NHS Scotland Health board Covid-19 deaths: FOI review

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

Information requested

Your request, reference 202100234838
On the statutory requirements, for each of the 14 NHS regional boards:

1a) How many infections affecting workers were reported to HSE?
b) What was the date of the infections ?
c) What was the date of reporting?

2a) How many deaths of healthcare workers were reported to HSE?
b) What was the date of the deaths?
c) When were they reported to HSE?
d) When were the legally-required ten-day internal investigation reports submitted to HSE?

Your review request, reference 202100240573 
You requested a review as you believe that because the Boards have the information, that we must also have it. Your request for review confirmed that the information noted above was specifically in relation to Covid-19.


Following a thorough review, I am able to confirm the following:
I uphold the original response regarding the points raised in questions 1a, 1b, 1c and 2d. We do not hold this information and as such the formal notice under section 17 (1) of FOISA will stand. The regulatory requirement for employers, in this case the Boards to report infections and work related deaths to HSE is a matter between the employer and HSE. As this is a devolved matter, there is no requirement for the Scottish Government to be advised of the details. We therefore do not hold this information.

In relation to questions 2a, 2b and 2c, I can confirm that we do hold some information relevant to these questions. Please see attached FOI release for details.

Please note: This information has been provided to us by the Boards in line with a Directors Letter ( DL (2020) 12). This was requested principally to enable Scottish Government to record the number of staff deaths related to Covid-19 in Boards per our Coronavirus (Covid-19): daily data for Scotland publication Link to publication.

However, this information is provided immediately after a death was notified to the Board, and as such the details around the death are generally not fully known. Further, there is no requirement in the Directors Letter for the Boards to follow up with Scottish Government and update any missing or inaccurate information later. Therefore, the information contained in the spreadsheet does not provide a full and up to date account of reporting to HSE by NHSScotland Boards relating to Covid-19 staff deaths. We do not hold any further information which would provide further answer to Questions 2a, 2b and 2c.This is because the requirement for an employer to report to HSE regarding these matters, is a regulatory requirement for that employer and aside from in relation to the Directors Letter noted above, Boards are under no obligation to provide us with details around reporting that they have or have not made to HSE, which is a devolved matter.

If you require up to date and full account of the reporting made to HSE in relation to Covid-19 infections and deaths by the NHSScotland Boards, you may wish to consider making an FOI request to HSE or the individual NHS Boards.

Information on raising an FOI request with HSE, including contact details, is available via the following link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/index.htm

FOI Contact details for each of the territorial Boards are noted below for your convenience:

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.

FOI202100240573 - Information released


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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