Friday, March 23, 2007

DPA: not a sex act (that I know of)

No, no, no: DPA stands for the Data Protection Act (1998), which has been used to full and ingenious effect by a junior doctor.

The good Doctor Crippen has been highlighting the MTAS scandal, which appears to be a NuLabour fuck up of truly Promethean proportions; however, one young doctor refused to be discouraged.
Dr. Pal is an FY2 at Frimley Park Hospital down in Surrey.

He recently submitted an application for higher professional training to MTAS. Like many of his colleagues, he was unsuccessful. No interview and, to make matters worse, no explanation. No feedback. Nothing.

Dr Pal did not let matters rest there. He wanted to find out what had happened, and why he was unsuccessful. He tells Dr Crippen that he wrote to Professor Elizabeth Paice, at the London Deanery, and to Dr David Black at the KSS Deanery making a Data Protection Act enquiry

Dr Pal says:

The people to whom I addressed my letter were:
  • London Deanery: Professor Elizabeth Paice (Dean)

  • KSS Deanery: Dr. David Black (Dean)


Dear Dr. Black,

RE: Data Protection Act 1998 request

MTAS application for ST1 Core Medical Training


Name: Dr. Pal

Under the provision of the Data Protection Act 1998, I would like to request a transcript of the data held about me by with regard to the above application, submitted via the Medical Training application system.

Please be sure to include:
  • The personal information you hold about me;

  • The names of the individuals who assessed and scored my application form;

  • The date my form was assessed and scored;

  • The score my form received and the total number of score points available; and

  • The reasons why my application was rejected.

Please would you also advise me of the logic involved in any automated decisions taken by you about me pursuant to section 7(1) (d) of the Data Protection Act 1998, and ensure that any database field codes are fully explained.

If you need further information from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible. The provisions of the act require that this data be supplied within 40 days of receipt of this request. Since you organisation has not made public details of how to supply payment in advance, then I consider the date of sending this email to be the request date, and any request for payment should not delay the supply of the data.

If you do not normally handle these requests for your organisation, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer or another appropriate officer.

If this information is not forthcoming within the 40 day limit, I will be raising the matter with the Information Commissioners Office.

Yours faithfully

Dr. Pal

Well, both government officials and doctors have the reputation of being somewhat secretive, so did Dr Pal get the information that he'd asked for? Well, up to a point, Lord Copper.
Dr Crippen (and no doubt his regular readers) was not surprised to hear that Dr Pal has not received an answer to the questions he has raised.

Dr Crippen (and no doubt his regular readers) was astounded to hear that Dr Pal has instead suddenly received an offer of an interview.

One has to ask, why the sudden change of heart?

Alas, being the pure-souled, high-minded chap that I am, not in anyway inspired the great Uncle Stalky, I cannot possibly imagine what could have made these fine, upstanding people change their minds about giving Dr Pal an interview.

Can anyone else explain? For 'tis a mystery, to be sure...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is very important for people to continue using the DPA like this.

Does anyone have any ideas how one could enquire as to falsified examination results (being marked down) either in medical schools or at pre-entry level ?