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Email received from Mr Peter Jewell

Dear Editor

I enclose the original FOI request from Mr Stote and the Reply and My opinion. It would seem that it is clear that this has become a clear example that the Worcestershire NHS Trust intended to take their option before this started and were purely “going through the exercise”

 

 

1 The Objectives of the Review were set out in Appendix 4 thus – b) in my bold sets out the intent

 

Note Appendix 4

 

Objectives

a) To adopt the objective criteria, as developed by the Clinical Sub-Committee, against which the clinical models developed as part of the programme are to be assessed

b) To consider and assess the clinical models developed by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) in respect of Options 1 and 2, against the agreed clinical criteria

c) To ensure the Clinical Review Panel consider all relevant documentation, as directed by the Clinical Sub-Committee

d) To consider the final clinical model(s) prior to public consultation against the agreed criteria and make recommendations on whether to support the model(s) to the Clinical Sub-Committee

e) The Independent Clinical Review Panel may be reconvened

i. To review the feedback received on the clinical models as a result of public consultation, and recommend to the Clinical Sub-Committee any proposed changes to the clinical model

ii. To assess the clinical model, as modified following public consultation, against the agreed criteria; including making recommendations on whether to support the model(s) to the Clinical Sub-Committee

 

To me that indicates that it was for WAHT to have ‘developed the clinical models … in respect of Options 1 and 2’ and for the Reviewing body to measure their viability against the agreed clinical criteria.

 

2 Neal Stote has discovered that no information to work up Option 2 has been shared with UHB

 

3 He has now received these replies under FOI from WAHT

 

1 – What information in relation to the Joint Services Review, Acute Services Review and Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire has been shared between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, in particular to the working up of option 2, between the period October 2011 and June 2014?

 

I can confirm that on 24 September 2012, the Trust shared high level information with Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG in order to facilitate discussion on Option 2. The information included:

•         A fact sheet on the Alexandra Hospital Estate including size, age, book value, beds and theatres

•         Activity levels by specialty

•         A high level workforce estimate.

At the time, it was acknowledged that this information could be relevant to other providers.

 

2 – I would like copies of all communication, written and electronic, between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham in relation to the Joint Services Review, Acute Services Review and Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire between the period October 2011 and June 2014?

 

On 2 November 2012, University Hospital Birmingham sent Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust a pro-forma to complete. This is attached for information, along with its covering email. The Trust sought legal advice in respect of whether to complete the form and return it to UHB and the advice was that it was considered inappropriate to share this level of information with UHB outside of a formal procurement and due diligence process, due to concerns that providing such information may affect any procurement exercise that could be run in respect of an alternative provider and the process to select it, potentially damaging that process. We did however complete parts of the pro-forma (as some information would only be given when the process of due diligence was undertaken) and send it to the Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG as the commissioner of the services

 

These answers are totally unsatisfactory to my way of thinking.  Originally WAHT were committing themselves to work up the Options surely to an equal level to allow a Review Body to consider both properly and then to make a choice as set out in the objectives.  What is said above is that they shared information with Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG in order to facilitate discussion on Option 2 and at the time, it was acknowledged that this information could be relevant to other providers! 

 

As they were supposed to be working up a model that involved UHB why did they only provide that to part of the Worcestershire Health Service providers for ‘discussion’?  Why not consult and work with UHB directly to find out whether Option 2 was a viable and better alternative to Option 1?  It is said that a pro-forma was sent by UHB for the WAHT to complete.  The answer given is it was not appropriate legally to do so outside a formal procurement and due diligence process.  Is not the point that it was for WAHT to carry out whatever was necessary to work up Option 2 to place it before the Review Body.

 

They then sent the pro-forma not to UHB who surely they were supposed to be working with but the Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG as the!  What on earth does ‘commissioner of the services’ mean in this overall context?  It seems to me that WAHT broadly decided that financially they needed Option 1 to be accepted by the Review Body and then gave lip service – and not even much of that – to Option 2 so that the Review Body of course could only really come down on their side preferring Option 1 which effectively will sweep money in the direction of WAHT.

 

If I am right about that then they would be open to being questioned by way of judicial review?  Perhaps the next question should be sent to the Chairman of the Review Panel and ask whether he was aware of (even concerned about) the lack of information relating to Option 2?  And/or bringing this to the attention of the Sec. of State?

 

Peter Jewell

 

 

 FOI reply from Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust

Further to my acknowledgement of your Freedom of Information request and to confirm our telephone conversation of today’s date.

Thank you for allowing us extra time to ensure that we make a complete check of any emails that staff hold on the information you have requested.  As discussed we are still going through a period when staff are taking their summer annual leave and in order to complete your request we do require an additional 7 days.

I can however answer question 1 of your request as our Trust was not involved in the “working up” of option 2 we do not hold data regarding that..

 

 

FOI reply from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

 

 

I can confirm in accordance with S.1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) that we do hold some information that falls within the scope of and would be useful in terms of your request.

I have listed your questions below together with our response.

1 – What information in relation to the Joint Services Review, Acute Services Review and Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire has been shared between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, in particular to the working up of option 2, between the period October 2011 and June 2014?

I can confirm that on 24 September 2012, the Trust shared high level information with Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG in order to facilitate discussion on Option 2. The information included:

•         A fact sheet on the Alexandra Hospital Estate including size, age, book value, beds and theatres

•         Activity levels by specialty

•         A high level workforce estimate.

At the time, it was acknowledged that this information could be relevant to other providers.

2 – I would like copies of all communication, written and electronic, between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham in relation to the Joint Services Review, Acute Services Review and Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire between the period October 2011 and June 2014?

On 2 November 2012, University Hospital Birmingham sent Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust a pro-forma to complete. This is attached for information, along with its covering email. The Trust sought legal advice in respect of whether to complete the form and return it to UHB and the advice was that it was considered inappropriate to share this level of information with UHB outside of a formal procurement and due diligence process, due to concerns that providing such information may affect any procurement exercise that could be run in respect of an alternative provider and the process to select it, potentially damaging that process. We did however complete parts of the pro-forma (as some information would only be given when the process of due diligence was undertaken) and send it to the Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG as the commissioner of the services.

 

Link to ICRP Report

 

Ends

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