Disclosure Details

Transporting patients - 501/13

Dated: 15 Jul 2013

Date of request:     27/06/2013

Date of response:   15/07/2013

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 27 June 2013 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

  1. On how many occasions over the past year, May 2012 to May 2013, have police officers/community support officers had to take a patient to hospital because of delays in an ambulance responding to the incident? 

  2. On how many occasions did the person die before reaching hospital?

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted with the Communications Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police, however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
 
There are a wide variety of incident  types, where patients may need to be transported to hospital, though this may not be apparent within the initial call. Examples of this would include road traffic collisions, assaults, concerns for safety and domestic incidents. 

An initial search brought up over 43,000 incident logs in May 2013. Taking this as typical would equate to over 559,000 incidents in the 13 month period you specified. To provide information which meets the criteria of your request would entail a member of staff manually searching those incidents, to determine which, if any, mention transportation to hospital because of delays in an ambulance responding to the incident. Any incidents identified would have to be examined to establish which, if any, relate to a patient dying before reaching hospital. Even at a conservative estimate of 5 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 46,583 hours, therefore Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act would apply. This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00

You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.

When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits.  However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so, even for a considerably shorter time period.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.


The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.


How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103