- 9 Apr 2018
FOI reference: FOI/17/02847
Date received: 21 November 2017
Date responded: 6 April 2018
Thank you for your request dated 21 November 2017 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), where you requested all correspondence relating to the investigation surrounding waiting times practices and staff pressure at the Accident and Emergency department of St John's Hospital.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance some information has been withheld because exemptions under section 25(1) (Information otherwise accessible), 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views), 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) and section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information because it is the personal data of third parties, i.e. names and contact details, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. An exemption applied under section 25(i) as it related to information that is publically available. These exemptions are not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
An Exemption Applies - Subject to the Public Interest Test
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to a number of the redacted information. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Scottish Government officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options with external stakeholders.
An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some confidential information, including information between the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and the member of the public who raised the issues regarding the Accident and Emergency Department at St John's Hospital.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House