Freedom of Info request for vital Care Closer to Home data to see if hospital plan has enough beds

Today Calderdale and Kirlees 999 Call for the NHS sent a Freedom of Information request for Calderdale and Kirklees Care Closer to Home data.

Update: The Clinical Commissioning Groups’ responses to our request say that – if they decide not to invoke exemptions that allow them to withold the data – they will provide them by 7th Jan 2021. Calderdale Council also says they intend to deliver us the information by 7th Jan 2021 and “There are a limited number of exemptions that may prevent us from releasing the information but we will try to answer your request in as much detail as possible.” 7th Jan 2021 would have been too late for the Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust’s “meaningful engagement” with residents in Skircoat and Lindley wards about the proposed hospital building plans, which they planned to carry out this December – but now the hospitals Trust tells us they’ve had to postpone the engagement to February/March 2021.

Update 2: Just before Christmas Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group phoned to say they might take a bit longer to get the information to us because of the pressure of Covid19

The reason for this FOI request is that, in order to be confident that the proposed bed numbers (and A&E size) in the “reconfigured” Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals are going to be adequate,  data are needed that show the impact of Calderdale and Kirklees Care Closer To Home initiatives on our hospitals’ A&E attendance, Non-elective admissions and bed days – and on patients’ and clinical and caring staff experience.

In particular, the data we request are necessary in order to provide a factual basis for the Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust “meaningful engagement” this month (December 2020) with residents in Skircoat and Lindley wards about the proposed hospital building plans.

Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee has been unsuccessfully asking for this data since February 2019.

We are not sure who – if anyone – out of the plethora of Council, NHS and 3rd sector oganisations has overall responsibilty for the Care Closer to Home initiatives, so we have sent this request to the Calderdale Council Chief Executive, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group FOI and the Chair of Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board, as well as to the Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group FOI, the Kirklees Council Council Chief Executive and the Chair of Kirklees Health and Wellbeing Board.

You can download the FOI request here:

Update 8 Dec

Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group FOI have replied that they aim to send a response by 7 January 2021 which is twenty working days from the date of the request.The response will be sent on behalf of Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group.

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group FOI have also responded similarly, with the additional warning that,

Please note that due to the current public health emergency your request for information may be delayed as the CCG has to prioritise it operational response to the pandemic.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and please be assured that we remain committed to responding to your request and will respond as soon as we are able. Should our response to your request breach the statutory timeframe (20 working days, not including bank holidays) and you remain unhappy with our response you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office and you can contact them at:  The Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. 

Under the Freedom of Information Act your request may be subject to one or more exemptions which the CCG is entitled to apply in order to refuse your request, either wholly or in part.  In some circumstances, once the information has been identified, the CCG may also levy a fee for processing and delivering the information to you.  In such circumstances we will notify you as soon as possible of exemptions which may apply or any fees to be charged.

Update 16.12.2020

Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust’s Director of Transformation and Partnerships, Anna Basford, has just told us, “Unfortunately the development of the design plans has taken longer than originally planned and we have experienced some unavoidable delay. We are therefore now planning to commence engagement in February / March 2021”

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