Get the data: Freedom of Information contact details for every clinical commissioning group

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

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

Who to send an FOI request to if you want to know about your local clinical commissioning group

Following previous posts about how Freedom of Information requests are being handled during a period where responsibilities are passed from one part of the health service (primary care trusts) to another (clinical commissioning groups – CCGs), we’ve been working with the wonderful FOI Directory to compile a full list of email addresses for the PCT handling FOI requests for each CCG in England.

This table assumes that FOI requests are being handled by the PCT. In some cases the CCG may be ready to process FOI requests themselves. If so, the PCT should be able to inform you when you submit your FOI request.

Here’s the list – if you find anything that needs correcting or updating, please let us know. Continue reading

Identifying CCG websites – halfway there!

Thanks to HMI contributors Che Seymour and Duarte Varela, we are now halfway to recording websites for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The spreadsheet can be found here. It contains details on:

  • The CCG’s website news page
  • RSS feed
  • Twitter account
  • Board details URL
  • Freedom of Information details

Many CCGs don’t yet have a website, of course, as the authorisation process is still taking place and will not be completed until next Spring.

We’re hoping that compiling and sharing this information will make it easier to send FOI requests, as well as possibly leading to a ‘news scraper’ that brings together news from all CCGs into one convenient feed.

If you want to add to or update the details, please get in touch.

Who do I send a Freedom of Information request to for Norwich and Norfolk CCGs?

If you’re interested in information relating to either Norwich CCG (clinical commissioning group), South Norfolk CCG, North Norfolk CCG, West Norfolk CCG or HealthEast CCG, and cannot get information directly, you’ll need to send a Freedom of Information request to the local Primary Care Trust – Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT.

The email address to do so is gyw-pct.foi@nhs.netContinue reading

Links: Andrew Lansley ordered to reveal NHS reforms risks report

The Health Department has been ordered by the Information Commissioner to make public a report into the risks raised by NHS reforms.

Officials had previously refused FOI requests to supply the report because it “jeopardised the success of [government] policy”.

The Evening Standard, which asked for a review of the department’s refusal, reports on the decision:

“The document is expected to reveal the risks to patient safety, finances and the very workings of the NHS from the unprecedented reshaping of the health service.

“… In his ruling, [Information Commissioner Christopher]  Graham said: “Disclosure would significantly aid public understanding of risks related to the proposed reforms and it would also inform participation in the debate about the reforms.””

Data: Freedom of information request statistics for NHS Trusts (as of 23/10/2011)

Carl Plant has blogged about gathering data on what FOI requests have been made to NHS trusts using the website What Do They Know. He writes:

“I’ll share the datatable so that others can see how FOI requests are being asked of NHS Trusts and also show the top 10 results (in descending order) for:

  • Successful requests
  • Long overdue requests
  • Rejected requests”

AUDIO: Pharmacies competing with NHS dispensaries

You And Yours reports today on private pharmacies using the Freedom of Information Act to identify the most profitable regions in Scotland to set up shop – leading to the closure of practice-based dispensaries.

Sadly there’s no information online other than the full broadcast, but there’s some background on BBC News Scotland: Continue reading