External Audit arrangements at PHSO

phsothefacts Pressure Group made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

On 10th June 2015 I made the following FOI request to PHSO. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

I sought the following information;

In January 2015 the Health Select Committee released a report
entitled 'Complaints and Raising Concerns.' Point 91 concerned
'external audit' arrangements.

91. The serious criticisms of the Ombudsman from the Patients
Association are of
grave concern. We recommend that an external audit mechanism be
established to
benchmark and assure the quality of Ombudsman investigations. In
her response to
this report we ask the Ombudsman to set out how her organisation is
seeking to
address problems with its processes, and a timetable for
improvements.

Now six months on, can PHSO provide the following information?

1) When will the external audit mechanism be utilised?

2) How many external auditors will be involved?

3) How will PHSO ensure that the external auditors are independent?

4) How many investigations will be externally audited per annum?

5) Who chooses which investigations go to external audit?

6) Can PHSO share with the public the timetable for improvements to
address problems with its processes?

I was given the following response;

However, our work relating to that recommendation itself is still in
development, including that relating to external audit, and is intended
for publication prior to the next sitting of PASCs successor committee,
PACAC. As such, the information specific to your request is exempt from
disclosure under section 22 of the FOIA.

You will be aware that the next sitting of PACAC has now passed (12.1.16). Information on external review, as outlined by the HSC, was not made available in the Annual Report, neither was it discussed at the PACAC meeting. Now that this information is no longer exempt under section 22 can you please provide answers to the previous questions?

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

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


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foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request: FDN-246035

 

I am writing in response to your freedom of information request dated 24
January 2016.  You have asked us to answer your previously asked questions
which related to the recommendation made by the House of Commons Health
Committee at point 91 of their report [1]‘Complaints and Raising
Complaints’ in which they said:

 

“91. The serious criticisms of the Ombudsman from the Patients Association
are of grave concern. We recommend that an external audit mechanism be
established to benchmark and assure the quality of Ombudsman
investigations. In her response to this report we ask the Ombudsman to set
out how her organisation is seeking to address problems with its
processes, and a timetable for improvements.”

 

I can confirm we do not hold recorded information that answers your
questions; this is because our casework quality assurance process is much
broader and involves a number of elements.

 

To provide a better understanding of the work we are currently doing and
the controls we have in place to audit the quality of our casework
decisions I have provided you an overview below.

 

Our Service Charter and Quality Framework

 

We have been publically consulting on a draft [2]Service Charter to help
us deliver a clear set of commitments to our service users, on what they
can expect from us. Once we have finalised the draft Service Charter using
the feedback we have received, the next step is to embed the Service
Charter in our operation to make sure we meet the commitments and test our
performance against them.

 

Quality assurance is about making sure, and demonstrating how, we make
evidence-based decisions and provide a good experience for people who use
our service. 

 

We have mapped quality standards and indicators against our Service
Charter commitments, which allow us to measure how we are meeting these.
This means that we focus, measure and report on those things which matter
to people and are important to the effective delivery of an Ombudsman
service. We are also able to measure the soundness of our decision making;
and to drive improvement where it is necessary.

 

The external elements of our Quality Framework

 

o [3]Customer Feedback – this is at the heart of our external quality
assurance and allows us to judge whether we are providing a good
experience to individuals who use our service. This includes surveying
complainants and organisations we investigate, feedback received by
our Customer Care team and from our staff. Customer feedback has also
driven the development of our Service Charter and we will now assess
customer feedback against this.

 

o [4]Independent Auditors - our external auditing is undertaken by the
National Audit Office. We also use KPMG to undertake risk based
auditing services for our internal processes. The outcomes of KPMG’s
audits are reported to our Audit Committee, which includes an
independent committee member.

 

o External Reviewers – We use a pool of external reviewers to look into
the decisions made in our casework. Our external reviewers function
allows us a further level of independent assurance that the decisions
we make are sound. Data can be found at:
[5]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open-and-transparent/disclosure-log/2015/january/the-number-of-reviews-carried-out-by-phso-external-reviewers.

 

o External Associates – Since February 2016, in addition to our internal
quality and assurance checks, we have five external associates who
carry out in depth quality sampling on sound decision making on
randomly selected cases.

 

o Quality Committee – We have a sub-committee of our [6]Board on which
our non-executive directors sit, which provides oversight and seeks
assurance on the effectiveness of our delivery regarding to quality.

 

You may be interested to know that at the Parliamentary Administrative and
Constitutional Affairs Committee’s (PACAC) Annual Scrutiny of the
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman session on 12 January 2016,
Dame Julie Mellor and Mick Martin spoke about the quality assurance
process we have in place when a complainant is unhappy with the out of
their investigation. Please refer to questions 65 to 75 of the transcript:

 

[7]http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc....

 

Finally, more details about the work we are carrying out in relation to
our quality assurance can be found at:

 

Our Annual Report: [8]www.ombudsman.org.uk/ar2015

 

Our Strategic Plan 2015-16 to 2017-18:

[9]www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/29034/PHSO_Strategic_plan_2015-16_to_2017-18.pdf

 

PHSO Quality and Service Standards:
[10]www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/35505/5-Quality-and-Service-Standards.pdf

 

Our response to a previous FOI request about external audits:
[11]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open-and-transparent/disclosure-log/2015/march/information-request-about-quality-assurance-of-phso-decision-making

 

I hope the information is helpful.

 

Your sincerely

 

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...
2. http://www.ombudsmanservicecharter.org.uk/
3. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-compl...
4. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/ar2015/gover...
5. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/bei...
6. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/who...
7. http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...
8. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/ar2015
9. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/asset...
10. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/asset...
11. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/bei...

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

From the response to this FOI request we can see that there has been no external audit by NAO. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

PASC also called for the National Audit Office to assist with an
inquiry on the value for money of PHSO. Can you give information on
the progress of an NAO inquiry?

There has been no value-for-money evaluation of PHSO by the National
Audit Office. We therefore hold no information which would answer
this part of your request. Instead, an internal audit was carried
out.

So effectively PHSO continue to mark their own homework and find they have done a terrific job with only a 0.2% error rate. (Annual Report 2014/15)

The only point of interest in your PR spin reply was the introduction of 'External Associates'.

External Associates – Since February 2016, in addition to our internal
quality and assurance checks, we have five external associates who
carry out in depth quality sampling on sound decision making on
randomly selected cases.

I would like to see all information you hold on the External Associates.

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.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

Thank you for your new information request in which you asked:

"I would like to see all information you hold on the External Associates."

Please can you assist us by being more specific in the information you are interested in seeing about our external associates.

Kind regards

FOI/DP Officer
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

show quoted sections

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The PHSO is asking you to be specific, without offering any help or advice as to how you might frame your request in order to produce a response:

Section 16 : Help and Assistance

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

What the Act says..

16Duty to provide advice and assistance.
(1)It shall be the duty of a public authority to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it.
(2)Any public authority which, in relation to the provision of advice or assistance in any case, conforms with the code of practice under section 45 is to be taken to comply with the duty imposed by subsection (1) in relation to that case.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

How can you know how to narrow the scope of what is on file - unless you are given assistance?

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

"Many a tear has to fall,
but it's all, in the game..."

This is the 'sorry we don't understand your request' game. Which is generally followed by the 'we don't hold that information' or alternatively 'it would take too long to find the data with our archaic computer system'. If that fails they go for 'the chilling effect' or 'we will be releasing that information soon' and hope that you forget.

"Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you"

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

I would like to see all information you hold on 'External Associates' which falls into the Freedom of Information Act 200.

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.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

At least they could tell you who they are....

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The PHSO has KPMG on contract for its 'Internal audit contract,01/04/2014,3 years
Annual internal audit of PHSO £ 600,000.00.

::::

'The Audit Committee subsequently commissioned a review outside the internal audit plan to look at the detailed cash management arrangements. This review has identified significant weaknesses in those arrangements. Management
is taking action to address the findings.
Tamas Wood
KPMG LLP
Chartered Accountants London

:::

'Our 2014-15 accounts havebeen qualified as a result of exceeding our 2014-15 net cash requirement. The breach of our net cash requirement is a serious failure in our control framework. I have taken immediate action to identify the weaknesses
in the control framework by commissioning an independent review by our internal auditors, KPMG, and to strengthen our cash management and reporting controls'.DJMellor.

:::

You have to ask what was KPMG doing for it's £600k contract ?

Why did the PHSO' have to commission a review outside the internal audit plan?

And was this before the PHSO's overspending was picked up by the NAO?

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Can you please respond to my request of 25th February asking to see all recorded information regarding 'external associates'?

Yours faithfully,

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.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

On 19th February 2016 you responded to my request for information regarding the external audit mechanism recommended by the Health Select committee in the following way:

91. The serious criticisms of the Ombudsman from the Patients Association
are of grave concern. We recommend that an external audit mechanism be
established to benchmark and assure the quality of Ombudsman
investigations. In her response to this report we ask the Ombudsman to set
out how her organisation is seeking to address problems with its
processes, and a timetable for improvements.”

I can confirm we do not hold recorded information that answers your
questions; this is because our casework quality assurance process is much
broader and involves a number of elements.

Now I see from this letter to Bernard Jenkin from Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Health Select Committee that this was false information. You had correspondence on this very subject which is due to be released by the HSC. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commo...

Quote "We have followed those conclusions and recommendations up in an exchange of
correspondence with the Ombudsman, which I expect my Committee to agree to publish
shortly. " Sarah Wollaston

Can you explain why you did not reveal this recorded information when requested to do so under the FOI Act 2000?

Yours faithfully,

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.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN 249796

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 23
February 2016 in which you asked to see everything we hold about our
quality assurance associate posts, which you have referred to as “external
associates”.

 

On the same day we received your request, we asked you to specify the
information you were seeking, however on 25 February you replied: “I would
like to see all information you hold on 'External Associates' which falls
into the Freedom of Information Act 200 (sic).”
[1]www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/external_audit_arrangements_at_p#incoming-785578.

 

To provide you everything we hold on our quality assurance associates
would require us to locate and retrieve each and every record we hold at
PHSO which would comprise searching individual complaint files, our
central records saved on our electronic document and records management
system (Meridio) and staff computer desktops. We have estimated to carry
out this task would take more than 18 hours of work. As such the
information is exempt under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA).

 

However, in line with our duty to provide advice and assistance under
section 16 FOIA, I can confirm the five quality assurance associate posts
were part of a wider associate caseworker recruitment campaign which took
place in October 2015. Further details about that recruitment campaign can
be found at:
[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a....

 

The quality assurance associates are part of the Quality Service and
Integrity department and they report to the quality assurance manager. The
associates are self-employed and I have attached the job description
relating to this role for your information.

 

I hope the information is helpful. If you are interested in a specific
category of information about the quality assurance associate role please
do not hesitate to contact us. If you are dissatisfied with the handling
on your information request, you can ask for an internal review by
emailing: [3][email address].

 

Your sincerely

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ex...
2. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...
3. mailto:[email address]

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Amazing what the PHSO doesn't seem to be able to find in a promptly.

Can you just opt for Meridio?

D. Speers left an annotation ()

As usual the PHSO finds an Exemption but fails to explain!

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

Thank you for your response. Slowly, we are making progress.

Please can you answer all the original questions with regard to your 'quality associates'?

1) When will the quality associates be utilised?

2) How many quality associates will be involved?

3) How will PHSO ensure that the quality associates are independent?

4) How many investigations will be audited per annum by quality associates?

5) Who chooses which investigations go to quality associates?

6) Can PHSO share with the public the timetable for improvements to
address problems with its processes?

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.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

It is interesting how the media and Parliament hounded Kids Company for similar financial concerns on a much much smaller concern - whilst ignoring the seemingly dodgy history of audits presented by the PHSO.

I guess its easier to go after a charity trying to fill the humanity gaps in the protection of vulnerable children than it is to self review a NHS/ PHSO complaints system and a Parliamentary review that is Corrupt by Design.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

"carry out in depth quality sampling on sound decision making on randomly selected cases".

Would that be the same sort of randomly selected cases that Baroness, what was her name was, made? Selected from those selected by PHSO and sent to her secretary......

She didn't select mine to sample! Doubt it was sent...

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Della Reynolds

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN 252324

 

Thank you for your email dated 21 March 2016.

 

In follow up to your information request (our case reference: FDN 246035)
you asked why the response from the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman to the Health Select Committee’s 4^th Report of the Session
2014-15 was not made known to you. This is because we did not consider
that the information fell within the scope of your questions, which can be
found here:
[1]www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/external_audit_arrangements_at_p.

 

Furthermore, if the information had been requested, it would have been
exempt under section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(information intended for future publication). However I am pleased to
inform you that the Ombudsman’s response to the report is now published on
the Parliament website at:
[2]www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/publications/.
As you will see, our response to you did broadly explain the work we are
doing to improve quality assurance in our casework and processes.

 

I hope my response is helpful. However if you are dissatisfied with the
handling of your request you can ask for an internal review by emailing
[3][email address].

 

Your sincerely

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ex...
2. http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit...
3. mailto:[email address]

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Della Reynolds

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN 252475

 

I am writing in response to your follow-up Freedom of Information request
dated 24 March 2016. I have responded to your questions below.

 

1.   When will the quality associates be utilised?

 

The quality assurance associates started in March 2016.

 

2.   How many quality associates will be involved?

 

Five

 

3.   How will PHSO ensure that the quality associates are independent?

 

The quality assurance associates have been recruited through an open and
transparent recruitment process in order to provide us with their unbiased
independent or ‘arm’s length’ lay view of casework. This is the only role
they have been recruited to fulfil. They are overseen by Tracy Howarth,
the Quality Assurance Manager who works within the Quality & Service
Integrity Team.

 

4.   How many investigations will be audited per annum by quality
associates?

 

A minimum of 350 cases will be looked at over a business year

 

5.   Who chooses which investigations go to quality associates?

 

The cases are selected randomly from both health service and parliamentary
casework.

 

6.   Can PHSO share with the public the timetable for improvements to
address problems with its processes?

 

We have previously provided you an explanation of the work we are doing to
improve quality assurance in our casework and processes. Please click a
link to that response:

[1]www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/external_audit_arrangements_at_p

 

You can also read the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s reply
to the Health Select Committee’s 4^th Report of the Session 2014-15 which
provides an explanation:

[2]www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/publications/

 

I hope the information is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ex...
2. http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit...

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

thank you for the information on Quality Associates. I have looked at the links suggested in your response and have the following comments to make.

In your response to the HSC concerning the need for external audit of decisions you state the following:

Quality assurance is about making sure, and demonstrating how, we make
evidence-based decisions and provide a good experience for our service-users. We
have mapped quality standards and indicators against our Service Charter
commitments, which will allow us to measure how we are meeting these. This
means that we focus, measure and report on those things which matter to people
and are important to the effective delivery of an Ombudsman service.

You then have a diagram of your Quality Framework which can be seen on p3 here: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commo...

The key driver for your continuous improvement appears to be measuring performance through customer feedback. Complaints you receive about the decisions you make would be an important part of that feedback and provide you with useful information for continuous improvement. However, you go on to say the following:

In the first two quarters of 2015-16 we completed 136 reviews, of
which 105 (77%) were completed internally and 31 (23%) externally. Of the
136 reviews we completed, just five (4%) individual complaints were upheld
on the basis that our earlier decision was not sound.

Just five complaints, 4% of the total were upheld. 96% of the complaints regarding the decisions you made were therefore erroneous and did not add anything to your continuous improvement process. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why so many people make erroneous complaints?

The fundamental problem here is one of PHSO's inability to accept its own failings which is the prerequisite for learning. Although 23% of these cases were handled by external reviewers they all report back to the same internal mechanism. The same is true of the new Quality Assurance Associates, who may be tempted to deliver the type of responses their internal boss is looking for if they want to keep their job.

The quality assurance associates have been recruited through an open and
transparent recruitment process in order to provide us with their unbiased
independent or ‘arm’s length’ lay view of casework. This is the only role
they have been recruited to fulfil. They are overseen by Tracy Howarth,
the Quality Assurance Manager who works within the Quality & Service
Integrity Team.

The only 'unbiased' view of your casework is coming from your customers, but is being duly ignored. If your quality processes are delivering the goods then why did you have 1,969 requests for a review in 2015/16? https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...
That amounts to 38 review requests per week and 47% of the total number of cases reported on in 2014/15 (4,159). When nearly 50% of your customers are asking for a review you don't need Quality Assurance Associates to tell you something is wrong.

The new Quality Associates should report directly to PACAC and the HSC and these reports should be made public. Then we might see some continuous improvement.

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.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Della Reynolds

 

Your information request – our case reference: FDN-256454

 

I am writing in response to your email dated 2 May 2016 in which you
provided comments relating to the quality assurance and review process of
our casework. You also asked the questions below:

 

 1. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why so many people make
erroneous complaints? 

 

 2. If your quality processes are delivering the goods then why did you
have 1,969 requests for a review in 2015/16?  

 

In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I can confirm we do not
hold the information you have asked for.

 

You can find out more about the types of complaints we received on our
website at [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk. Statistics about the enquiries we
receive, investigations and assessments we undertake can be found here:
[2]www.ombudsman.org.uk/improving-public-service/performance-statistics.

 

I hope my response is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #312331 email]]
Sent: 02 May 2016 16:21
To: InformationRights
Subject: Re: FDN 252475: Your information request

 

Dear foiofficer,

thank you for the information on Quality Associates.  I have looked at the
links suggested in your response and have the following comments to make. 

In your response to the HSC concerning the need for external audit of
decisions you state the following:

Quality assurance is about making sure, and demonstrating how, we make
evidence-based decisions and provide a good experience for our
service-users. We
have mapped quality standards and indicators against our Service Charter
commitments, which will allow us to measure how we are meeting these. This
means that we focus, measure and report on those things which matter to
people
and are important to the effective delivery of an Ombudsman service.

You then have a diagram of your Quality Framework which can be seen on p3
here: 
[3]http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commo...

The key driver for your continuous improvement appears to be measuring
performance through customer feedback.  Complaints you receive about the
decisions you make would be an important part of that feedback and provide
you with  useful information for continuous improvement.  However, you go
on to say the following:

In the first two quarters of 2015-16 we completed 136 reviews, of
which 105 (77%) were completed internally and 31 (23%) externally. Of the
136 reviews we completed, just five (4%) individual complaints were upheld
on the basis that our earlier decision was not sound.

Just five complaints, 4% of the total were upheld.  96% of the complaints
regarding the decisions you made were therefore erroneous and did not add
anything to your continuous improvement process.  Have you ever stopped to
ask yourself why so many people make erroneous complaints? 

The fundamental problem here is one of PHSO's inability to accept its own
failings which is the prerequisite for learning.  Although 23% of these
cases were handled by external reviewers they all report back to the same
internal mechanism.  The same is true of the new Quality Assurance
Associates, who may be tempted to deliver the type of responses their
internal boss is looking for if they want to keep their job.

The quality assurance associates have been recruited through an open and
transparent recruitment process in order to provide us with their unbiased
independent or arms length lay view of casework. This is the only role
they have been recruited to fulfil. They are overseen by Tracy Howarth,
the Quality Assurance Manager who works within the Quality & Service
Integrity Team.

The only 'unbiased' view of your casework is coming from your customers,
but is being duly ignored.  If your quality processes are delivering the
goods then why did you have 1,969 requests for a review in 2015/16?  
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...
That amounts to 38 review requests per week and 47% of the total number of
cases reported on in 2014/15 (4,159).  When nearly 50% of your customers
are asking for a review you don't need Quality Assurance Associates to
tell you something is wrong.

The new Quality Associates should report directly to PACAC and the HSC and
these reports should be made public.  Then we might see some continuous
improvement.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

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phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

I hear that PHSO no longer use any external reviewers to look at complaints. In 2015/16 they upheld just 1% of reviews on favour of the complainant. A 99% accuracy record speaks for itself - corrupt.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Thank you Della, you have just shown the PHSO for what they are.
Corrupt! Yes that was my experience, I have the evidence but nothing done about it. Six principals, putting things right.....No.....! In spite of all the words, nothing done to put things right.

Like the Patients Association said, we don't recommend anyone to go to PHSO. Why would you?