Data Protection


As we know Public Health England have been called in to look into goings on at drug and alcohol support service Change,Grow, Live (CGL) after worrying death statistics and allegations of concerning work practices were published on Wirral Leaks.

CGL are funded to the tune of £7.7 million per annum from public health monies which are now frighteningly administered by Wirral Council. So we were a little surprised that Wirral Council had eventually called in Public Health England , as it seemed they were adopting the same approach as they did with Children’s Services highlighted in the recent Ofsted report. Another case of officers and councillors knowing there were serious issues but going into denial and doing nothing to address concerns.

However we soon began to have doubts as to whether Public Health England were the right body to undertake this investigation. These doubts have intensified after further investigation by ourselves and information provided by sources who share our concerns.

First of all let us introduce you to the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS)

Providers such as CGL uses and uploads all their data on to the NDTMS. It has been suggested to us that if CGL stopped using it it would threaten the very existence of the drug and alcohol unit at Public Health England.Their only source of intelligence comes via NDTMS, without it they couldn’t function and they rely on the good will of providers to send them the information. CGL have developed their own version of NDTMS via notepads and mobile devices so keyworkers can work out in the community and input data and then input this data again for NDTMS.

Now this is where it has been suggested to us that things gets interesting : Public Health England may not want to be too hard on CGL as they know they could stop uploading data to the NDTMS and because they are a leading player there would be a huge void in the data received, therefore PHE wouldn’t be able to report to Government or post their endless bits of self -justifying evidence. Could this be a case of data providing protection for CGL?!.
Therefore we would suggest that to avoid any suggestion of compromise a third party needs to investigate CGL alongside Public Health England . It’s been suggested to us that Release would be ideal for the role
We also wonder whether investigators will have the power/remit to ask questions as to whether CGL consultants are paid via an offshore account. This allegation has recently been brought to our attention. If true then this would mean CGL consultants only pay tax at 10% compared to 40% in the UK. This would surely place CGL at a competitive advantage when it came to tendering for services and if confirmed there is a possibility that they could be breaking competition law.
We’re sure that CGL would be willing in the interests of openness and transparency reassure investigators that this and other allegations made about their practices are completely unfounded.