I’ve already had interesting preliminary response from a couple of Trusts to my FOI request that I sent to all 19 members of the south-west NHS pay cartel.
The Plymouth NHS Hospitals Trust response asks for clarification of the areas of its communications with the Dept of Health that I’m interested in, ‘as currently the request is too broad’.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust advises that the relevant department has ascertained that answering the response will exceed the cost limits allowed by the FOI Act and invites me to narrow the focus of the request (always something that makes me suspicious).
Now, the DH’s response to my FOI to it on its communications with the cartel and its members indicated that, in the past 12 months, its entire communications amounted to 3 emails and one phone call, all on the same day (if it looks laughable to you, it does to me too – and if true it means the DH isn’t doing its job properly!). The DH deleted the email addresses, so I’ve no idea whether any of these were to Plymouth or Avon/Wilts, but even if they all were, it’s hardly a strain on the FOI’s provision of 18 hours’ work per FOI request!
It’s not proof that the DH lied about its communications with the cartel and its participants – not yet – but it is strongly indicative of a level of communication going on between Lansley’s department and the cartel and its members that goes way beyond the paltry 3 emails I’ve received from the DH so far.