Councillor frustrated as NHS refuses to release bullying details

Councillor Dougie Philand
Councillor Dougie Philand

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A Mid Argyll councillor says he is ‘not happy’ after a Freedom of Information request was denied by NHS Highland.

Councillor Philand submitted the request to the Inverness-based health board after a survey revealed that 68 per cent of workers who responded had been bullied during their time working for Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

In his FoI request of June 4, Councillor Philand asked for all statements given by staff to be made available in a bid to understand the issues.

In its reply on June 15, NHS Highland stated: ‘We are unable to disclose the information requested, as this constitutes personal data in respect of which disclosure would contravene the data protection principles as the information falls within Section 1(a) – (d) and the terms of Section 10 (right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress) and this constitutes a ground of exemption in terms of Section 38(1) (b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.’

‘I am not happy with the response,’ said Councillor Philand, ‘as I feel they are deliberately blocking this issue.

‘I don’t think it would have been too much to take out the personal identifying information.’