Serious Untoward Incidents and FOI

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

Making the most of WhatDoTheyKnow

The Independent recently got a great story from citizen FOI website about MPs running tabs in the bars at parliament.

It just goes to show what a great resource 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

NHS plans for offender commissioning outlined

As part of the restructuring of the health service, the NHS Commissioning Board (CB) will have national responsibility for healthcare in secure environments.

These include:

  • 120 prisons
  • 16 Secure Children’s Homes
  • 4 Secure Training Centres
  • 12 Immigration Removal Centres
  • Police Custody Suites
  • Courts

Commissioning for Sexual Assault Services will also become the responsibility of the NHS CB.

Whilst the NHS CB has national responsibility for these institutions it will be free to commission services from local providers.

A document on the changes is available here.

NHS publishes list of commissioning support groups

The NHS Commissioning Board has published a complete list of Commissioning Support Units (CSUs).

CSUs will support medical staff running CCGs whilst they acquire the business skills necessary to work independently as commissioners.

The list is now final after the merger of West Yorkshire Commissioning Support Unit and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit.

The final list is:

■NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Staffordshire and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS North Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Arden Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Central Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Norfolk and Waveney Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Hertfordshire and Essex Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS North & East London Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS North West London Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS South London Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS South West Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Kent and Medway Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Surrey & Sussex Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS South Commissioning Support Unit

■NHS Central Southern Commissioning Support Unit

The NHS has also published a list of CSU managing directors and their contact details.

NHS publishes social media guidance

NHS Employers, the health service’s human resources group, has published advice to managers encouraging staff use of social media.

The publication acknowledges the pressures on human resources staff to control negative online coverage – but concludes that an “active and honest social media presence” will improve the health service.

This advice for open engagement ranges across the service, from Department of Health managers to clinicians and administrative staff with personal accounts.

However, it still recognises that many NHS contracts explicitly forbid “bringing the organisation into disrepute”.

The issue of free speech within the NHS is of particular relevance following the NHS United Lincolnshire scandal – where two whistle blowers were forced from their posts after warning of care failings to rival Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Both managers subsequently spoke to the media, one of them breaking a gagging order to do so.

NHS Merseyside splashes £65K on re-recruiting for their CCGs

Cross-posted from CCG Latest News:

NHS Merseyside is spending £65,700 on re-recruiting personnel for four Clinical Commissioning Groups, a freedom of information request has revealed.

The four groups are:

  • Sefton CCG – approx. £23,200
  • Halton CCG – approx. £11,600
  • St Helens CCG – approx. £14,700
  • Knowsley CCG – approx. £16,200

CCGs are replacing PCTs in controlling how money is spent at local hospitals.

Many of those who worked for NHS Merseyside may find themselves working for a CCG – but this still comes at a cost.

If this was reflective of all CCGs across the country then the cost of re-recruitment to the tax payer would be over £3.5 million.

Meet the CCG’s with their work cut out

Cross-posted from CCG Latest News:

They are taking control in April but some CCGs have a tougher job on their hands than others. Meet three commissioning groups with a big challenge ahead of them.

Dr Foster, which supplies intelligence and analysis on NHS services, rated three hospital trusts as being inefficient with cost and care and having a high mortality rate when compared to other NHS trusts.

They are University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and Burton Hospitals NHS Trust.

So which CCG’s are going to be tasked with turning around these failing hospitals? We’ve compiled the data below: Continue reading