Lead: NHS redundancy costs at a local level

The Independent reports that Department of Health estimates “show £616.6 million accounted for in possible redundancy costs for 2011/12”. Sounds like a potential avenue for local digging…

So here’s a quick advanced search for “redundancy costs” 2011/12 site:nhs.uk – can you adapt it to find a story?

And can you find the original DoH data?

Paper trail: Understanding the structure of the NHS pt1

If you’re trying to trace a document trail or identify who is accountable for a particular decision, it’s essential to understand the structure of the health service.

The way the National Health Service is set up in England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be dealt with in future posts) can be complex but it is relatively simple once you understand how each department works.

As the structure is now you have the Department of Health (DoH), led by the Secretary of State for Health, who in turn leads DoH ministers. The DoH funds ten strategic Health Authorities (SHAs), who are responsible for 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTS), which in turn provide hospitals, mental health trusts, ambulance trusts, GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies which will also cover sectors such as primary care service, Foundation trusts, NHS trusts, private companies and charities.

The new proposed structure for April 2013 will look slightly different as the Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities will be replaced by NHS Commissioning groups, which are constructed of 200+ Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that will be led by GPS who will oversee and manage the community, as well as acting as representatives for the boards such as NHS trusts, Foundation trusts, private companies etc.

There will also be a new feature, which will be added to the NHS in England, will be the new group Healthwatch England.

A national body representing the views, opinions of the people who use health and social care services, ot will represent a large network of local Healthwatch groups (taken over by LINK), which will be funded by local authorities.

It is claimed that these Healthwatches will help improve the services from the views of patients and carers during local commissioning decisions, the purpose being to make them run more efficiently, fairly and smoothly.

What is the department of Health’s organogram?

In December 2011 the Department of Health published an ‘organogram’. This is a database system which shows detailed info on the structure and costs of the department of health staff posts i.e. senior posts and costs of junior staff of the organisation as at 5 December 2011.

For example: the senior posts spreadsheet lists a variety of job titles such as private secretary, senior communications manager, executive assistant, Business manager, HR officer, press and media officer, and finance manager.

These all report to the overall professions such as Operational delivery, communications, human resources, informational technology, Policy, Internal audit, Informational Technology, Knowledge and Information manager etc.

Knowing where different roles report to can save you a lot of time in identifying who you need to approach in asking questions.

The junior posts (CSV) are responsible for different functions within the department such as leadership management, Internal audit efficiency strategy officers, Policy research programmes, PR, HR roles, NHS communication etc.

All junior posts report to the senior posts and the Department of Health, which covers money and costs.

Can you add anything? Or are there areas that need expanding or clarifying? Please let us know.

VIDEO: BIJ’s Emma Slater on investigating private treatment centres

As part of a series of video interviews for Help Me Investigate Health, Emma Slater, from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, talks about how she went about investigating the use of private treatment centres by the NHS and money being wasted on unfulfilled on operations that never took place. You can see one of her stories on the subject here.

Link: “Evidence” of NHS privatisation plans

Channel 4 news reports on documents which GPs say represent “firm evidence that the government is planning to privatise the National Health Service as part of its reforms.”:

“Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) GP committee, said that the document was quite explicit in suggesting that the government was going to create a market for private companies to come in and take over these services and that commissioning groups would be too small do without support. Continue 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.””

Patient safety data October 2010 to March 2011

If you require information on patient safety for your PCT I have created a dashboard where you can select the PCT in question and see the figures from the National Patient Safety Agency datatables.

You can access the underlying data from the dashboard by using the icons at the bottom of the dashboard.


I have taken the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) data from the August 2011 release and created a dashboard, according to the NPSA the underlying data is:

The sixth release of the Organisation Patient Safety Incident Reports data for NHS organisations in England and Wales was on 13 September 2011. The release covers incidents that occurred between 01 October 2010 and 31 March 2011 and were reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) by 31 May 2011.

I have used data on small to large acute hospitals, teaching hospitals, acute teaching and specialist hospitals, as well as mental health and ambulance organisations.

The information in the dashboard covers how many incidents were reported, the rate of incidents per 10000 people, the degrees of harm caused to patients and the time taken on average for incidents to be reported.

The patient safety data is released on the NSPA site alongside reports for each trust. There is however data missing from some trusts, although in the majority of cases the data is complete.

Can you help?

If there’s data missing for a particular Trust, can you help to find it?

If you would like to see or have other data relating to patient safety just get in contact.

More data to come…

I’ll be adding more publicly available health data over the next few weeks and I’m more than happy to chat about finding and cleaning up specific health related datasets.

(cross posted with my blog carlplant.me)

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”