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FOI 0656 Photodynamic Therapy 2019/20

Freedom of Information Request: 0656 2019/20

The Trust does hold the information you have requested but we are withholding some of it for the following reasons:

Commercial Sensitivity:

Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides,

“(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).”

A commercial interest relates to a person’s ability to participate competitively in a commercial activity, with the underlying aim being to make a profit. The information you have requested is the commercial information of third parties and in order to apply section 43(2), the Trust must satisfy itself that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice or harm the commercial interests of any person (including the Trust).

Disclosure of all the information requested would be likely to prejudice the commercial activities of the Trust and the private healthcare provider it shares the services with, as detailed in the below response.

The information you have requested is around the terms of the equipment lease and the revenue for the Trust from treating private patients with photodynamic therapy at our Dermatology Department in Solihull Hospital. Disclosing these details to the world at large along with the number of private patients we treat would place elements of our commercial strategy (i.e. our pricing structure) into the hands of competitors, which would prejudice our commercial interests.

Therefore S43 (2) of the FOIA is engaged as disclosure of the information requested would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the suppliers.

The public interest test

Commercially sensitive information is protected from disclosure by Section 43(2) of the FOIA which is a qualified exemption subject to the public interest test. The Trust considered, in all the circumstances of the case, where the balance of the public interest lies.

Public interest in maintaining the exemption

There is a public interest in protecting the commercial interests of the Trust and other healthcare providers, and ensuring they are able to compete fairly in a commercial environment.

Revealing information such as pricing and negotiated contracts can be detrimental to the Trust’s negotiations on future tenders with other providers. If a competitor knows how much the Trust pays for a product or service then it can exploit this for profit or other gain.

Public interest in disclosing the information

To promote openness and transparency of public expenditure, which would enable the public to better scrutinise how public money is spent.

The balancing exercise

The Trust decided the public interest in maintaining the exemption substantially outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Under the FOIA please advise between 1st January ’19 to 31st December ’19:

  1. The no. of NHS patients receiving photodynamic therapy per annum at the Dermatology Department, Solihull Site and the revenue for the Trust from this;

170 patients

£72K revenue

  1. The no. of private patients receiving photodynamic therapy per annum at the Dermatology Department, Solihull Site and the revenue for the Trust from this;

90 private patients received some aspect of this therapy.

We are withholding the revenue for the Trust from private patients under Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) Please see above for full details

  1. Regarding the photodynamic therapy equipment in the Department of Dermatology at Solihull, please confirm if part or all of this is owned by an employee of the Trust either directly or through an intermediary company

The Trust leases the photodynamic therapy equipment at Solihull Hospital and does not own it. We are withholding details of the terms of the lease under Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) Please see above for full details.

  1. Are the employee or any intermediary company, as per 3, in receipt of a share of the revenue generated from Photodynamic therapy services? We are withholding details of the terms of the lease under Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) Please see above for full details.
  1. What is the proportionate share of revenue between the trust and the other party/parties?

We are withholding details of the terms of the lease under Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) Please see above for full details.

  1. How is this financial relationship made clear to prospective patients? 

We do not hold this information.

 

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