Complaint response from Ben Wesson, Head of Customer Enquiries & Complaints

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Following Response from Ben Wesson, Head of customer enquiries & complaints. My annotations are in red. 

16 December 2020

Dear <redacted>
Response to your complaint
Thank you for your email dated 18 November 2020 following our previous response to
you dated 13 November 2020. You have reiterated concerns about our level of contact
with you and our consideration of evidence that you have sent in support of the Fitness
to Practise concerns you have about people on our register.

I have looked into these issues under our corporate complaints process. This included a
review of the cases you have raised with us, and our previous correspondence to you
regarding legal action. For ease of reference, I have responded to your concerns under
the following headings:

Time you have spent contacting us
You mention that you have spent approximately 300 hours making contact with us. We
need to do all we can to make the fitness to practise process as clear and stress-free as
possible for you. Further to your request, one of the things we have done is to only
contact you in writing. I have asked my colleague Bola Sangesanya, Case Officer, to
update you by email on the case involving Nurse Parry.

Our consideration of evidence
In your email you said you were unhappy that we appeared to have ignored evidence
you had sent us about Nurse Parry. I am sorry if we have given you this impression.
You will recall that we were not in a position to investigate your case until we had
received your consent form, which we received on 30 October 2020. Since then, I can
see that Bola wrote to you on 17 November 2020 to confirm the evidence that you
wanted us to consider as part of the case. I appreciate that your concerns about this
nurse are pressing, and that it has taken a long time for the case to reach its current
stage. Unfortunately, receiving a consent form is a necessary requirement in order for
us to investigate most of our cases. Further to receiving your consent form, we are now
making progress with investigating the case.

Incorrect response, you received the consent form on 2 occasions prior to what you state above. Indeed, on one of the occasions consent was sent to you for Bethan Parry, you replied to the email which provided consent – therefore you can not say you did not receive this, Yet, despite this and my constant chasing up, you claim consent was not received. You have purposefully ignored this area of my complaint (the fact you ignore consent forms in an effort to place barriers in front of vulnerable people).  It can not be denied that you have ignored 2 previous consent forms despite me chasing them up.  You attempt to sidestep this area of my complaint by stating that you received consent during October 2020 yet ignore my complaints of yourselves ignoring two previous consent forms sent to you. 

Consideration of legal action
I have noted your comments on how we responded when you said you were
considering taking legal action in relation to the alleged data breach. Our response to
you dated 18 November 2020 clarified our position in relation to the data breach,
namely, that we did not find evidence that a data breach had occurred. However, I can
see that we did not make reference to your email dated 16 October 2020 which you said
was a letter before action. I am sorry that we did not clarify this further in our response.
My colleague Gemma Wickham, wrote to you on 4 November 2020 to explain that the
Customer Enquiries and Complaints Team would respond to the concerns that you had
raised, as we had not found any evidence of the alleged breach and, as such, the
grounds on which you intended to base your claim were not clear.

The grounds on my basis of claim are in my opinion quite clear and have been reiterated to yourselves previously. You have failed under GDPR and Data Protection legislations to provide me with accurate data. You provided me with inaccurate data (data breach). This inaccurate data led me to believe that unauthorised person/s were the recipient of my personal information. During the times I was led to believe this, I contacted NMC on a multitude of occasions (obviously distressed at the thought of my personal information being in the hands of unauthorised person/s).  Despite my contacting NMC on a multitude of occasions, nobody could tell me where my data was nor the likelihood of where my data was. 

I understand that you have concerns about errors made in our communication with you
and about the way in which your referral has been handled which we are trying to
resolve through our corporate complaints process. If it is your intention to pursue a
claim for damages, you would need to follow the pre-action protocol as set out in the
Civil Procedure Rules, giving us at least 14 days to respond to and address your
concerns depending on the applicable protocol.

You will need to set out details of the claim including the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts, and a calculation of any damages you intend to claim. A list of pre-action protocols can be found at the following link:
https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol
If you need any further assistance regarding this process I advise that you seek
independent legal advice, either from an independent legal advisor or the Citizens
Advice Bureau.

If you do decide to proceed with legal action, given that our offices are currently closed,
please ensure that copies of any letter before claim are sent by email to
Gemma[email protected], copying in [email protected].
However, I do hope that we can avoid litigation and engage constructively to resolve
your concerns.

Thank you again for getting in touch. Please contact our Customer Enquiries and
Complaints Team at: [email protected] if you need any further clarification.

You have failed to answer any of my concerns in relation to my opinion that the NMC is ignoring safeguarding issues / elements. Namely, these are why it has taken NMC approximately 2 years to investigate my fitness to practise referral. Why NMC states it has not received my consent to investigate despite I had already send yoruselves 2 consent forms previously (one of which you can not possibly deny you had as you replied to said email).  Also, why is consent required since the case obviously shows the nurse has failed in several areas including that of blatantly lying, this is backed up by irrefutable evidence.

You have also failed to answer my data protection concerns, namely why it had taken 20 (approx) phone calls and emails to yourself to chase up a DSAR which would show me the delays of investigation. Your previous response is that you were waiting for an N1 court claim form before providing me with my DSAR.  Other responses in regards to this are inconsistent or contradictory, for example stating that you were waiting for court form in order to proceed whilst you also claim it had been previously sent. 

Yours sincerely

Ben Wesson
Head of Customer Enquiries and Complaints

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