre MUST know the number of hours
that the machines were planned to be operated for.  There are a two
main reasons why this must be so.  First, machines won't run
without staff and so its essential to know the planned hours of
usage for the machine in order that the correct numbers of staff
will be on duty. Operating machines without the correct number of
staff with the correct skills would be dangerous.   How can staff
rosters be drawn up without knowing how many hours they'll be
needed for?  In addition, Velindre know the number of patients they
will see each day (because this is all carefully planned in advance
and the patients have appointment times) and so they must match
these numbers with a number of planned operating hours each day.

I therefore believe that this information SHOULD be released by
Velindre NHS Trust.

e) Information supplied, thanks very much.

f) Information supplied, thanks very much.

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

Yours faithfully,

Michael Corbett

Link to this

From: Corporate Services (Resource)

10 December 2010

Dear Mr Corbett,

Thank you for your email which we received today. I have forwarded your email to the Trust Information Governance Manager for action in respect of the request for a review of the above Freedom of Information Request.

In the meantime should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Best Wishes,
Mrs Cally Hamblyn
Corporate Services Manager/ Rheolwr y Gwasanaethau Corfforaethol
Velindre NHS Trust Headquarters/ Pencadlys Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Felindre
2 Charnwood Court / 2 Charnwood Court
Parc Nantgarw / Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff / Caerdydd
CF15 7QZ/
Tel/Ffon: 02920 316956
Fax/Ffacs: PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF FAX NUMBER TO 01443 844426
Email/Ebost: [email address]

 please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to/ Peidiwch a argraffu’r e-bost yma os nad oes rhaid

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Julie Heydon-Mann (Velindre - Corporate Services)

17 January 2011


Attachment Mr Corbett FOIA Review CORP0222.doc
68K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Corbett

Please find attached the Velindre response to your request for a review.

If you have any further questions or queries please contact me at the address shown below.

Many thanks

Julie Heydon-Mann
Velindre NHS Trust HQ / Pencadlys Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Felindre
Communication and Compliance Officer / Swyddog Cyfathrebu a Chydymffyrfiad
2, Charnwood Court / 2 Cwrt Charnwood
Heol Billingsley
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff / Caerdydd
CF15 7QZ
Tel / Ffon - 029 20316951
Fax / Ffacs- 01443 841878
Email/ E-bost: [email address]
P Please consider the environment before printing this email/A wnewch chi ystyried yr amgylchedd cyn argraffu'r neges hon.

Link to this

From: Michael Corbett

18 January 2011

Dear Julie Heydon-Mann (Velindre - Corporate Services),

In your reply to my request for an internal review you say "The
radiotherapy systems utilised by the Velindre Cancer Centre are
proprietary systems from two different suppliers and are on two
different servers and employ fundamentally different database
architecture."

You cite the above as a reason for not merging the information from
the two systems - and hence are unable to supply the information
that I request.

I'm sorry to hear that your procurement process has managed to
source two systems that are so incompatible and I can only imagine
that the systems were procured before the government started
promoting the open data message - i.e. that systems should be
procured with open, not proprietary, standards in mind.

Despite this incompatibility, I would be very surprised if those
systems weren't able to output data in a very basic format such as
.CSV or something similar. Before I progress further with this FOI,
please could you positively confirm/deny that the two systems are
indeed incapable of working with a very basic data interchange
format (even something as basic as .TXT or .CSV). If you do confirm
fundamental incompatibility please could you let me know the name
of the systems concerned and their manufacturers.

I appreciate that there is a cost to Velindre for processing FOI
requests and I am hoping that doing it this way (rather than
raising a new FOI) will help keep your costs/workload down.

If I do not hear from you by the 25th I will go ahead and raise
that FOI.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Corbett

Link to this

From: Julie Heydon-Mann (Velindre - Corporate Services)

1 February 2011


Attachment CORP 222 RESPONSE TO MR CORBETT.pdf
396K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr. Corbett

Please find attached the Velindre NHS Trust response to your email listed below.

Yours sincerely

Julie Heydon-Mann
Velindre NHS Trust HQ / Pencadlys Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Felindre
Communication and Compliance Officer / Swyddog Cyfathrebu a Chydymffyrfiad
2, Charnwood Court / 2 Cwrt Charnwood
Heol Billingsley
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff / Caerdydd
CF15 7QZ
Tel / Ffon - 029 20316951
Fax / Ffacs- 01443 841878
Email/ E-bost: [email address]
P Please consider the environment before printing this email/A wnewch chi ystyried yr amgylchedd cyn argraffu'r neges hon.

show quoted sections

Link to this

Michael Corbett left an annotation ( 6 February 2011)

Quote-marks I initially made this FOI request because I'd taken my mother for a month's worth (20 sessions) of radiotherapy at Velindre and I'd been surprised at the length of time that we'd had to wait - and also the fact that machine breakdowns seemed quite a regular occurrence. I talked to a member of staff about this and they were concerned too but, apparently, were not able to do anything about it because management had their own idea of how the machines should be run and didn't pay much attention to the staff who actually deal with the patients. This person encouraged me to submit a patient feedback form but I decided to submit an FOI in an attempt to put patient waiting time on management's radar.

Velindre have supplied some of the information but refuse to provide patient waiting times. Their reasons for not providing this are completely bogus and I intend to raise this with the Information Commissioners Office. That may take some time but I will update this FOI request on What Do They Know when I get more information.

Regards,

Michael Corbett

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Velindre NHS Trust only: