On 27 February 2011, the Department Of Health received a freedom of information request for the following information:
“electronic copies of the ranked hospital level data for Rounds 5, 6 and 7 of the National Sentinel Stroke Audit as published to date, both the organisational and clinical components…Note that these requests are not for the data in the published ‘Public Reports’ which place individual hospitals and hospital trusts into quartiles according to the scores attained in the assessment criteria.”
The Department responded on 24 March 2011 stating that complying with the request would exceed the appropriate cost limit.
Following an internal review the Department wrote to the complainant on 20 April 2011. The Department overturned its original decision stating that it should have informed the complainant that it does not hold the requested information.
The Information Commissioner’s decision is that the Department of Health has failed to comply with its obligations under section 1(1)(a) of the FOIA as it informed the complainant that it does not hold the requested information. The Commissioner considers that the requested information is held by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Agency (HQIP) and/or the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on behalf of the Department under section 3(2)(b) of the FOIA.
The Department of Health is complying with the ICO’s instructions to release this information.
An explanation of the scores for stroke services is also provided.
Explanation of the scores for stroke services
A further request was made to the Department for the data for the total process and organisational audit scores for 2006-2010 to be in the same format as sent to the Strategic Health Authorities which the applicant suggested would be to 2 decimal places. In addition, the applicant requested the data for Wales, Northern Ireland and the Islands.