Freedom of Information requests

SearchWant to find out what the competition is doing, and how much they charge?  Want to investigate your own marketplace, at your customers expense? Use a Freedom of Information request and get someone else to do the work!

So it seems for Alexander Holden who made this Freedom of Information request to Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust:

Dear Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust,

Please can you answer the following questions

1. Approximately, how many beds are there in the hospital?
2. Please can you send a copy of your waste management policy?
3. Which company (name) is currently contracted to provide the clinical waste disposal service i.e. yellow and orange bagged and other clinical waste?
4. What is the annual value of the clinical waste disposal contract?
5. Approximately, how many tonnes per year of clinical waste does your organisation have disposed of?
6. How is the clinical waste rendered safe by the waste disposal  company i.e. incinerated, autoclaved etc, and what is the percentage for each process?
7. When did the waste disposal contract commence, when will the contract expire and are you able to send a copy?

Yours faithfully,

Alexander Holden


Research? Initiative? Call it what you will, but if everyone were to do this nothing else could get done. With requests from Mr Holden thus far to:

  • Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
  • James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust
  • Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


I would be surprised if many responses were to be received, expecting most Trusts to duck out by saying that the information is commercially sensitive.

Perhaps Alexander Holden would share the information with us, in the true sense of Freedom of Information?  Don’t hold your breath! After all, the Trusts have many better things to do. Though FoI requests have in the past been used for a diversity of bone fide research it is hard to imagine that this is an entirely sales-directed activity.

Let’s hope that it doesn’t start a trend.




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