Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Darzi's privatisation hides being FOI act

"Thank you for your email of 2 February requesting, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), information about the decision to set up walk-in centres in every Primary Care Trust. Following publication of Lord Darzi's interim report 'Our NHS, our future', published on 4 October 2007, which makes a number of recommendations for fairer access to GP services, decisions were made at a ministerial level to invest new resources to:

• establish at least 100 new GP practices into the 25% of PCTs with poorest provision, and
• develop 152 GP-led health centres (one in each PCT) in easily accessible locations, offering a range of services - including pre-bookable appointments, walk-in and other services, where registered and non-registered patients can access a GP between 8am-8pm seven days a week.

You also asked for documented records of discussions relating to this decision. I have to advise you that this part of your request would involve searches costing substantially in excess of the £600 cost limit specified in S12 of FOIA, and that for this reason, we will not be taking this part of your request further. You may however wish to make a more specifically defined request relating to this decision. Should you do so, it may be possible for us to comply with such a request within the cost limit, although it remains possible that information falling within your new search criteria could still be held to be exempt under such provisions of FOIA as S35, which covers information relating to the formulation of policy."

If their motives were honourable and honest, then they would be happy to reveal them; the DoH acts behind closed doors and never reveals the truth, therefore I can only assume the worst.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should consider asking the IC to look into it, since the claim seems wildly implausible - surely even the government would have enough sense to keep a folder of the discussions it had had to justify its proposals?

Garth Marenghi said...

I have modified my question and will await the next knock back!