Here We Go Again…

I am almost literally sick of having to write to / email the local Trust about their ongoing – seemingly perpetual – incompetence and utter fuckery. Once again, it has become necessary to do so…

15 December 2010

Dear Ms Serial-Insomniac

Re: Application for access to records/personal information – Data Protection Act 1998

I refer to your requests, which was received on 13 December 2010, requesting copies of your mental health notes and records and copies of correspondence relative to a complain lodged in August 2010 [the stupid, stupid fuckers.  The complaint has been ongoing since December 2009! Get it right, twatbag.]

I would advise you that your request is being processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.  Therefore, a response to your request should be sent to you within 40 calendar days from the date it was received by the Trust.

Should you have any queries regarding the matter do not hesitate to contact me on 9–1-13–1–20-23-1-20 [as if I’m going to phone you, knobhead.]

Please find enclosed a receipt for the cheque for £10.00 that accompanied your request.

I will be in contact in the near future […!!!].  However, should you have any queries in the interim do not hesitate to contact me on 9–1-13–19-20-9-12-12–1–20-23-1-20.

Yours sincerely

Geezer

Information Governance Support Officer [what the fuck?]

All very reasonable! Yay!

Except…not so much.

13 February 2011 [via email]

Dear Mr Geezer

Re: Application for Access to Records/Personal Information, Ref: FU2KN053ND

I refer to my recent application to access the mental health notes that the Trust has kept on me and your letter dated 15 December 2010 in response to same.

It was noted in your letter that my request was received on 13 December 2010, and would be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the relevant governing statute.

I am disappointed to note that the Trust has not provided the information requested within the 40 calendar day limit set under the afore-mentioned legislation. Taken from the date my application was received by yourselves, I should have in receipt of the requested material on or before Saturday 22 January 2011. As of today’s date (Sunday 13 February 2011), it has been 62 calendar days since my request was received by yourselves.

I am sure you can appreciate that the late delivery of this material is both inconvenient and distressing. An important meeting with senior members of the Trust regarding the many failings of my care within the system has been substantially delayed whilst I have been waiting on the information requested, thus potentially delaying necessary treatment even further.

I should be grateful if you could deal with this matter at your very earliest convenience and look forward to hearing from you in relation to same.

In the event that this issue is not dealt with within seven calendar days, I shall unfortunately feel that I have no choice but to look into furthering this matter under the relevant legislation.

Thank you very much in advance for your time and assistance.

Best regards. [Does it really soften the blow? Probably not…]

Yours sincerely

Pandora Serial-Insomniac

If I don’t hear from Geezer tomorrow, I will break things.

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19 thoughts on “Here We Go Again…

  1. Pingback: Pandora

  2. Do any of these people follow the rules.?? remember when I applied for notes took 3 months then they refused without giving reason. I guess they think they’re above the law. hoping letter speeds things along. x

  3. Pingback: Pandora

  4. Oh for Gods sake Pandora how frustrating this must be for you, how incompetent and self-serving! Keep up the good fight- I really think you’re on the winning side of it, perhaps that is why they’re so arsey about it all?

    Best wishes
    Kate

    PS I love the secret codes in the post ;o)

  5. Gah, the bastards. Don’t blame you for being utterly pissed off, I would’ve been in breaking-things mode many, many letters ago if I were you.

  6. I’m in *exactly* the same boat re: getting hold of records. Sure you probably know this but they can withhold stuff if they think there’s a medical reason, but really should have already said if that’s the card they’re playing. The next stage is a complaint through to the Information Commissioner’s Office (don’t know the details for the NI one). The English DP and ICO is a bit rubbish in my experience, but apparently the NI & Scottish legislation & ICOs are pretty decent.

  7. Oh, fear not, folks. I fully intend to go to the Information Commissioner if they don’t comply.

    And if that doesn’t work, and/or they refuse to release the notes on medical grounds, I’ll fucking take them to the highest court in the land.

    I’m not going away, so they might as well get used to it. Tossers.

    • Pandora – hey, good to see you so spirited. So good, in fact, I feel the need to rain on your parade a little, issue a bit of a moderating, cautionary note. 22 days is a long delay to you, but it’s relatively short. I agree with your decision to prod them. But your file is pretty lengthy, 40 days might actually not be that long of a processing time (stand with me at the copier; you know what I’m talking about), and while you DO need to keep them on their toes, this delay might not be a capital crime… you’ll have a sermon for me, I know. Bring it on 🙂 I really like seeing you motivated, and agree they need to be held to account. The long-term, cynical me, is just thinking, all this pent-up energy over a 22 day delay, when you could be directing it at Paedo? (God, I hate to even type that, whatever, sort of name?).

      • Not a sermon, I hope, but an explanation of the illegality of their behaviour. They are statutorily required to either (a) adhere to your request under the legislative timeframe (ie. 40 days) or (b) contact you to explain why they have not or cannot do so, whether the matter is closed for whatever reason or whether simply that the process takes longer than expected. So either way, my complaint would have been just and perfectly legally viable on 23 January. It’s just the law.

        Paedo’s an individual who broke the law, even if very seriously. This organisation exists, in part, to mitigate the after-effects of such illegalities and has consistently failed to deliver anything laid out in its mission statement and related material. Now it is it that is actively breaking the law! For it, particularly as a public body to commit any offence (on top of everything else it’s ((not)) done) is unacceptable. If they don’t think 40 days is a long enough period in which to gather data, then they should take that up with Parliament, the Department of Health and the relevant Minister(s), not continue to twat those that use their “services”.

        I’m not sure that I think that being angry with Paedo is terribly useful, to be honest. It may not be so here either, but at least it might make some difference. It’s an appropriate channelling for rage – not, mind you, that that rage is somehow deflected! These people thoroughly deserve it.

      • I second this. The DP laws were designed for all sorts of requests for personal data, which will include some more onerous sets. (I had DP requests from my employer which ran to 11kg of printouts. OK, they didn’t do it in 40 days either, and even with 11kg it wasn’t complete, but the law is the law.)

        It’s an important principle to fight for: as mentals it seems that laws which protect normal people don’t seem to apply to us, including from the people who are meant to protect us. It seems to be a case of “well, someone fucked you wrotten when you were 3, you’re already damaged goods, we can do whatever we damn well please, you don’t matter”.

        And then, they blame you complaining about not having the courtesies extended to normals on you being ill…. (bravo for the non-ranty letter, by the way!)

  8. Bird, in the meantime you can access your GP records for nothing- ring them up, make an appointment. That’s what I did. It’s not as detailed, obv, but you might get to see some correspondence that’ll help. x

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