The Nursing and Midwifery Council spent £240,000 on lawyers to redact information from documents it held regarding an NMC Investigation.
It has been revealed that the NMC spent the huge sum of money on legal fees to redact information inside documents before it would release them to a grieving family member under the Data Protection Act.
The legal bill is equal to the annual registration fees of 2,000 Nurses or Midwives.
The NMC replied to Mr Titcombe: ‘I am sorry you do not feel we have been transparent in the way we handled your data subject access request. ‘The law firm Fieldfisher LLP to help us deal with your request and the estimated cost of their work is £239,871.85 (including VAT).’
Mr Titcombe’s son, Joshua, sadly died after suffering pneumococcal septicaemia and a lung haemorrhage on November 5 2008, nine days after he was born at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.
An NMC spokeswoman said;‘This request involved information relating to multiple fitness to practise cases over a long period of time and each document needed to be read to ensure that we did not disclose any personal data relating to other individuals.
‘We did not have the internal capacity required to respond to Mr Titcombe, which is why we had to take the decision to get help from an external company.
‘We engaged an external company to help ensure that we met our obligations fully in an open and transparent way.
‘Handling the request in this way has incurred a significant cost to the NMC, however, we believe that the approach taken was the best way of ensuring a full response.
‘As part of this process the NMC provided a significant number of documents to Mr Titcombe.
‘Within these documents there were a small number of cases where staff should have worded their communication more carefully and we apologise to Mr Titcombe for this.’