Why the delay in releasing information on Oxford scanner deal? - Comment
_One cannot help but be suspicious when a public body that has withheld information about privatisation, delays release of information it must give under Freedom of Information law, until after a crucial meeting. Oxford University Hospitals Trust is at the centre of a dark and murky row over the contracting of a highly advanced scanning service to a private company that would, ironically, make the world famous Churchill Hospital cancer unit a subcontractor.
OUH at first vehemently opposed the deal, foisted upon it by NHS England. But then it changed its tone to the horror of its own cancer specialists.
The Banbury Guardian asked under FOI for all correspondence between OUH and NHS England to see what had persuaded OUH management a ‘partnership’ might work.
The information should have been with us by April 16. After numerous requests it turned up on June 6, minus the correspondence for the critical two months in which the change of heart happened. They rang to say it was an oversight. We asked for all information immediately. The OUH this week said it would not be given until after Thursday’s Oxfordshire HOSC meeting which will discuss the deal. We would love to hear readers’ views on why there might be such a delay.