NHS England's refusal to publish the report that was finished last August into the financial crisis facing Devon NHS is completely unacceptable.
You can read their response in full below:
Dear Mr Bradshaw,
Re: Freedom of Information request
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which we received on 12 March 2015.
Your exact request was:-
“My request is to be provided with the full and final report from the PWC investigation into the financial challenge facing the NHS in Devon.”
NHS England holds this information.
However, we are withholding this information under Section 22 of the FOI Act, which states that public bodies are not obliged to disclose information that is intended for future publication.
Section 22 is a qualified exemption, and we are required to assess as objectively as possible whether the balance of public interest favours disclosing or withholding the information.
NHS England recognises that there is in general a strong public interest in information being made as freely available as possible. However, there is ongoing work based on the contents of these reports and it is expected that for each health economy that was considered and in respect of which a report was prepared there will be at least the following steps undertaken:
- · Strategic plan
- · Consideration of plan
- · Consultation on possible reforms to the health economy
- · Recommendations for possible reforms following consultation
- · Implementation of recommendations.
To release the reports ahead of the steps identified above being completed would be likely to prejudice their outcome.
For these reasons, we believe withholding the information outweighs the public interest in releasing the information. Equally, as this information is intended to be published soon, we feel that it is best and reasonable to withhold this information at present, rather than disclose earlier where error or duplication may occur. On publication, this information will be freely available from the NHS England website (www.england.nhs.uk) for you to view. There is no information currently available regarding the proposed date for publication.
I hope this information is helpful. However, if you are dissatisfied, you have the right to ask for an internal review by writing to us, within two months of the date of this letter, to:
PO Box 16738