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Posts Tagged ‘whistleblowers.’

NHS commissioning groups already restricting access to care, survey reveals

NHS commissioning groups already restricting access to care, survey reveals

Patients are being denied treatment for hernias, cataracts and infertility because the new GP-led groups that control £65bn of NHS funding are imposing new restrictions on access to care, research reveals.

At least 27 of the 211 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England have tightened the criteria for obtaining one or more forms of hospital treatment in 2013-14, the British Medical Journal has established.

But, in all, 68 CCGs are looking again at their guidelines on when patients should receive treatment for one or more forms of illness, according to responses from freedom of information requests received from 195 CCGs. Read more

Denis Campbell | The Guardian | 10th July 2013

BBC accused of spying on whistleblowers

The corporation’s Investigations Service monitored emails sent and received by 30 members of staff last year, according to figures revealed under Freedom of Information legislation.

Four of these were staff suspected of having leaked information to people outside the organisation and three of what it described as taking part in “malicious communications”. Read more

Patrick Sawer | The Daily Telegraph | 10th July 2013

Energy Secretary attacks climate sceptic thinktank over secrecy

Despite its calls for more scientific transparency, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has been exposed as extremely secretive, The Guardian reports.

The newspaper reveals Benny Peiser, who is the director of the influential climate sceptic thinktank, has been consistently refusing Freedom of Information requests, leading to accusations of double standards and secrecy about its funding.

The GWPF, which is chaired by Lord Lawson, has also received the criticism of the Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne.

Replying to a report sent by Lawson the Secretary said: “Let me say straight away that [I] believe that you have been misinformed and that your conclusions are poorly supported by the underlying science evidence.” He goes on: “It would be perverse to ignore this well-attested and thoroughly reviewed body of evidence.”

Addressing also Lord Turnbull, a former head of the civil service and GWPF trustee, Huhne continues: “It is not true to say that UK climate change policy relies on a single source of evidence.”

Lawson’s original report questioned the belief in what sceptics refer to as “climate alarmism” and claimed “huge controversy about the relative contribution of man-made CO2 versus natural forces” indeed exists.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, stressed GWPF’s negative impact on climate change policy-making and the need for accountability on their part.

More than 1,000 cases of private data loss by UK councils

British councils have lost individuals; private data 1,032 times during the last three years, a Freedom of Information investigation by The Telegraph revealed. The information included details relating to children and vulnerable people in care.

Freedom of information receives huge blow in South Africa

Editors of newspapers across South Africa have been warning against the Protection of State Information Bill that the National Assembly voted in favour of yesterday with a majority of 229 votes. The bill has been viewed as a major assault to freedom of the press and freedom of information. The Mail & Guardian reports the bill – if passed – would allow any organ of state to classify any documents as secret and set out harsh penalties of up to 25 years in jail for whistleblowers.

Olympic Legacy Company spends more than a million in legal bills

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has spent almost £1.3million of tax-payers money to defend a judicial review of its decision to award West Ham preferred-tenant status on the stadium, FoIA requests revealed. The Telegraph reports the challenge came from Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, who said a £40million loan from Newham breached European state aid rules.