Changes to final PHSO reports

The request was partially successful.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

It must be the case that on occasion PHSO make errors in their final reports.

1. When these errors are brought to the attention of the Ombudsman (with supporting evidence) is it the case that PHSO change their final report to ensure factual accuracy?

2. How many times have final reports been altered in the last 12 months (or time scale to suit funding cap)?

3. Is there a policy on alterations to final reports?

4. Can you provide the appropriate policy for amending final reports?

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

foiofficer@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I may be able to help you with this request.

The PHSO investigated my case.

It sent the conclusions to both myself and the other party - for comment, giving a Final Date for input.

Having received a ' No comment' from the other party , the PHSO sent the Final Report to my MP - FOUR DAYS before the comment period had ended. And therefore without reading my comments, leaving me with no chance to question some of the faulty logic.

It is a clear case of rubber-stamping the other parties' case and I suspect that it isn't only my case which has been decided in this way.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request: FDN 214761

 

I write in response to your information request dated 13 February 2015 in
which you asked:

 

‘It must be the case that on occasion PHSO make errors in their final
reports.

 

1. When these errors are brought to the attention of the Ombudsman (with
supporting evidence) is it the case that PHSO change their final report to
ensure factual accuracy?

 

2. How many times have final reports been altered in the last 12 months
(or time scale to suit funding cap)?

 

3. Is there a policy on alterations to final reports?

 

4. Can you provide the appropriate policy for amending final reports?’

 

Response

 

We do not hold a specific policy relating to amendments to final reports.

 

Our normal process is to issue a draft report and ask for comments from
all parties before a report is finalised. Therefore it is likely that any
errors would be picked up and corrected at draft stage.

 

If a minor error in a final report, such a spelling mistake, was brought
to our attention it is likely that we would amend and resend the report
(if the complainant or body wanted us to).

 

If a more significant error was brought to our attention, the review team
would consider whether it would warrant a fresh consideration of the
decision.

 

Unfortunately I am unable to provide you with the number of times final
reports have been altered in the last 12 months as we do not record this
information centrally. However as explained above I would expect this
number to be low as most errors would be identified at draft report stage.

 

In order to answer your question it would be necessary to manually review
each case file closed in the last 12 months. So far this financial year
(April 2014 to January 2015) we closed over 3,000 investigations.

 

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) sets out an
appropriate time and cost limit for dealing with information requests (18
hours of work or £450). We estimate that it would take a minimum of 5
minutes to check each case file to see if any errors were brought to our
attention after the final report was issued and to determine what action
was taken as a result. Therefore it is likely to exceed the time limit to
manually review even one month’s worth of closed cases.

 

If there is any other information I can help you with please let me know.

 

Kind regards

 

Rebecca Gadsdon

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

T: 0300 061 1516

E: [1][email address]

W: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Follow us on

[3]fb  [4]twitter  [5]linkedin

 

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

"Our normal process is to issue a draft report and ask for comments from all parties before a report is finalised. Therefore it is likely that any errors would be picked up and corrected at draft stage."

Indeed, but to whom is it NORMAL to issue a draft report - the party complained about?

"78. A decision needs to be taken on how the draft decision will be shared. In many cases we will share a copy of all or part of the draft decision and ask for comments in writing. However, we can
share by other means (or a combination of them). Other options are:

a. Sending the report and asking for comments by phone.
b. A phone call in advance of the report being sent.
c. A meeting to share the draft report.
d. Sending the report and then meeting to discuss it.
e. Sharing the decision by phone only."

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

Would all complainants who get the option e treatment (phone only) even be aware that the option of receiving a written draft report exists? Would the PHSO pull out all the stops to ensure that all complainants' concerns were noted and taken into account over the phone? Would complainants be given sufficient information to allow them to challenge those parts contained in the draft report likely to torpedo their complaints?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I got a draft report - but didn't have a chance to amend it, as once the other party had commented, it went out to my MP etc four days earlier than the deadline given to me.

Complainants should therefore be aware that their comments don't count for much.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Rebecca Gadsdon,

It is a wonder that PHSO is able to function at all as most of the key information needed to monitor performance is locked away in individual files which require hours of manual retrieval. Most of the modern world has mastered the art of 'key word searches' but perhaps PHSO management prefer not to know.

As you have no policy against correcting final reports I am sure you will be able to meet the request recently placed on twitter by James Titcombe following the Kirkup Inquiry. I quote:

@PHSOmbudsman are you going to withdraw your flawed investigation which concluded preparations for Josh's inquest were acceptable? #kirkup

The real difficulty of course is that the complainant can put the final report in the public domain and by issuing a revised final report it could seen that perhaps PHSO is not as close to the 99.6% accuracy rate it quotes in its Annual Report.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds
phsothefacts Pressure Group

foiofficer@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

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All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

I couldn't count the times I've asked about their methodology, only to be brushed off.
There doesnt seem to be much cohesion with regard to anything they do. Didn't they spend a fortune on hiring SilverBear to develop a database for them? Money well spent. On what exactly? I don't believe it's got anything to do with core work they do.
If you look through the FOI requests to them, there seems to be a consistent thread of absolutely no systems in place for gathering information or storing data. Rather odd that.
Didn't someone ask about what kind of I.T. System they have Della?
I shall have to check it out.
I'm not saying I don't trust the PHSO.
Oh hang on! That's exactly what I'm saying!!!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The PHSO response seems to be that the PHSO cannot find much, unless it's on the website.

It rather gives the impression is of an organisation which would rather throw money at contractors - such as 'governance coaching ' from Dame Julie Mellors ex- business colleague Rosemary Jackson - than update the quill pens and parchment files....which must be rifled by hand..... to provide a sensible, IT system that is capable of searching files and would be the basis for better management.

D. Speers left an annotation ()

I despair! What does it take to get answers to a perfectly reasonable FOI Request?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

...It's becoming the Weasel Word capital of the Western World.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Thank you for this FOI Della.

On the 13th February The PHSO The Facts Pressure Group asked this FOI:

1. When these errors are brought to the attention of the Ombudsman (with supporting evidence) is it the case that PHSO change their final report to ensure factual accuracy?

Your response to Question 1 on the 3rd March 2015;

" We do not hold a specific policy relating to amendments to final reports."

This is a seemingly appalling comment to read from the ONLY agency that UK citizens can turn to if they have been unable to resolve the maladministration, possible corruption and cover up spanning across a range of public services from The Information Commission to the NHS.

WHO is responsible for FAILING to implement this policy?

I now understand why this organisation has failed to BEST review their failures to BEST investigate the failings of Suffolk NHS and The Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust in the years before it was put into Special Measures.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

I too am very interested in how an Ombudsman can justify this failure to ensure that justice for the complainant is assured without relevant systems and checks in place!

D. Speers left an annotation ()

As usual IMPLEMENTATION Is around 70% key!

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