When the Shepway Vox Team were chasing down the figures for Hospital Acquired Covid via an Environmental Information Request, three of the four Kent Acute NHS Trusts supplied the information freely.
The only trust which did not provide the requested information was East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust [EKHUFT].
In it’s response the Trust stated on the 9th Feb 2021
XXXXXX has been investigating as the edict from NHS England is that we are still in a level 4 emergency response so can only point to nationally published datasets. XXXXXXX making sure the rules haven’t changed, and checking what they have released, if anything.
Something about this response did not sit right with the Team, so we contacted NHS England and NHS Improvement the same day.
The following day, the Senior Communications and Engagement Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East responded by saying:
There is no edict and NHS Trusts are responsible for their own responses to FOI/EiR requests and do so in accordance to the rules of the FOI Act and EiR Regs.
So it is clear the statement made by EKHUFT was NOT true.
It could be construed the Trust deliberately misled the applicant so as to avoid placing their figures for Hospital Acquired Covid for the period March, April May, June, and July 2020 into the public domain. NHS England were publishing Hospital Acquired Covid Data prior August 2020. So the the evidence provided by the Trust was untrue, misleading and deceptive in this particular case.
Now as we know, the Hospital Acquired Covid figures for the months set out above were appalling. We know this because the CQC issued a report under s31 of the Health & Social Care Act 2008, which basically means the Trust were harming patients in their care. EKHUFT WAS the first trust in the Country to face such action by the CQC.
Also Campaigners from Save Our NHS In Kent (SONIK). made claims of ‘gross mismanagement‘ over handling of coronavirus .
The Trust one can only assume were loathe to release the figures which potentially showed the “gross mismanagement” of Coronavirus in the Trust between March, April, May, June and July 2020.
No other Trust had such a large problem with the management of Coronavirus through those months.
In Oct 2020, the BBC reported “Managers and medics have told BBC News that people are fearful of speaking up amid a bullying, blame culture at the East Kent Hospitals Trust.” One manager goes onto say the trust leadership is “so arrogant that it will not listen“.
In Feb 2021, the Trust Secretary, Mrs Alison Fox (pictured), who is in our honest opinion the stupidest person in England, stated in an Environmental Information Request response:
“the transmission of the virus [Covid] is primarily from person to person/fomites and is not intrinsically mediated by, or reliant on, any of the elements referred to in Regulation 2.”
So we’d ask why the Trust set out to decieve the applicant of the Request, knowing that NO edict had ever been issued by NHS England or NHS Improvement?
We ask why the Trust is reluctant, to this day, to issue the number of patients who caught Hospital Acquired Covid between March, April, May, June and July 2020.
Why do you think they are reluctant?
And why did the trust issue a false statement about an edict which never existed?
We’ll leave you to mull that over.
Finally, we make it absolutely clear, the frontline staff who’ve dealt with the pandemic have done a marvellous job and we thank them all for their efforts. Unfortunately for them it’s a case of Lions led by Donkeys.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful