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.

THE SYSTEM

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

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

Hospital blunders investigated by Melanie Hall

Help Me Investigate user Melanie Hall has been using Freedom of Information requests to look at ‘hospital blunders': serious untoward incidents (SUIs) and ‘never events’. She reports:

“Surgeons operating on the wrong side of the body, swabs left inside patients after surgery and the wrong implant being used were among the blunders happening at NHS health services across England last year”

Overall, her investigation reveals at least 6,000 serious untoward incidents (SUIs) and more than 100 ‘never events’.  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