Whistleblowers and Gender, Ethnicity

Dr Helen Bright made this Freedom of Information request to Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

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 partially successful.

Dear Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust,

This is a request under Freedom of Information Act 2000:

1. How many whistleblowers have been recognized as such in the last three years, number for each year, please.

2. Could you, please, show the figures by gender and ethnicity, please, and type of contract (temporary v. permanent).

Yours faithfully,

Dr Helen Bright

Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

1 Attachment

Hi Helen,

 

Please find attached a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of your
Freedom of Information request.

 

Kind regards

 

Ceridwen Lee

Datix Administrator

 

NHS Manchester

Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor

Parkway Business Centre

Princess Road

Manchester

M14 7LU

 

Tel: 0161 765 4178

Fax: 0161 232 8129

 

[1][email address]

 

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Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Helen,

 

Please find attached a letter of response to your Freedom of Information
request.

 

Kind regards

 

Ceridwen Lee

Datix Administrator

 

NHS Manchester

Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor

Parkway Business Centre

Princess Road

Manchester

M14 7LU

 

Tel: 0161 765 4178

Fax: 0161 232 8129

 

[1][email address]

 

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Dear Ceridwen Lee,

1. Please, provide under Section 16 of Freedom of Information Act 2000 the link(s) to the Internet material you are referring to as supplying all the requested information.

2. You may wish to refer to Code of Practice with respect to Section 45 of FOIA 2000 and ICO Guidance relevant to Section 16.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Bright

Dear Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Whistleblowers and Gender, Ethnicity'.

FACTS

My request for information has been refused today under Section 21 of Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA 2000).

GROUNDS OF APPEAL

1. Section 16 of FOIA 2000 places obligation on public authority to provide advice and assistance to the person requesting information. Advice has been given that information is to be found on Internet (where there is vast amount of information) but no links were provided specifically to webpages where this information was to be found. If one compares Internet information size to the amount of information held by NHS Manchester on the number of whistleblowers one can see that disproportionate measure was recommended to me thus making it unreasonable. Section 13 of Code of Practice produced by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs under Section 45 of FOIA 2000 was breached.

2. Section 10 of Code of Practice produced by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs under Section 45 of FOIA 2000 has been ignored. It states that public authorities should be flexible in how they assist the person requesting the information. The flexibility has not been exercised but instead there was rigid refusal to provide requested information and act reasonably by providing the links to webpages if these were known to Data Controller or to collect information from the source(s) within PCT Trust e.g. Human Resources Department.

3. In Section 14 of Code of Practice produced under Section 45 of FOIA 2000 in 2004 there is statement of the fact that other legislation also applies to how requests for information are dealt with such as Race Relations Act:
Public authorities should not forget that other Acts of Parliament may be relevant to the way in which authorities provide advice and assistance to applicants or potential applicants, e.g. the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000). Equality Act 2010 came into power in October 2010.

4. Section 27 (2) (e) (d) of Equality Act 2010 prohibits victimization and it may be applicable here. Information available to NHS Manchester has been withheld from me preventing me from using it for purposes connected with Equality Act 2010 and at the same time I may have been set up to do an impossible task considering the size of the Internet. Setting another person to fail is recognized as discriminatory act.

5. Information Commissioner’s Office does have Awareness Guidance and Policy with respect to Section 16 of FOIA 2000:
http://www.ico.gov.uk/foikb/PolicyLines/...
It states that:
In Berend v the Information Commissioner and London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRT) the Tribunal confirmed in relation to s16 that “Where the public authority has complied with the Code they will be held to have fulfilled their obligations”.
In Brown V National Archives (IT) it is held that reasonable expectation of assistance is to be met by public authority. In this appeal it is reasonable to expect NHS Manchester to provide website link(s) to the requested information or to retrieve information as held by NHS Manchester. No reason was given that it would be too much work to do so.
Ignoring Information Commissioner’s Awareness Guidance is breach of Code of Practice Section 18.

6. Information Commissioner’s Office Awareness Guidance on Internal Reviews states:
If a public authority has an internal review procedure, guidance is available under the section 45 Code. In Campaign Against Arms Trade v the Information Commissioner & the Ministry of Defence (EA/2006/0040; 26 August 2008), the Information Tribunal took the view that adherence to the section 45 Code should be included as part of the process of considering “whether a complaint has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of Part 1” of the FOIA. Sections 10, 13, 14, and 18 of the Code of Practice have not been complied with by NHS Manchester.

7. Under Section 10 of FOIA 2000 NHS Manchester is obliged to tell me if they have the information requested within 20 days of the request being made. Please, comply with Section 10 of FOIA 2000. I appreciate NHS Manchester still has time to do so.

8. Section 149 (5) (b) of Equality Act 2010 applies because if it was observed by providing requested information it would lead to better understanding of problems and therefore promotion of better relationships:
Having due regard to the need to foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it involves having due regard, in particular, to the need to—
(a) Tackle prejudice, and
(b) Promote understanding.

9. Effective monitoring with respect to gender and ethnicity is an important tool for measuring performance and progress towards equality and diversity goals and in ensuring a truly inclusive working environment. Monitoring is not an end in itself. Data that is collected needs to be analyzed and used to inform appropriate action. Information Commissioner does not accept any administrative embarrassment as a good reason for non-disclosure. NHS Manchester could have used, for example, monitoring by Human Resources of complaints and dismissals of whistleblowers and supplied me with that data. It is rather unlikely that NHS Manchester would claim that it has dismissed so many whistleblowers that in order to comply with my request it would cost them too much in time and effort. Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 Schedule 1 Regulation 2(2) lists PCTs as having the duty to comply. Section 2.-(1) specifies duty to publish information showing compliance with the act anyway by certain time, so if information is available already it is reasonable for me to expect for this information to be passed to me too even though application was made under FOIA 2000.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dr Helen Bright

Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

Dear Helen,

In accordance with our duty to provide advice and assistance (Section 16), I am happy to provide the following information.

The questions you asked are as follows:
1. How many whistleblowers have been recognized as such in the last three years, number for each year, please
There is only the one case of whistleblowing at NHS Manchester. Please see the link below.

2. Could you, please, show the figures by gender and ethnicity, please, and type of contract (temporary v. permanent)

http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2...
This link should give you the answers to your second question, in regards to gender and job roles. We cannot release further information in regards to ethnicity, as this would be considered as sensitive personally identifiable information.

I hope this information will be of help.

Kind regards,

Ceridwen Lee
Datix Administrator

NHS Manchester
Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor
Parkway Business Centre
Princess Road
Manchester
M14 7LU

Tel: 0161 765 4178
Fax: 0161 232 8129

[email address]

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Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

Dear Helen,

 

I have responded to your request, and provided the information that you
asked for i.e. the number of whistleblowing incidents, and the gender and
roles of the people involved. Unfortunately I was unable to supply you
with information regarding their ethnicity, as this is considered
personally identifiable information. Prior to this, we sent you a letter
advising you that this request would be considered under Section 21 of the
Freedom of Information Act, as the information was freely and easily
available in a public forum (a simple Google search gave the information
required, as legal cases are a matter of public record and therefore
widely reported in the press).Upon your request for specific website
addresses, we happily responded with that information.

 

We note that you have put in a request to have the handling of this
Freedom of Information request reviewed, due to our refusal to provide the
information. In light of previous communication, supplying you with the
correct website address, I was wondering if you would still like to
continue with your complaint?

 

If you have any further questions, or if I can be of any further
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards

 

Ceridwen Lee

Datix Administrator

 

NHS Manchester

Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor

Parkway Business Centre

Princess Road

Manchester

M14 7LU

 

Tel: 0161 765 4178

Fax: 0161 232 8129

 

[1][email address]

 

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Dear Ms Lee,

Thank you for supplying a link to an article about three whistleblowers from NHS Manchester. I can see all three are women and they complained about a man. Dishonesty has been alleged and admitted by a man. However, dishonesty is something that regulators (professional registration bodies) decided can lead to erasure form the register. NHS Manchester appear to have protected their man. It is of interest to public why this sort of thing happens. Some courts have also protected him and those who protected him. This is also of public interest. Neither taxpayers nor the government approve of their money and efforts going to waste.

1. Information on ethnicity can be supplied in the format which does not identify individuals. For example: Out of 150 complaints received by NHS Manchester 2 were made by Asian, 1 by Scottish and 147 by White English. Numbers do not identify individuals.

2. Although you identified one public case there may be many other complaints from staff and public on NHS Manchester database or none at all. Internal review is required to check that this was properly looked at when responding to my request under FOIA 2000. Complaints need to be divided into whistleblowing and non-whistleblowing cases.

3. If the data regarding gender and ethnicity from the complainants has not been collected NHS Manchester need to state so to me under Section 10 of FOIA 2000. This has not happened so far. Therefore, there would be breach of Section 10 of FOIA 2000 if NHS Manchester does not have the data but failed to inform me of this fact within 20 days of receiving the request.

4. There is no section 10 notice that has been served under DPA 1998 by any data subjects so clearly none have objected to their data being used in a format that does not identify them. Unreasonable objections from data subjects can be overruled in public interest by Data Controller. Information Commissioner has provided Awareness Guidance 1 and 3 for use regarding these issues. Public Interest test has not been applied by NHS Manchester. Data subject may not even object to public knowledge of their ethnicity and there is no evidence that you sent me that you asked them what, and if there is anything they object to in terms of disclosures to me/public. If the data is provided in a manner that does not identify the data subjects there is no need for Data Controller to contact data subjects and ask them if they object or not.

5. Whistleblowing is not defined by the presence of a court case or use of internal whistleblowing procedure. Other complainants that did not attract public attention could also be classed as whistleblowers. However, not the backstabbers. So, it is complaints made in good faith and in public interest.

6. In the case of identifiable individuals as in Fecitt and Others again information on ethnicity can be supplied that does not identify them because NHS Manchester can use their already collected data and just provide me with numbers without attachment of any names to those ethnic groups(s).

7. No reason has been given in the case of Fecitt and others why numbers would identify individuals. Please, give your reasons in full.

8. For avoidance of doubt, as the requested information has not been supplied I would like this to proceed to internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Bright

Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

Dear Dr Bright

Thank you for your email of 18/01/12 (14:33).

I have passed your email to the Head of Information Governance who will be in contact shortly to advise on the review you have requested.

Yours sincerely

Ceridwen Lee
Datix Administrator

NHS Manchester
Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor
Parkway Business Centre
Princess Road
Manchester
M14 7LU

Tel: 0161 765 4178
Fax: 0161 232 8129

[email address]

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Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

Dear Dr Bright

Further to my email of 18th and in accordance with NHS Manchester's wish to advise and assist wherever possible, I attach scanned copies of web pages related to the whistle-blowing case that might be of use to you in your research

Ceridwen Lee
Datix Administrator

NHS Manchester
Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor
Parkway Business Centre
Princess Road
Manchester
M14 7LU

Tel: 0161 765 4178
Fax: 0161 232 8129

[email address]

show quoted sections

Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

4 Attachments

Dear Dr Bright

Further to my email of 18th and in accordance with NHS Manchester's wish to advise and assist wherever possible, I attach scanned copies of web pages related to the whistle-blowing case that might be of use to you in your research

Ceridwen Lee
Datix Administrator

NHS Manchester
Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor
Parkway Business Centre
Princess Road
Manchester
M14 7LU

Tel: 0161 765 4178
Fax: 0161 232 8129

[email address]

show quoted sections

Ceridwen Lee, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

Dear Dr Bright

Further to my email of 18th and in accordance with NHS Manchester's wish to advise and assist wherever possible, I attach scanned copies of web pages related to the whistle-blowing case that might be of use to you in your research

Ceridwen Lee
Datix Administrator

NHS Manchester
Parkway 5 - 2nd Floor
Parkway Business Centre
Princess Road
Manchester
M14 7LU

Tel: 0161 765 4178
Fax: 0161 232 8129

[email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Ceridwen Lee,

Thank you very much for supplying additional information which I read with interest and this is helpful to me in a way although it does not provide all the information I requested.

1. I can see that all three whistleblowers in this case are women and that they appear to be of White race, but their ethnicity is not visible.

2. Taking into consideration that, for example, Welsh are considered ethnic minority and so are Scottish and so on, is it possible to state that the majority of these whistleblowers were also from ethnic minorities? That would mean two out of three and if you told me that I would not know which one you mean.

3. Would you be providing the information from the review of complaints to Complaints Department (or whatever it is called in your trust) and Human Resources from the last three years with respect to gender and ethnicity of the complainants?

4. Could you, please, ask Mr Swift if he objects to his ethnicity being disclosed to me?

5. If NHS Manchester has not collected the requested data please, state so under Section 10 of Freedom of Information Act 2000. I think you still have some time left to do so and you would comply with FOIA 2000 time limits of twenty working days from the time of the request was made.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Bright

Graham Coxon, Manchester Teaching Primary Care Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Bright

 

Further to your request for a review of the recent FOI decision, please
find an acknowledgement letter attached to this email

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Graham Coxon

Information Governance

NHS Manchester

 

This E-mail and any attachments are confidential and intended solely for
the attention and use of the addressee. If you are not the intended
recipient, be advised that you have received this e-mail in error and that
any use, printing, copying or distribution of this e-mail is strictly
prohibited.

 

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Dear Graham Coxon,

Thank you for acknowledging my request for internal review.

Please, note that your response stated it was confidential. It is not as it was published on the Internet.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Bright

O'Gorman Chris (MANCHESTER PCT),

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Bright
 
Please see attached letter
 
Regards
 
Chris O'Gorman
Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) Director
NHS Manchester
Parkway Three
Parkway Business Centre
Manchester
M14 7LU
 
Direct line: 0161 765 4117
PA (Jayne Fowler): 0161 765 4051
Email: [1]chris.o'[email address]/[email address]
Web: [2]www.manchester.nhs.uk

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:chris.o'[email address]/[email address]
2. http://www.manchester.nhs.uk/

O'Gorman Chris (MANCHESTER PCT),

2 Attachments

Dear Dr Bright
 
Please see attached letter
 
Regards
 
Chris O'Gorman
Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) Director
NHS Manchester
Parkway Three
Parkway Business Centre
Manchester
M14 7LU
 
Direct line: 0161 765 4117
PA (Jayne Fowler): 0161 765 4051
Email: [1]chris.o'[email address]/[email address]
Web: [2]www.manchester.nhs.uk

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:chris.o'[email address]/[email address]
2. http://www.manchester.nhs.uk/

Dear Mr O'Gorman,

Thank you very much for doing this research. I hope you found it helpful to you too.

1. It would appear all the whistleblowers are female.

2. The worst outcome was for a female who was a temporary worker and of (most likely) ethnic minority origin, if I am right, Welsh. No great surprises there. Those who have power use it over others.

3. The bad outcome for females would be in keeping with the research results reported by Michael Rehg et al in:
http://orgsci.journal.informs.org/conten....
You will note one important difference between men and women in terms of how they react to reprisals: women do not give up, they go on to complain to external agencies.

4. Good outcome for conflict resolution can be achieved by enforced equality as per this research:
http://law-journals-books.vlex.com/vid/w...
As NMC must be aware of this case I wonder what they did about it if anything.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Bright

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