Dear Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,
Following the announcement from HMRC requiring VAT be paid on agency doctors supplied to the trust by Brooksons/+us, can you confirm;
1. Whether agency doctors are still being, (a) mandated to or, (b) requested to work through the Brooksons/+us shell arrangement?
2. Whether the trust intends to seek compensation for breach of contract by Brooksons/+us and /or rely on any indemnity provided by Brooksons/+us should HMRC seek to recover backdated taxes?
3. Whether nationally procured contracts endorsed by NHS Improvement and HM Treasury will now be used by locum services from one or more agencies or a neutral vendor?
4. Whether the trust intends to use a newly modified service with the same provider to try to continue to avoid or mitigate VAT, and please share any legal and tax advice that you have sought?
5. Whether the trust considers the contract with this provider is void on the basis that the contract specification can no longer be met and any changes proposed to the supply model would be so material as to render it void?
Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request. Freedom of information only applies to corporate information; this e-mail confirms receipt of your request for this type of information only.
Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act we will expect to respond to this request in 20 working days. However we are now investigating the nature of the search and the quantity of information requested. If there is a cost involved in collecting the information then we will suspend the period for response until such time as we receive your payment. We will advise you of any such costs.
In accordance with section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 where multiple requests for information are received from one person or by different persons who appear to be acting in together in a single campaign the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them. To this effect your requests for information will be dealt with under the single reference number above.
There are also a number of exemptions which the Act permits with respect to releasing information. The information will be assessed for these exemptions prior to us releasing the information to you. We will advise you if we are unable to provide the information requested.
Please note that a significant amount of information is also available via our Publication Scheme which can be accessed via the Trust’s website www.coch.nhs.uk and one of its benefits is that it makes information easily accessible and without charge.
Freedom of Information Officer
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Please see below the response to your Freedom of Information request.
The Trust is currently considering the implications of the recent HMRC ruling on its current ‘direct engagement’ approach, including any potential for legal action. For this reason, it is inappropriate to release any information at this stage.
Freedom of Information Officer
Countess of Chester Hospital
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