Case Number 3636
Request Date 23/05/2014
Completion Date 10/12/2014

 

Details of the Request

1) I would like to request information relating to legal costs for ‘suspension via dismissal’ i.e. for those members of staff that have been suspended pending an investigation. I would like this from January 2004 to date. This will be a single figure.

In order to understand this information fully, I require a breakdown of this figure as in the highlighted examples below.

a) expenditure on staffing costs i.e. the covering of duties not carried out due to suspension

b) all legal cost i.e. various soliciters’ firms, barristers etc

c) the cost of inquiries into dismissals, when an inquiry was required i.e. personnel costs [panels/transcribers], facilities [room hire, recording equipment], accommodation, travel, subsistence, costs to release clinical/managerial staff from their duties [doctors, nurses, senior staff]

d) Expenditure on PR companies

e) Expenditure on private investigators

 

2) I would appreciate if the figures stated above could be provided in the following categories:

a) The Trust’s total expenditure on legal service from January 2004

b) A breakdown of legal costs per year

 

I would be grateful if you could provide the total expenditure on legal cost pertaining to ‘suspension via dismissal’. This will include various sub-categories e.g expenditure on staffing costs, all legal costs etc I have described above.

 

Details of the Response

1) I would like to request information relating to legal costs for ‘the use of leave of absence with pay (suspension)’ i.e. the cost to the trust in the course of investigating an employee. This is specified as a procedure in the NHS disciplinary policy. I would like this from January 2004 to date. This will be a single figure.

In 2013: £56,987 (please note this figure is salary paid on suspension only.)

In order to help you understand this request, if it is ok with you, may I please specify the type of information involved. This will, of course, not be exhaustive.

 

a) Expenditure on staffing costs i.e. the covering of duties not carried out due to suspension

The Trust does not hold this data: we record staffing costs to cover unfilled shifts and record the reason for the requirement. We would use the reason ‘vacant shift’ in this case, and would not be able to distinguish whether this was due to suspension of a postholder or a vacancy. Therefore it is not possible to report on staffing costs to cover duties not carried out due to suspension.

 

b) All legal cost i.e. various solicitors’ firms, barristers etc

The Trust holds the requested information, but considers it is exempt under section 12 of the Act, as the cost of compliance is estimated to exceed the appropriate limit.

 

c) The cost of inquiries into employee (if an inquiry was required) i.e. personnel costs [panels/transcribers], facilities [room hire, recording equipment], accommodation, travel, subsistence, costs to release clinical/managerial staff from their duties [doctors, nurses, senior staff], if they need to provide witness statements.

The Trust does not hold this data: personnel costs would not be reportable as most staff involved in a hearing would do so within the course of their normal duties. If cover is arranged to release an individual we would not be able to distinguish between that and any other unfilled vacancy.

  • Accommodation – nil as we use Trust on-site facilities
  • Travel and subsistence – the Trust does not hold this data.

We would not be able to report on expenses claims to the level of detail to identify those relating to attendance in regard to suspended employees.

 

d) Expenditure on PR companies

Nil

 

e) Expenditure on private investigators

Nil

 

2) As the above will be stated as a single figure, I will also require this broken down into:

a) The total legal costs ‘per year’

  • 2006 – Nil
  • 2007 – Nil
  • 2008 – Nil
  • 2009 – Nil
  • 2010 – Nil
  • 2011 – Nil
  • 2012 – Nil
  • 2013 - £56,987
  • 2014 to date: Nil

 

b) The total legal costs ‘per year’ in the sub-categories stated above e.g. Expenditure on staffing costs.

Trust does not hold this data.