Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please could you provide me with the following information;

Who receives letters that are specifically addressed to Dame Julie Mellor and what criteria is used in order for them to be passed on to her to read herself.
How many of the letters that are addressed specifically to Dame Julie Mellor, does she read herself?
Who deal with the letters of complaint addressed to Dame Julie Mellor that she does not read herself?
How many letters of complaint about the Ombudsman service does Dame Julie Mellor deal with herself?
How many reviews does Dame Julie Mellor undertake herself?

Yours faithfully,

CA Purkis

foiofficer, 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.

show quoted sections

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

Gasston Aimee, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

By email
C A Purkis

31 July 2013

Dear Mr/Ms Purkis

Your information request

Further to your email of 3 July, I am writing with my response to your information request. I will address each of your queries in turn.

'Who receives letters that are specifically addressed to Dame Julie Mellor and what criteria is used in order for them to be passed on to her to read herself.'

There is no set criteria for handling correspondence addressed directly to the Ombudsman – correspondence will usually be directed to the most relevant member of the Ombudsman’s staff to respond to. Understandably, many people write to Dame Julie Mellor about their complaints as she is the named Ombudsman. In fact, to provide the Ombudsman service for the thousands of people who bring their cases to us every year, Dame Julie Mellor leads an organisation which has over 250 caseworkers who investigate and resolve complaints.

I am sure you will also understand that, as the Chair of the organisation, it is not possible for Dame Julie to be personally involved in the cases of everyone who contacted her directly. This would simply cause delay and prevent people from getting the quality and speed of service they should expect. That is why the case correspondence she receives is automatically dealt with by the relevant member of staff who has the skills and experience to provide a service to those seeking our help in resolving their complaints.

'How many of the letters that are addressed specifically to Dame Julie Mellor, does she read herself?'

It is not possible for me to answer this question for you without manually reviewing each individual case file we hold. As we receive a great many enquiries each year (in 2012/13, we received 26,961), it would not be possible to extract this information for you without exceeding the appropriate limit as set out at section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (available online at: www.legislation.gov.uk). This section allows public authorities to refuse requests where responding to them would be too costly.

'Who deal with the letters of complaint addressed to Dame Julie Mellor that she does not read herself?'

As I have explained above, correspondence will be handled by the member of staff best placed to deal with it. Usually this will be the person working on the case. At other times, it will be her casework team.

'How many letters of complaint about the Ombudsman service does Dame Julie Mellor deal with herself? How many reviews does Dame Julie Mellor undertake herself?'

Reviews are carried out by the appropriate members of the review team. Dame Julie Mellor is the signatory on a number of cases, including high risk reviews about our service. In the last business year, 2012/13, 47 reviews were referred to her for signature.

As I have explained above, it is not possible to check each of our files to extract this information for you without exceeding the appropriate limit as set out at section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you are unhappy with my handling of your information request, you can ask for a review by writing to: [email address]

If you still have concerns after that, you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office to look into your case. Their contact details are available on their website at: www.ico.org.uk

Yours sincerely

Aimee Gasston
Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officer
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

show quoted sections

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Haha!

The usual trick.. They change your criteria by adding a new question. .....Then tell you they can't answer their own question.

..and in this new open climate of transparency too.....Tsk!Tsk!

You want to know how many letters/ communications are addressed personally to Dame Julie Mellor from the public ...... as distinct from those sent to the PHSO.

But are they admitting that there us such a tumultuous amount of correspondence from complainants who write to Dame Julie personally that they cannot cope with toting up the amount?

Surely not.

Ask for a review. They have clearly not answered your question.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Don't worry - working on my reply.

Dear Gasston Aimee,

I am afraid I did not find your reply helpful at all, and it only served to bring up more questions regarding my original request.

You state there is no criteria within your organisation regarding the receiving and passing on of mail addressed to Dame Mellor. I find this almost impossible to believe Ms Gasston, so could you confirm that any letters addressed to Dame Mellor, say from MP's or the Chair of the PASC, get passed along to the "relevant member of the Ombudsman's staff to respond to"?
Does Dame Mellor have a Personal Assistant or Personal Secretary?
As you can see in my original request, I asked about "letters specifically addressed to Dame Julie Mellor" - I did not ask about complaints written to The Ombudsman, which is how you seem to have interpreted my request.
I am not sure of what relevance the fact that Dame Mellor heads an organisation with 250 caseworkers is to my request, but as you have highlighted this, may I just say that it is on record that the organisation that Dame Mellor "heads" - now receives more complaints about its own service than almost any other organisation it investigates, so I would have thought Dame Julie would be a little more "hands on".
Yet you state that it would be "impossible" to give me a figure as to how many of the cases brought to your organisation are dealt with by the Dame, herself. You state you would manually have to review each case file and this would exceed the appropriate limit as set out at Section 12 of the FOI Act.
I am extremely concerned that an organisation, such as yourselves, that relies heavily on statistics, is unable to provide a figure for the amount of cases the Chair of this organisation has personally investigated or reviewed herself. I would have imagined that this could easily be a question asked of the Ombudsman by either the Chair, or a member of the PASC. If, indeed it came up, The Ombudsman would be unable to provide a figure. Again - I would have imagined that her involvement in any case would be recorded, but you state not.
You have stated that high risk reviews about your service are sometimes 'signed off' by her.
Could you please tell me what a 'high risk' review about your service is?
Could you tell me how many 'high risk' reviews about your service there were in 2012/2013?
You state that 47 reviews were given to the Dame for signature;
It is beginning to look like Dame Mellor has very little to do with any complaints or reviews;
Does she personally sign each and every one of the 47 reviews that are placed on her desk for signature, out of the 26,961complaints brought to her organisation within the last year, or are they merely given her signature?
Let me clarify my request by asking if each of these 47 cases are explained to her in full. i.e. why they have been reviewed etc, before her signature is placed on them?
Who presents these 47 cases for signature?
Does the caseworker of each case bring them for signature or does one member of her staff bring them?
As you are unable to give me statistics relating to the Dame's own involvement in complaints and reviews thereof, as well as her involvement in complaints about the Ombudsman's service, could you tell me where you got the figures of her signing 47 reviews, and why this information regarding her involvement seems to have been recorded, and everything else not?
Yours sincerely,

CA Purkis

Kathleen Dobson left an annotation ()

Shame on the Dame!

Della left an annotation ()

I think that Dame Julie is just the mouthpiece. I doubt she sees any of the stuff. Will be interesting to see what constitutes a 'high risk' case.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

A mouthpiece that received a High Court Judges salary. Nice!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I thought that the season for Pantomime Dames ended in February.

I was sadly mistaken.

Kathleen Dobson left an annotation ()

Now that the structure of the NEW PHSO has been published it is easy to see how it is set up as a business.

A legal team and a PR media team is that to advise her when Dame JUlia Mellor attends Parliamentary hearings.

So are we funding Dame JUlia's personal PR and legal team to get het out of sticky situations allegedly!!!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Yes.

Funding 10 of them.

A Media department.....Including an internal communications officer.

I'm astounded. I'd love to know the salary.

They could farm it out and save public money.

They must think they are in real trouble both internally and externally.

In my opinion......they are right,

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Ask what she gets paid. FOI.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Whatever it is..it isn't enough....

The poor soul has to encourage a feeling of loyalty to a government organisation of less than 500 people that turns down around 98percent of people that contact with it.

Mostly, as far as I can see, with no explanation....there is bound to be deep public disquiet on that record.

It must rival the reputation of traffic wardens on a decent external public acclamation scale.

So it can't be a happy place in which to work... if you joined to be of public service....Because, on those stats, that doesn't seem to be the aim.

I wonder if they provide special counselling for the post holder?

Della left an annotation ()

I think that is why they play musical chairs with CEOs. Eventually the pressure builds and whoever is sitting in the top chair has to move on to show us that 'something is being done'. They all move round to new top positions and life goes on as before.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Exactly Della. The worst offender is the notorious Lin Homer, who made an absolute hash of the U.K. Border Agency - walked away with an enormous bonus - and now runs HMRC -which has the most complaints submitted to the PHSO- Patterns?

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear CA Purkis

'You state there is no criteria within your organisation regarding the receiving and passing on of mail addressed to Dame Mellor. I find this almost impossible to believe Ms Gasston, so could you confirm that any letters addressed to Dame Mellor, say from MP's or the Chair of the PASC, get passed along to the "relevant member of the Ombudsman's staff to respond to"?'

Yes.

'Does Dame Mellor have a Personal Assistant or Personal Secretary?'

Yes.

'Could you please tell me what a 'high risk' review about your service is?'

The risk in each case is categorised as high, medium or low. The risk assessment of a case is reviewed regularly throughout the life of a case, including at review stage.

Risk assessment is a matter of judgement and therefore it is not possible to be prescriptive about the levels of risk that should be applied to a particular case. Some examples of what might constitute risk elements in our casework include: threats to the health and safety of our staff; threats to the health and safety of the complainant; risk to our reputation; and a risk of litigation.

'Could you tell me how many 'high risk' reviews about your service there were in 2012/2013?'

In 2012-13, reviews were undertaken on 19 high risk cases. 13 of these reviews included a complaint about our service.

'You state that 47 reviews were given to the Dame for signature; It is beginning to look like Dame Mellor has very little to do with any complaints or reviews; Does she personally sign each and every one of the 47 reviews that are placed on her desk for signature, out of the 26,961complaints brought to her organisation within the last year, or are they merely given her signature?
Let me clarify my request by asking if each of these 47 cases are explained to her in full. i.e. why they have been reviewed etc, before her signature is placed on them?'

I am not able to answer this question because this information is not recorded.

'Who presents these 47 cases for signature?'

There is no specific person who is employed to present cases to the Ombudsman for signature. Cases will be passed to the Ombudsman by the relevant member of staff, usually someone from her casework team.

'Does the caseworker of each case bring them for signature or does one member of her staff bring them?'

See above.

'As you are unable to give me statistics relating to the Dame's own involvement in complaints and reviews thereof, as well as her involvement in complaints about the Ombudsman's service, could you tell me where you got the figures of her signing 47 reviews, and why this information regarding her involvement seems to have been recorded, and everything else not?'

The figures are derived from our electronic case management system. The second part of your question is not a request for recorded information. While we endeavour to be as helpful as possible, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides the requester with an access right to recorded information held by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. It does not extend, for example, to requests for views or comments about a particular matter. Your request can be in the form of a question, but we do not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information, providing analysis or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.

If you are unhappy with our handling of your information request, you can request an internal review. If you remain dissatisfied, you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office to look into your case. We have previously explained to you how you can do this.

FOI/DP Officer

show quoted sections

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Is it just me or has this FOI struck a nerve? 'While we try to be as helpful as possible?'
Sure.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

I'm laughing so hard that I feel the need to reach for my Tena Lady's.
"Some examples of what might constitute risk elements in our casework include: threats to the health and safety of our staff; threats to the health and safety of the complainant; risk to our reputation; and a risk of litigation"
Health and safety of their staff?
Risk to their reputation?
Are these people for real?

My dear Aimee,
Just a few more things.

1. Could you please confirm that you are unable to tell me if Dame Mellor personally signed the 47 cases that were presented to her, as this information is not recorded?

2. You stated that you derived the figures of the 47 cases that were presented to the Dame for signature, from your electronic case management system? I'm confused. When I asked you in my FOI request on the 31st July 2013, how many letters addressed to Dame Mellor she dealt with herself, you told me you could not give me an answer, as you would have to manually look up each individual case file. Could you confirm, therefore, that the Dame's involvement in a case is not recorded on your electronic case management system?
3. Could you tell me what software you use to run your electronic case management system?
4. Could you tell me what would constitute a threat to the health and safety of your staff?

Thank you kindly

Yours sincerely,

CA Purkis

foiofficer, 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.

show quoted sections

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

Della left an annotation ()

Risk of litigation is interesting. How can they be taken to court? Dame Julie has total discretion - case closed.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I've now got a mental picture of a flunky arriving with a letter on a silver salver for Dame Julie.

'Your weekly letter ( not counting holidays), Dame Julie....

' Shall I get the official pen Milady?'

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

The name at the top may have changed but others haven't. I had dealings with Ms. Gasston.

You may be interested to see https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o...

My Father died in January 2006 & you can see how all and sundry have been involved in covering up the disgraceful events.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/j_br...

My Fathers story of poor NHS care featured in the Patients Association Report August 2009 at the side of Cure the NHS Julie Bailey's Mom.

I took my case to the Ombudsman in March 2011 but was refused in August 2011.

Internal documents via a Data Subject Access Request reveal that the Ombudsman did NOT have any documents to support Sheffield Hospitals 'version of events' but was happy to regurgitate the hospitals 'version' in the final 'closing down' letter.

I am however happy to report that in March 2012 South Yorkshire Police began an investigation which is still ongoing 31/8/13: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-n...

AND it is interesting to see that Sheffield Hospitals have now [April 2013] conceded to 'corrections' in the medical records [which includes the controlled drug [morphine]book:http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/local/poli...

When in March 2010 an investigation by them [Sheffield Hospitals] concluded that there weren't any...

The Ombudsman referred to this [pseudo] investigation as a reason why she would not investigate as the matter had been 'fully investigated'!

It has all been a joke, but I am not laughing.

My evidence to South Yorkshire Police is very detailed and Prima Facie.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

You should read through the whole course of this request.

It amply demonstrates just how the PHSO treats the public - with contempt.

No wonder people get so angry with this secretive and arrogant organisation.

Perfectly straightforward requests for information are denied.

Anyone who hasn't complained via the PHSO.....

.... Just read the above.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Absolutely Jan. Ms Aimee has finally lost patience with me. Isn't it a shame. If she thinks I'm going anywhere she can think again. There is still a lot I would like to know! Perhaps they should consider the feelings of people who have lost loved ones and who have had their lives torn apart by the complete and obvious whitewash the PHSO make it their business to partake in. I am always surprised that people can collect a paycheque when they simply can not be unaware of what is going on in the organisation they work for. I wonder if they know that it simply does not work like that in the great big Universe and somewhere in time, there will be a ah ha moment for them. Good luck to them. I have no problem with people doing their jobs. I do have a problem with people who are involved in a cover up, and the entire staff of the PHSO are complicit in one of the biggest cover ups in Britain. They have no intention whatsoever of actually helping people and spend most of their time and budget on spin and hype!

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

The Ombudsman is all part of the cover up! They are the single most useless complaints authority around. They are supposed to be the top tier of the complaints system. If all else fails, they are supposed to be the people you can go to for help. As we all know - this is far from the truth.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

That's a bit harsh....

But certainly, compared to other Ombudsmen worldwide, it is phenomenally expensive for the few cases they undertake.

I've just put some evidence forward to PASC, sitting on September 10 ..they are accepting evidence, if you are interested.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

I will put something forward to the PASC, but I am yet to see them so anything. They have taken countless evidence from the public, and what have they done about any if the reviews they have undertaken?

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Do anything - sorry - typo on my previous annotation.

Della left an annotation ()

I agree pasc are just part of the system. They collect the evidence then say there is nothing they can do as phso are independent. Hopeless waste of time.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The point if it's out there in public.

.....For everyone to read.

It gives the public some idea of what to expect.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

3 Attachments

By email
C A Purkis

25 September 2013

Dear Ms / Mr Purkis

Your information request (FDN-171787)

Further to your email of 28 August 2013, I am writing in response to your information request.

I will respond to each of your questions in turn.

1. Could you please confirm that you are unable to tell me if Dame Mellor personally signed the 47 cases that were presented to her, as this information is not recorded?

I have checked the cases which were referred to Dame Julie and can confirm that 29 of the letters relating to these reviews were personally signed by Dame Julie. Our case management system only records the signatory on review responses, which is why we were unable to retrieve this information for you in relation to all correspondence sent out from this office.

2. You stated that you derived the figures of the 47 cases that were presented to the Dame for signature, from your electronic case management system? I'm confused. When I asked you in my FOI request on the 31st July 2013, how many letters addressed to Dame Mellor she dealt with herself, you told me you could not give me an answer, as you would have to manually look up each individual case file. Could you confirm, therefore, that the Dame's involvement in a case is not recorded on your electronic case management system?

As I explained before, our case management system does not routinely record signatories on correspondence except where it is in relation to a review response. Nor does it record the addressee on each piece of correspondence that is sent into PHSO.

For these reasons, we would need to check each letter sent and received manually (with the exception of review responses) for us to be able to tell you how many pieces of correspondence are addressed to Dame Julie each year, and how many she responds to personally.

3. Could you tell me what software you use to run your electronic case management system?

Our casework management system is called VisualFiles and is provided to us by LexisNexis. Further information is available online at: Our casework management system is called VisualFiles and is provided to us by LexisNexis. www.lexisnexis-es.co.uk/our-solutions/vi...

4. Could you tell me what would constitute a threat to the health and safety of your staff?

Please find attached a copy of our health and safety policy and guidance, which has been developed to mitigate against health and safety risks to PHSO staff which are detailed in the policy. I have also attached an excerpt from our security guidance which contains information about physical security and counter-terrorism which might be useful to you.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you require any further information, please let us know.

Yours sincerely

Aimee Gasston
Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officer
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Aimee

Thank you for your reply.

So out of all the thousands of complaints that get submitted to the PHSO - Dame Mellor signs 29 of them?

Wow! I wish I had her job.

I must tell you Aimee - I'm a little disappointed that I had to push for these figures. My first request asked for her involvement and you told me you were unable to tell me.
Nevertheless - I have them now - 29 - 29 Reviews are signed by The Ombudsman. Makes you wonder what she does all day.

Kind regards
Carol-Ann

Yours sincerely,

CA Purkis

foiofficer, 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.

show quoted sections

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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Well done CA Purkis.

That's about one a fortnight.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Very impressive.

Susan Wilkinson left an annotation ()

The trouble is, the PHSO is just there to make it look like the government regulates NHS trusts. In reality, of course, it's in the government's interest (whichever one is in power) to cover up NHS failings. The only way you can really get a result seems legal action and then all that happens is the money is paid by insurance companies and for the guilty ones it's business as usual. I;ve got a complaint that's been going on over 2 years and I'm astonished at the lies and wriggling out of answers that goes on. Now you have the information, do you have any plans how to use it?

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

There are many people trying to do quite a lot to highlight the shortcomings and failures of the PHSO Susan - a dedicated group can be found at;

http://phsothefacts.com/
and

https://www.facebook.com/ParliamentaryOm...

Della left an annotation ()

This FOI request will go onto the website phsothefacts.com to inform others of the reality of the Ombudsman service. You will be able to see it here http://phsothefacts.com/foi/ along with previous requests. When enough people know the truth, then the pressure for change increases.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

We really must thank Ms Gasson for this accurate demonstration of how the PHSO treats a legitimate enquiry from the member of the public.

Susan Wilkinson left an annotation ()

Thanks for the links, this is a good site, but what do you do when the government, NHS & PHSO are allin it together?

Della left an annotation ()

Susan - knowledge is the first step. Until you know that the system is corrupt you keep blaming yourself, thinking you didn't state your case clearly enough. Now we know that they manipulate the facts to suit themselves we can see the true picture. So firstly, warn others, secondly find others who are willing to put their energy behind a campaign for change. Slowly, slowly the pressure will build.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Susan. As Della says - the pressure will build. The PHSO is already under more scrutiny than ever before.

[name removed] left an annotation ()

I would like to add my support and thank CA Purkis and everyone on these sites for helping me to understand exactly what is going on within the PHSO. My complaint has been going on for nearly 2 years now and is still nowhere near the report stage. I naively thought I had a watertight case with all the necessary supportive evidence so that my complaint would quickly be upheld - nothing could be further from the truth! So many thanks to everyone for raising my awareness and preserving my sanity!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Don't take it personally Mary....

You only had a 1.4 percent chance of a fair hearing from day 1.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

The percentage is that high?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I stand corrected.....

...Tsk! obviously not a 'fair' hearing.

I rephrase my comment to 'hearing'.

Although it might be better described as a 'flick through the case - without the constraint of having to understand what the complainant is saying'.

Della left an annotation ()

Mary Rains - Glad you have found this site helpful. Knowledge is the first step. Check out phsothefacts.com for even more information. You may wish to contribute.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

4. Could you tell me what would constitute a threat to the health
and safety of your staff?

I can help you with that one CA.

Apparently a disgruntled complainant turned up at PHSO headquarters to explain the error of its ways.

Must be a real headache for the police..so many of disgruntled complainants to chose from.

C Rock left an annotation ()

Thank you for your persistence CA but I think we are just being given the run-around as I have said before. First they say one thing then under interrogation it changes - but only about what goes on at PHSO.

Ask about facts and failures in a personal case and nothing changes - and "evidence makes no difference". "It has been reviewed" - yet on request there is no review to communicate - "unable to provide" and "I hope this was helpful".

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

This is on now on wiki.. Well done wiki!

Great research.

Della left an annotation ()

Do you have the link Jan?

Della left an annotation ()

Colin - submit your PHSO reply that 'evidence doesn't matter' to the PASC inquiry.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamenta...

There you go - both mine and Susan Wilkinson's WDTK request annotated.

E. Colville left an annotation ()

Further discrepancies that need clarifying CA Purkis:
whatdotheyknow.com/request/hiwa_records_include_any_signed#outgoing-347367

E. Colville left an annotation ()

Sorry...the link I provided above is broken. See:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

And to be absolutely clear, the discrepancies I'm referring to relate to Q & A of 25th September 2013 including these statements:

" Our case management system only records the signatory on review responses, which is why we were unable to retrieve this information for you in relation to all correspondence sent out from this office.

2. You stated that you derived the figures of the 47 cases that were presented to the Dame for signature, from your electronic case management system? I'm confused. When I asked you in my FOI request on the 31st July 2013, how many letters addressed to Dame Mellor she dealt with herself, you told me you could not give me an answer, as you would have to manually look up each individual case file. Could you confirm, therefore, that the Dame's involvement in a case is not recorded on your electronic case management system?

As I explained before, our case management system does not routinely record signatories on correspondence except where it is in relation to a review response. Nor does it record the addressee on each piece of correspondence that is sent into PHSO.

For these reasons, we would need to check each letter sent and received manually (with the exception of review responses) for us to be able to tell you how many pieces of correspondence are addressed to Dame Julie each year, and how many she responds to personally."

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Breathtaking incompetence!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I think that is why they play musical chairs with CEOs. Eventually the pressure builds and whoever is sitting in the top chair has to move on to show us that 'something is being done'. They all move round to new top positions and life goes on as before......

.....And how right you were Della.

The PHSO has a new managing director Mick Martin.

That's another change - after last years reorganisation.

Anyone keeping a list of PHSO management should be advised to keep it in light pencil stokes - with an eraser at the ready

But is he going to be a 'Mick the Knife' - cutting through outmoded PHSO practices in favour of the public?

It seems unlikely at the moment - as the tone that he uses in letters seems puzzlingly like that of a PR female..... defending the PHSO.

Diana Smith left an annotation ()

I had an Industrial Accident whilst working for the National Health Service in August 1991. The Hospital l worked for was one of the first to become a Trust. It was not working and we were forbidden to talk to the press. We were forced to work in a temporary building that in fact had a domolition order on it. My accident that left me permanently disabled was caused by the negligence of the NHS and the state of the building l was made to work in. Reporting the incident to the relevant authorities ( Health & Safety) was a waste of time because they were entitled to hide the status of the building from the Courts. The designated Health & Safety Officer ( a Mr Blackburn), never even bothered to check the building out although he rang me to say he was going to. Five years into Court Procedings my acting Solicitor threw my case ( that had been going well) to enable his acting with Land Registry in a massive property / land fraud. For those that do not know in 1994 there was a massive fraud exposed by David Gale ( Police Officer) involving Land Registry and the NHS with the shutting down of Mental Health Wards & Hospitals. This was at the same time thereabouts as
" Operation Alison" which exposed fraud of gigantic proportions involving Legal Aid, that ended up at The High Courts in London and nine people being put in prison. My point is that the Establishment covers it all up and even now allows these mattes to continue. Anyone giving their details to organisations like the PHSO , endangers theirselves by giving their personal details for so called investigation to take place. Checkout Nick Martin's previous employment, before he joined the PHSO.

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

Hi, As I have already left a piece on this FOI regarding my experience with the PHSO [The South Yorkshire Police 'Investigation' continues to this day - 33mths on - details of which will be online in the near future']...I am interested in the comment that we should check out a certain Mr. Martin's cv...
Interestingly, some think that Mr. Martin is helping " Mick Martin from PHSO promises ["CQC"] James Titcombe that the Ombudsman will use discretion in favour of complainants in future. " http://phsothefacts.com/open-letters/
It is my experience that the PHSO has and still does use discretion against complainants.
I am in contact with several folks on Twitter who are still being dealt with in the same way that I was dealt with by the PHSO...And some are very concerned with the actions of 'some' members of the CQC who are unfollowing and blocking NHS complainants or relatives of NHS complainants...See some of my followers and their comments https://twitter.com/tomsanguish

Rob Bird left an annotation ()

My family a suffering total incompetence by the health ombudsman for years, I actually have it recorded for my last two meetings then apologising for totally letting me down, but I've had a request for ages for my escalation contact Mick Martin to contact me urgently, he hasn't!

Diana Smith left an annotation ()

Thank you for your comments and to answer your question he worked selling people's information before joining the PHSO two years ago.
You do not need to have Mensa Rating to realise while public bodies / agencies, have different computers systems that supposedly do not overlap , they do tend to pick up the dog and bone ( telephone) for a natter on first name basis between these organisations. As an example l can offer that Gloucester Land Registry ( work place for Land Registry's Head of Fraud Julie Jenkins) , frequently and commonly used to conduct business with Staff at Gloucester Council on the nod or by telephone with no record or paperwork in play.
It would perhaps shatter the illusions of Dame Julie Mellor to realise she could be undermined in such an easy way?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The very fact that the PHSO was turning down so many cars for investigation should have rung bells.

Government organisations just are not that competent.

Here's a comparison with other Ombudsmen.

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...

The case rates are up now.

Because they have to be.

But I am informed that there is very little evidence that caseworkers have enough time to investigate properly... and that they are just rushing them through - to improve the stats.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Apols..' Cases for investigation'

Rob Bird left an annotation ()

I used to work at TSB during the 80s 90s & Julie Mellor used to be in human resources 89 - 92. I know of many crimes, fraud, insider dealing, etc etc. I was Operations Manager so had access to a lot of information, all I can say does anyone know of any 'bad news' coming out about the TSB ?

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

Once again, I find the information given by Diana Smith and Rob Bird very interesting.
As for the PHSO/Ombudsman caseworkers "rushing through" cases...That is poppycock...
It is a concern of mine that we may have some PHSO/CQC/NHS PR folks trying to do a sterling job ...I think those of you on Twitter may have seen my Time Line of today 9/1/15 https://twitter.com/tomsanguish & that of Rob Bird https://twitter.com/robertBird5
The PHSO/Ombudsman is just another layer of corruption and people are beginning to wise up to it and its PR team...
Perhaps a detailed FOI may reveal how much they spend employing Lawyers such as Stallard's to stop anyone getting any redress no matter how much Case Law you can produce to back your case up...
The evidence that I have discovered in connection to my Fathers case is damning BUT internal emails via a DSAR [Data Subject Access Request] shows clearly the true Raison d'Etre of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and their determination to block any serious or harmful to them or the NHS cases. In my own case the Ombudsman was on alert for me going to the Press [again] and pre warned the case workers that they would be informed once my case had been shut down [and this email was BEFORE I had submitted any evidence]. A taster of my case is here 2011: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o... I have had a lot of Press in connection with my Father's case, recently in Private Eye April 2014...This can be viewed at my pics on my Twitter page...
Re information about Ombudsmen please see http://www.ombudsmanwatch.org/ and http://www.scottishombudsmanwatch.org/
As for PASC...Oh dear...So many of us have made submissions over the years...and see https://www.facebook.com/RobbiesLawTrust...
I copy the Ombudsman into all my Evidence to South Yorkshire Police too...[As I do with members of the CQC [Care Quality Commission]
I am informed that Whistleblower's are being passed back and forth twix the Ombudsman and the CQC ...as indeed we 'hardy' NHS Complainants are...And as Mike Ledwidge targetsandbullying.org says..."What's been going on is hidden by its complexity"
Watch out for the PR folks...they come in many guises...and generally promote the CQC and its members.
For a real insight on the CQC see Eileen Chubb one of the Bupa 7 Whistleblowers http://compassionincare.com/ and keep an eye on http://www.nhsexpose.co.uk/

Rob Bird left an annotation ()

After a meeting with many other sufferers at Hyde Park, I was welcomed into the PHSO the facts Group, but after criticising CQC members James Titcombe after being treated terribly and them sending my information all over the place and giving out confidential information to totally the wrong people and letting my family continue to be tortured, Della barred me from the group :( all very strange

Rob Bird left an annotation ()

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

'As for the PHSO/Ombudsman caseworkers "rushing through" cases...That is poppycock...'

They have to hit the targets to make it look like 'a business'.

That's so it can be demonstrated how good the leadership is to PASC et al.

Much the same track as Mid-Staffs. Fulfilled targets supposedly determining competence.

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

Take a good look at the cases that the PHSO Investigate and publish on their website. Realise that none of them involve serious cover up cases of serious contraventions to Law.
My contacts are many and many are very serious NHS Cover up cases which, when you look at the internal emails show that the PHSO have some damning information in their hands but choose NOT to Investigate... One case, if you know all the details, is very disturbing http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-prac... "The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman said it was aware of Elizabeth’s case but that it could only investigate cases within 12 months of the “events complained about”.
As for PASC et al...Everything staged...And don't the Reports & findings read well?...Along with the spin that is put out in the Press...
AFTER the Health Select Committee re NHS Complaints in 2010/2011 the Ombudsman put these words out in February 2011 "NHS Failing the Elderly" http://news.sky.com/story/837178/nhs-fai...
I reported my Elderly Father's case to the PHSO in March 2011. The amount of correspondence from the PHSO is huge and a huge amount of time was spent by my MP David Willetts and my MEP Nigel Farage supporting me, but the PHSO refused to Investigate.
I will say no more at the present time, as I went on to finally get South Yorkshire Police to begin a Criminal Investigation re Misappropriation of Controlled Drugs at Sheffield Hospitals MacMillan Palliative Care ward. Although the Police had initially refused in 2010 saying the 'CQC' [Care Quality Commission had investigated] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w... It took me quite a few FOI's to finally get the CQC to say they had not and could have not Investigated. The Criminal Investigation began in April 2012 and continues to this day 10th January 2015. My evidence is clear and precise.
Try to forget focussing just on the PHSO because, through the Memorandum of Understanding they share information with other 'Agencies'...And each pass you around like pass the parcel.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

JB Brooks,

I had a quick read over your case last night. It includes elements highlighted by other contributors to WDTK. I'm thinking of the obviously altered medical record and the initial denial it was altered. I'm also thinking of the false PHSO claim used to reject your complaint: that a "robust" and "thorough" investigation was made of your complaint by some other body. I also remember your MEP stating that it appeared that the PHSO was biased against you and an investigating police officer stating his concern that none of the patients had been given drugs during a particular 50 hour period.

If not for people like yourself who write comments on the WDTK site, I would have assumed that the PHSO was doing a fine job.

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

Thank You J. Roberts for taking time to look at and understand points about my Fathers case that are in the Public domain. I have not as yet put everything in the Public domain as I await South Yorkshire Police and the conclusion of their 'Investigation'.
I first reported crimes regarding misappropriation of controlled drugs to the Police in August 2010 and as stated, they refused at that time telling me the Care Quality Commission had investigated.
I went back to the Police in August 2011 when I had found out that the CQC had not Investigated.
Although an Investigation with Terms of Reference began in April 2012, it was not until November 2013 that I received a Crime Number, and it was not until December 2014 that I submitted a 35 page MG11 Witness Statement to the Police although I had been asking to for a long time.
When one reports a crime a Crime Number should be given and a Witness Statement should be taken as per Criminal Justice Act 1967, s.9, the Magistrates Court Act 1980, ss 5A(3)(a) and 5B and the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005, Rule 27.1
Tomorrow, 11/1/15 will be the 9th Anniversary of my Fathers death that we had been promised would be peaceful when he had been diagnosed with terminal leukaemia...BUT it was not...it was horrendous. AND in the course of my own Investigations, find that on the MacMillan Palliative Care Unit, Sheffield...There were NO MacMillan or Specialist Palliative Care nurses. Be warned. Sadly at the moment I have not had an update on the Police Investigation, the last one was 25/11/14...My evidence to them is precise and beyond reasonable doubt...I wonder what the delay is?...Myself and many others who have faced the same treatment as me by the authorities are now taking their experiences onto Twitter and Facebook. Thank You. https://twitter.com/tomsanguish

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

PS...May I make it absolutely clear that the Police Officer who stated " his concern that none of the patients had been given drugs during a particular 50 hour period" is NOT one of the Investigating Officers at South Yorkshire Police. It was DCI Bob Poole [a good cop] of West Midlands Police who worked on Will Powell/Robbie Powell case: https://nursebloginternational.wordpress... Thank You.

Rob Bird left an annotation ()

My son lost 90% bowel due to medical errors, was awarded 800k compo but GMC do nothing...
http://phsothetruestory.com/2013/08/25/r...

then have been met with nothing from the Police & Sussex Partnership Trust, East Surrey hospital, CQC & PHSO has been lies avoidance and denials. I have a mountain of evidence as many know.

No action has ever been taken by anybody regarding the negligent staff, the lies, they even banned me from my son illegally lying about directive. On my information sent all over the place by the CQC, god knows who seen it thru PHSO.

I know my son never gave any permission for them to send any thing anywhere.

Only permission he has ever given is to me or a solicitor.

As I say only actions ever taken are against me or my son immediately, on lies and fabrications. I don't think you believe it unless you live it :(

JB. Brooks left an annotation ()

Rob Bird...I know some details of your case and I have read the write up http://phsothetruestory.com/2013/08/25/r... does this mean you are now included in this group and being represented by this group? I thought in an earlier post you said you were barred?

Rob Bird left an annotation ()

Yes J Brooks

I am Barred from the PHSO Group.

Because I criticise Kay Sheldon and James Titcombe I'm strangely barred from the Health Ombudsman group by Della.

She actually invited me to meet the PASC then dropped me, but it was Bernard Jenkins who referred my case to the ombudsman!!! You can't make this rubbish up :(

I could post the emails if you want?

But I'm fed up with games, I just Wanna see my son and see that his safe :(

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Oh that we could "rush through" our complaints! Sadly we cant!!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

It takes about a year for the PHSO to understand the complaint.

That's because the caseworkers are not specialists.

It's not their fault - but they just can't seem to grasp the complex legal and medical points necessary.

In fact, they can't even seem to comprehend them enough to know what files to refer for advice.

An example is a file of 100 medical notes.( In doctor's handwriting - and you know what that's like.)

The caseworker decided not to refer them to a clinician because she assessed that they weren't relevant to the NHS death case.

The coroner later disagreed.....But then, she was medically qualified.

::.

Complainants have to fight their way past the: 'Medical notes are not important' caseworkers and the 'Case closed..don't you dare ask us why' Review team to get to the external investigators, who are sensible..and what's more can read, absorb and understand.

But, at the last count, there are only four of them.

And that's why so few get the apologetic signature of Dame Julie Mellor.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Just how many complainants have pointed out over the years that Dame Julie Mellor's ( and her office) letter reading capabilities were completely dysfunctional?

Hundreds I would think......

But would she listen?

Arrogantly she would not.

And now she's had to resign - for her continued contempt of the public viewpoint.

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/new...

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Dear Aimee Gasston,

On the 31st July 2013, you wrote;

"Dame Julie Mellor leads an organisation that which has over 250 staff"

Unfortunately, when you write that the PHSO "investigates" on here; you are being misleading in respect of UK data law are you not?

You and every other victim of the PHSO know that not being factually correct are you?

THE PHSO DOES NOT INVESTIGATE.

You and I both know this;
I discovered the reasons why you refused to comply with my Subject Access Requests between 2012 and 2015 after I tried to take SERCO and The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to court

Shame on you for misleading the public on here.

You do so, in the knowledge that you can never be legally challenged.

Yours concerned,

Fiona Watts
@magnacarta300

Diana Smith left an annotation ()

Dear Aimee,

a campaigning body raised funds to obtain a senior barristers opinion .
The opinion stated that over 20,000 complainants a year for a decade had been gagged by the PHSO, using two pieces of government legislation not designed for the purpose it was used for.
The Select Commitee wrote a damning review of the PHSO to do with this.
The sooner the UK Public wake up to the fact that far from being complaints bodies , agencies like the PHSO are Listening Posts , to gather our information and prevent redress, the sooner things will start to change.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Pehaps the longest request ever to the PHSO.

Anyone complaining should read this as a warning.

Nothing has changed....

Still the reluctance to adhere to the FOIA when Dame Julie Mellor is the subject of the request,

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