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FOI release

000252 Crieff Hydro (HTML)

Published on 19 October 2022

Date received - 12 October 2022 | Date responded - 19 October 2022

Request

Can you provide detail on the following:

1: How many people will be attending?

2: What resources will be left in offices to ensure continuous running of operations?

3: What contingency is in place should an extraordinary event occur?

4: The location is Crieff Hydro, what will be the carbon footprint of the event including travel by all attendees, food that will be consumed, wasted, washing of plates, toilets flushed, hotel linen towels washed, tickets printed, pens used, planes trains and cars, heating used at event and any other power\energy used etc.

5: What is the cost to the NHS and by default Taxpayer?

6: What benefit will be derived that Teams\Skype or a virtual meeting cannot provide?

7: What carbon offsetting will be used?

8: How will this event affect overall carbon output from NHS Scotland?

9: Was any consideration given to the environmental damage, noise pollution, waste that this event is likely to produce?

10: Why was Crieff Hydro selected, a place with poor transport links therefore increasing use of individual cars rather than a central location?

11: Similar to COP26, if the environment is to be protected why is travelling to conferences/exhibitions still encouraged by Scottish Government/NHS Scotland?

Response

I refer to your freedom of information request that we received on 12 October 2022.

I can advise you that we have now completed the search of our records and can provide you with the following information:

1: How many people will be attending?

At the time of writing this response there are Circa 380 people booked to attend the Conference. The conference is attended by delegates who will have booked from the different packages available. You can visit the booking website for the details of the packages available:

NHS Scotland Assure Conference | National Services Scotland

2: What resources will be left in offices to ensure continuous running of operations?

NHS Scotland Assure is a national operation with employees working mostly from our sites at Gyle Square, Edinburgh; Meridian Court, Glasgow and working from home. Our operations will remain unaffected as whilst NHS Scotland Assure employees are attending the event they remain contactable. Not all employees of NHS Scotland Assure are attending the event. Our key stakeholders will be in attendance and the conference is an opportunity for meetings and networking to improve collaboration and the services we offer.

3: What contingency is in place should an extraordinary event occur?

NHS Scotland Assure as an organisation has robust business contingency plans in place that would be implemented in the event of any extraordinary event.

4: The location is Crieff Hydro, what will be the carbon footprint of the event including travel by all attendees, food that will be consumed, wasted, washing of plates, toilets flushed, hotel linen towels washed, tickets printed, pens used, planes trains and cars, heating used at event and any other power\energy used etc.

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act (FOISA) an organisation is not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) does not hold information regarding the carbon footprint of the event in relation to travel by all attendees, food that will be consumed, wasted, washing of plates, toilets flushed, hotel linen towels washed, planes, trains, cars, heating used at the event and any other power/energy used. You would be best placed contacting Crieff Hydro directly as they may be able to provide you with the information requested.

We have taken the following steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the event:

  • We have worked closely with the venue and agreed to supply a set menu for the Conference dinner to reduce any potential wastage
  • Leading up the event and in our delegate guide we encourage all potential delegates to do all they can to reduce the carbon footprint of the event
  • We are not printing a delegate guide, instead this will be available via a QR code
  • We encourage NHS Scotland Assure employees to car share where possible
  • Tickets for the event will be printed on recycled paper
  • We have asked exhibitors to utilise sustainable promotional materials e.g., no plastic pens.

5: What is the cost to the NHS and by default Taxpayer?

A sponsorship model fully funds the event, therefore there is no cost to the NHS and by default the Taxpayer.

6: What benefit will be derived that Teams\Skype or a virtual meeting cannot provide?

The role and responsibilities for the healthcare built environment continue to develop as does national guidance and this is an opportunity to discuss with a wide audience. This event has not taken place since 2019 and roles and responsibilities have changed. The event is vital for collaboration within NHS Scotland but also with our supply chain partners. This coupled with the importance of interaction and networking in person are the derived benefits.

7: What carbon offsetting will be used?

See response to question 4.

8: How will this event affect overall carbon output from NHS Scotland?

Under Section 17 of the FOISA an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does not hold information regarding how this event will affect the overall carbon output of NHS Scotland.

9: Was any consideration given to the environmental damage, noise pollution, waste that this event is likely to produce?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic most meetings have been held online using Microsoft Teams. This is one of the very few in-person meetings/events taking place this year and therefore the impact on the environment has reduced dramatically.

10: Why was Crieff Hydro selected, a place with poor transport links therefore increasing use of individual cars rather than a central location?

The geographical, central location of the venue is most suited for all Health Boards. The venue meets the size and scope of the requirements of the event. The venue is selected following a competitive tender exercise.

11: Similar to COP26, if the environment is to be protected why is travelling to conferences/exhibitions still encouraged by Scottish Government/NHS Scotland?

See response to question 6.

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information please contact Associate Director Information Security & Governance, within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.

Contact

Address

NHS National Services Scotland
Headquarters
Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent
Edinburgh
EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.