Statement from Nora Everitt
The ICS has not been honest with people in asking them, on a website page, and social media I believe, to apply to be one of the 3000 people on the “brand new online health and care membership scheme”.
The ICS has not made it clear to them:
- That by clicking the link to complete the survey people will be taken to the site of a Private Company (civica) that is outside the NHS
- That the ICS has paid civica to act as Data Controller of the personal information the survey asks for and what this means
- They have not specified whether civica will also manage the membership scheme for the ICS, meaning all patient and carer stories will be automatically shared with civica directly
- That civica’s own Privacy Notice declares that they may:
- use some personal information gained in public participation projects to produce reports for promoting their business
- share such data with companies that they have a direct business arrangement with in order to jointly market civica related services
The ICS has not given people clear information explaining how the recruitment and membership scheme will work – such as:
- That they will not automatically become a member of the new membership scheme
- When the membership will be selected, by whom and how (e.g. is it first come first served)
- When they will know if they have been selected as a member of the scheme
- What happens to the personal information they disclosed on the survey if they are not selected as a member
This communication and invitation to complete the survey to join this “brand new online health and care membership scheme” does appear to breach both the ICS statement on their website ‘Privacy Notice’ page and the Sheffield CCG ‘Fair Processing Privacy Notice for Patients’:
- The ICS has asked people to give a private contractor their personal information without making this clear to them that the survey is neither internal to the ICS nor the NHS
- The ICS did not make it clear that by completing the survey people would be effectively consenting to sharing their personal information outside the NHS but doing so unknowingly
- The Sheffield CCG Privacy Notice states that they will not share people’s personal information outside the CCG – but the ICS has effectively done so
- Nowhere has it been made clear that people have the right to:
- Opt out of sharing their personal information outside the NHS
- See what personal information civica holds, including their NHS service experiences which are confidential and personal to them
Questions from South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw NHS Action Group (SYBAG)
1. The SYBNAG gmail account received notification from the Joint Health Scrutiny officers that they were about to meet in July, inviting us to send questions and to join the zoom meeting, so why do the JCCCG and the ICS not show us the same courtesy, when we regularly put time aside to read the papers, attend the meetings and ask public questions?
The JCCCG posts notice on the ICS website about meetings held in public, which are ordinarily every month. During Covid, the meetings were stood down while the CCGs responded to the incident. The meetings have now resumed.
2. Why does the JCCCG include a Public Question item on their agenda but not let the public know they are re-starting their monthly meetings, having not met since February, by publicising the fact on their Facebook and Twitter pages or their website’s ‘latest news’
We are sorry this didn’t happen. The meeting will be streamed live and publicised on social media channels in advance of the session.
3. Does the JCCCG and the ICS intend to show such disregard and disrespect in communicating with the public, including ourselves, and could they take action to avoid this maybe?
On behalf of the JCCCG we can assure you no disregard or disrespect was intended and we will publicise all future meetings in public via social media channels.
4. The Nolan Principle on Accountability says this:
“Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.”
The JCCCG and ICS could argue that anyone can attend JCCCG to hold Lay Members to account. In practice the role of Lay Members at JCCCG is a bit of a mirage, because their few contributions are barely recorded, and minutes are not comprehensive, and easily accessible.
Q. Is the process and criteria for selecting Lay Members and the Citizen Panel in the public domain, and if so where can they be found?
The recruitment for the Citizens’ Panel was publicised widely in 2017. The news story is still on the ICS website: https://healthandcaretogethersyb.frank-digital.co.uk/about-us/whychange/latest-news/could-you-be-part-our-citizens-panel
The JCCCG Lay Members were recruited through an open process in 2017. This included promoting the posts on CCG and other partner websites as well as openly available on NHS Jobs.
Q. What are the published limitations and expectations of their roles?
The role description for the Citizens’ Panel members is published on the ICS website: https://healthandcaretogethersyb.frank-digital.co.uk/get-involved
The Lay Member role was published at the time of recruitment, and stated their role as:
- Provide ‘critical friend’ challenge into the group rather than represent a particular condition or interest.
- Provide strategic assurance that the views of patients and the public have been sought and considered in the work of the JC CCG and its constituent member organisations.
- Highlight where decisions made by the JC CCG would need to be the subject of engagement / consultation and to drive agreement about how this would be approached and resourced.
- Champion and advocate for increasing patient and public awareness of the JC CCG’s outcomes and achievements.
Q. How can they be accountable to the public if they are not put in direct contact with, and available to be contacted by, the public to answer for what they do and say on our behalf?
The Lay Members are not elected representatives or directly accountable to the public. However, they have made themselves available to members of the public who have contacted them.
Questions from Doug Wright
1 Online Membership Scheme
Members of the Citizens Panel have to sign an NHS confidentiality agreement before they can be accepted as a member of the Citizens Panel. Does this also apply to the Online Membership Scheme?
This question is not relevant to the JCCCG agenda. You may wish to ask the questions of the ICS via a Freedom of Information request.
2 Citizens' Panel
Has the Citizens Panel ceased to exist, given the last report is dated November 2019?
The Citizen’s Panel met in January 2020 and March 2020. The January notes should have been uploaded after they were ratified at the March meeting, however this did not happen. Apologies for the confusion caused, they are now available on the website.
The Citizens’ Panel has not met since the start of the lockdown period, which means that the March notes are not yet ratified for upload on to our website.
We have been working with the Citizens’ Panel during lockdown to establish the best way for them to meet in the current restrictions and we are looking to schedule an online meeting in September, at which time the notes from March will be published. In the meantime we have engaged with them via electronic means to keep them updated and ask their opinions on issues where appropriate.
Questions from Peter Deakin
With regard to the advert
'We’re recruiting to a brand new online health and care membership scheme across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw'.
And the advert, ‘Let’s Talk Health and Care’ - get involved in the conversation.
These adverts are asking many people to become involved and have a say in the services etc so there should be a huge drive to make this happen. Every person who as used or uses any service should be asked about their experience etc and what questions they would want to be asked including all staff. The purpose of public involvement is to make the NHS work better for everyone.
Surely public involvement is not just about answering questions and joining forums but also about deciding which questions need to be asked and how. Placing an advert on the SYB health and care together is not a good example of public engagement.
Q.Who compiled theses adverts. Were the public involved, were patient groups, NHS workers, unions involved?
Q. How can the purpose of these adverts be fulfilled if very few people see them? It suggests, again a lack of transparency and accountability.
Q. Where has this advert been placed? It is not on the local CCG web pages or on the Healthwatch web pages.
Q. Please could my questions be answered?
These questions are not relevant to the JCCCG agenda. You may wish to ask the questions of the ICS via a Freedom of Information request.