Sir David Nicholson, the outgoing head of the NHS, claimed earlier this year that he had only come across a single order and said he thought it was a “one-off”.

However, the Department of Health has now admitted that NHS trusts and arm’s-length bodies have used the orders to silence 133 staff in the past four years.

The figure is more than twice the amount previously disclosed by NHS trusts under Freedom of Information laws. The figures were disclosed to the Commons public accounts committee after three months of repeated requests by MPs.

The Telegraph report. You can read the full story here.

I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.