Where’s the mystery chocolate factory?

Flashback: Front page news in December 2009WHO remembers the famous ‘Choccies for Votes’ front page of last year? In a great exclusive, journalist Dan Carrier revealed how boxes of Belgian chocolates were sent out to NHS staff in the same parcel that contained a survey in which they were asked to rate their workplace – including the management. That’s the management who had just sent them choccies.. No wonder people likened the unexpected gift to some sort of, erm, sweetener.

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust thought all this was a bit unfair, all they were trying to do was reward their staff for all their good work. But we never did find out what chocolates were sent out. All we had to go on was indication from those who had seen the carefully wraooed presents that they were better than your average Milk Tray,

Fast forward a couple of months – and the Freedom of Inforamtion team for the Trust have hardly cleared up this burning question up. Under the Act, I asked them four questions, expecting to learn whether it was Cadbury’s, or some other foreign company that had sold the Trust the chocs in the first place. No such luck..

My questions to them:

1. How many staff received chocolates as a gift from the Camden and Mental Health Trust in 2009?

2. What type of chocolates were sent to staff?

3. From what retailer were the chocolates bought?

4. What was the total cost of buying the chocolates?

Their answers:

1. 1.812 staff received boxes of chocolates.

2. They were Belgian chocolates.

3. They were not bought from a retailer.

4. £3046.08 (ex VAT)

How illuminating? But, if they weren’t bought from a retailer, where did they come? A magical chocolate factory in Wonkasville..


1 Comment on Where’s the mystery chocolate factory?

  1. David Brown // March 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm //

    This same Trust does not seem to value its staff that much when at its last Governors’ Meeting it debated the possibility of a pay freeze for them in the coming years to help meet the financial pressures it faces. No one suggested that the Directors would be exposed to the same freeze or that the large increase its Chief Executive, Wendy Wallace, has received should be reduced.

    The only thing that seems likely to be reduced is the services that this organisation provides. This at a time when there is a recognition that mental distress is on the increase and where Camden has the country’s highest suicide rate.

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