NHS appeals to the House of Lords

The Common Sevices Agency (CSA), part of the NHS, has decided to appeal to the House of Lords over its child leukaemia case.

The Scottish Information Commissioner ordered the CSA to release anonymised data to Green MSP, Chris Ballance, but the CSA refused and appealed to the Court of Session. The Court of Session ruled in the Commissioner's favour and the CSA's appeal to the House of Lords means that there will be a further delay of many months before a final outcome is arrived at.

In the Court of Session hearing, Lord Marnoch said that the Scottish freedom of information legislation "should be construed in as liberal a manner as possible ... I do not see why the commissioner should not be accorded the widest discretion in deciding the form and type of information which should be released."

Green MSP Chris Ballance said of the CSA's decision to go to the Lords: "I am appalled, if unsurprised, that the CSA has decided to appeal this decision. They failed to convince the information commissioner of their case, and they failed to convince three eminent Scottish judges. Clearly they are now hoping that they will have better luck with the House of Lords, but if justice is to be done, the appeal will be thrown out."

NHS defiant on publishing child leukaemia figures: Appeal to Lords to keep statistics secret despite FoI ruling (Sunday Herald, 4 February 2007)