Every time something goes wrong in the NHS it creates a paper trail… And that means that investigators can use the Freedom of Information Act to find out exactly what has happened.
If something happens on a ward – from patients abusing staff all the way to clinical errors – it needs to be recorded. These events are known in the NHS as “Serious Untoward Incidents” (SUIs).
Every time one of these incidents occurs it is reported through the NHS – from the ward up to managers to the regional body that is responsible for the clinic. Continue reading
The health regulator Monitor has published data on its structure, including posts, pay scales, and an organogram (PDF) (shown above). The data is particularly useful if you are trying to trace responsibility within the organisation.
If you find the data useful, or need any further help, let us know!
Help Me Investigate has compiled a list of Freedom of Information emails for the new bodies overseeing local health spending in England.
The list was compiled for Health Service Journal by Tom Warren and Matt Burgess, and is reproduced here with permission.
A table showing the emails is embedded below. Some CCGs are sharing an FOI address where they may be using the same support team to process them. Others have retained the old FOI email from the primary care trust (the organisations which oversaw spending before clinical commissioning was introduced). Continue reading
Staff at Stockport CCG have published a series of brief videos explaining their roles, which provide a useful introduction to the new system of paying for health services.
The videos include the Chief Finance Officer Dan Jones (below), the Chief Clinical Officer Dr Ranjit Gill, Clinical Directors Jaweeda Idoo and Dr Cath Briggs. We’ve embedded most videos from the point where roles are explained.
There was laughter in the room when John Lister ironically described the new NHS structure as “streamlined” and shared a Guardian graphic of the new bureaucracy. It set the tone for the NUJ’s Reporting on our health services masterclass, aimed at helping health reporters get to grips with confusing changes.
Lister, senior lecturer in health journalism at Coventry University, identified some of the main issues for journalists:
- access to information
- getting that information in a timely manner
- getting a range of information – not just press releases, but also Board papers, statistics, other info that isn’t specifically targeted at the press
- access to expert analysis. (You have the info, but can you make sense of it? Is there a specialist who can put it in context or add insight?)
He spoke about the slippery nature of transparency. For example, NHS England (the new name for the NHS Commissioning Board) is relatively open to reporting, but the real nitty-gritty decisions are made by Local Area Teams (LATs). Continue reading
- Presentation slides on the new NHS structures
- Transcript of speech by John Lister, senior lecturer in health journalism, Coventry University; director, London Health Emergency
- Transcript of speech by Shaun Lintern, Health Service Journal reporter; former Express & Star reporter, Stafford
- Transcript of BBC health correspondent Branwen Jeffreys’ speech
- Transcript of speech by Paul Bradshaw, course leader MA Online Journalism, Birmingham City University; visiting professor, City University; organiser, Help Me Investigate Health
- Floor discussion and response
You can also find audio of the three speakers other from me in a previous post on HMI Health.
Last night Help Me Investigate attended the NUJ’s event on reporting the new health system. Panelists John Lister (Coventry University), Shaun Lintern (Health Service Journal) and Branwen Jeffreys (BBC) spoke in turn about how the new health system is structured (as best can be told); how to report on the new system; and the possible problems and opportunities within that.
Audio clips of those introductory talks can be found below, with a brief description. All three can also be found on Audioboo under the event tag, #NUJhealth. Continue reading
The King’s Fund published the above diagram as part of a report on Good Governance for Clinical Commissioning Groups (PDF) in the new health system. It’s one of the best diagrams we’ve seen so far explaining where accountability lies within the system, and funding. Click to see a full size version.
The whole report is worth reading for an insight into what the new groups are supposed to do, and how they are supposed to operate.
The King’s Fund also has a section on its website about the NHS reforms covering autonomy, accountability and democratic legitimacy, which provides some useful historical and other context.
It just goes to show what a great resource whatdotheyknow.com is. If you haven’t used it yet, have a look at it ASAP.
The site allows you to:
- Make requests to any public authority in the UK
- Browse past requests made through the site
- Get FOI advice from its large community of users
I’ve been using it quite a lot recently and have a couple of tips to help you make the most use of it. Continue reading