Publication - FOI/EIR release

Infection control breaches, face fit testing and training, NHS Greater Glasgow/Clyde: FOI review

Published: 29 Apr 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
29 Apr 2019
Infection control breaches, face fit testing and training, NHS Greater Glasgow/Clyde: FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/19/00588 Review
Date received: 15 Apr 2019
Date responded: 25 Apr 2019
Information requested

 

1. All correspondences sent from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to the Scottish Government in relation to infection control breaches within the health board from 2015 to present - including any contraventions to health and safety laws within the health board

2. Correspondences relating to face fit testing / mask fitting with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (including anything that mentions FFP3 masks) from 2015 to present

3. Correspondences relating to staff training / lack of training in Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Including anything that mentions Viral Hemorrhagic Fever) with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde from 2015 to present.

 

Response

 

Further to my letter of 15th April 2019, I have now completed my review of our failure to respond to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for:

1. All correspondences sent from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to the Scottish Government in relation to infection control breaches within the health board from 2015 to present - including any contraventions to health and safety laws within the health board

2. Correspondences relating to face fit testing / mask fitting with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (including anything that mentions FFP3 masks) from 2015 to present

3. Correspondences relating to staff training / lack of training in Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Including anything that mentions Viral Hemorrhagic Fever) with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde from 2015 to present.

In accordance with section 21(4) of FOISA, I have also reached a decision on your request. I apologise for the delay in providing a response, this was due to it taking longer than anticipated to identify the information relevant to your request.

I can now provide our response to your original request.

In response to point 1 of your request, I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. Our aim is to provide information wherever possible, however exemptions under Sections 38(1)(b) and Section 30(c) of FOISA apply to some of the information you have requested. The reasons why these exemptions apply are set out in the Annex to this letter.

In response to point 2 of your enquiry, the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because it is not held by the Scottish Government. Our aim is to provide information whenever possible but in this instance this is a formal notice under section 17 (1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

In response to point 3 of your request, I enclose an extract of the relevant information on training from documents which are within the scope of your request.

 

ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

An exemption applies
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the names and contact details of non-senior staff. Disclosing this information would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act
2018. This exemption is 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(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. It is essential for officials to be able to communicate, often in confidence, with external stakeholders on a range of issues, including sensitive matters such as ensuring issues relating to hospital infections are addressed. Disclosing the content of these communications, particularly without the consent of the stakeholder, is likely to undermine their trust in the Scottish Government and will substantially inhibit communications on this type of issue in the future.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in
disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing officials a private space within which to communicate with appropriate external stakeholders as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s approach to dealing with concerns relating to hospital infections. This private space is essential to enable all issues to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence.

 

About FOI

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG