Internal and external case reviews.

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,

In December 2013 I made a request concerning the numbers of 'external reviewer' used by PHSO to assess cases where a complaint had been made on completion of an investigation. At that time PHSO had 5 external reviewers who assessed approximately 20% of the complaints received. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Nearly two years on and PHSO have been working hard to 'embed' customer service into the review process and improve outcomes.

For 2014/15:
1. Can you tell me how many external reviewers have been employed by PHSO?

2. How many cases did the external reviewers handle?

3. How many cases were handled by internal reviewers?

4. What percentage of cases were upheld by the external reviewers?

5. What percentage of cases were upheld by the internal reviewers?

6. The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has had a service complaint upheld against them by an external reviewer.

7. The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has had a service complaint upheld against them by an internal reviewer.

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.

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

D. Speers left an annotation ()

How many more times do we need to ask?

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Dee - they'll drag their feet and be evasive until APRIL 2016 - then "all change" again, just as they did in April 2013.

Its all so corrupt. There does not seem to be any genuine UK agency protecting the interests of the public's safety when using the services of the NHS

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

In 2013 a recommendation was made to LGO that credibility required external review of service delivery complaints.

"We do though recommend that the LGO consider enhancing the credibility of the
internal process of review, by adding an independent reviewer of service-related complaints along the
same lines as the arrangements in some other ombudsman schemes." http://www.lgo.org.uk/downloads%5CAbout%...

This has been taken up by LGO yet PHSO still internally review their own service delivery complaints. To date none have ever been upheld, so what does that say about their 'credibility'.

D. Speers left an annotation ()

AGREE! And its shameful!

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-235830)

 

I write further to your email of 27 September 2015, in which you asked a
number of questions about PHSO’s review process.  I will respond to each
of your questions in turn.

 

 1. Can you tell me how many external reviewers have been employed by
PHSO?

PHSO employed 4 external reviews during this time.

 2. How many cases did the external reviewers handle?

The external reviewers handled 55 cases.

 3. How many cases were handled by internal reviewers?

363 reviews were carried out by internal staff.

 4. What percentage of cases were upheld by the external reviewers?

16% of cases handled by external reviewers were upheld.

 5. What percentage of cases were upheld by the internal reviewers?

12% of cases handled by internal staff were upheld.

 6. The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an external reviewer.

No complaints involving members of either the Customer Care Team or
Review Team have been upheld by an external reviewer. 

 7. The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an internal reviewer.

Four complaints about members of staff in either the Customer Care
Team or Review Team were reviewed internally and upheld.

 

I hope that this information is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][email address]

 

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #294187 email]]
Sent: 27 September 2015 11:53
To: foiofficer
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Internal and external case
reviews.

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

In December 2013 I made a request concerning the numbers of 'external
reviewer' used by PHSO to assess cases where a complaint had been made on
completion of an investigation.  At that time PHSO had 5 external
reviewers who assessed approximately 20% of the complaints received. 
[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Nearly two years on and PHSO have been working hard to 'embed' customer
service into the review process and improve outcomes. 

For 2014/15:
1.  Can you tell me how many external reviewers have been employed by
PHSO?

2.  How many cases did the external reviewers handle?

3.  How many cases were handled by internal reviewers?

4.  What percentage of cases were upheld by the external reviewers?

5.  What percentage of cases were upheld by the internal reviewers?

6.  The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an external reviewer.

7.  The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an internal reviewer.

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[4][FOI #294187 email]

Is [5][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman? If so,
please contact us using this form:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

thank you for your recent response and sorry for the delay in replying. The following part of your answer has raised further questions.

The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an external reviewer.

No complaints involving members of either the Customer Care Team or
Review Team have been upheld by an external reviewer.

7. The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an internal reviewer.

Four complaints about members of staff in either the Customer Care
Team or Review Team were reviewed internally and upheld.

Can you tell me for the year 2014/15 how many total complaints regarding the customer care team or review team were reviewed by external reviewers where none were upheld and how many such complaints were reviewed by an internal reviewer. You have stated that four were reviewed and upheld but how many were reviewed and not upheld?

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.

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

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Can I have an answer to the question I put to you on 29th October? I have copied it below.

Dear foiofficer,

thank you for your recent response and sorry for the delay in
replying. The following part of your answer has raised further
questions.

The number of times a member of the review team/customer care team
has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an external
reviewer.

No complaints involving members of either the Customer Care Team or
Review Team have been upheld by an external reviewer.

7. The number of times a member of the review team/customer care
team has
had a service complaint upheld against them by an internal
reviewer.

Four complaints about members of staff in either the Customer Care
Team or Review Team were reviewed internally and upheld.

Can you tell me for the year 2014/15 how many total complaints
regarding the customer care team or review team were reviewed by
external reviewers where none were upheld and how many such
complaints were reviewed by an internal reviewer. You have stated
that four were reviewed and upheld but how many were reviewed and
not upheld?

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.

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

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

Dear Mrs Reynolds

 

Your information request FDN-238757

 

Thank you for your email of 29 October 2015 in which you asked:

 

‘for the year 2014/15 how many total complaints regarding the customer
care team or review team were reviewed by external reviewers where none
were upheld and how many such complaints were reviewed by an internal
reviewer.  You have stated that four were reviewed and upheld but how many
were reviewed and not upheld?’

 

In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I can confirm that we
hold the information you have requested.

 

For the business year 2014-15, we have 46 service complaints recorded as
‘not upheld’.

 

Of these 46 complaints, three were about the review team or customer care
team or a member of those teams.  All three of those complaints were
reviewed by an internal reviewer.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Luke Whiting

Head of FOI/DP

 

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

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

Sorry for the delay again. Just catching up and I realise that you didn't really answer my question. I asked you to break down the figures into those investigated by an external reviewer and those by an internal reviewer.

‘for the year 2014/15 how many total complaints regarding the customer
care team or review team were reviewed by external reviewers where none
were upheld and how many such complaints were reviewed by an internal
reviewer. You have stated that four were reviewed and upheld but how many
were reviewed and not upheld?’

You replied;

For the business year 2014-15, we have 46 service complaints recorded as
‘not upheld’.
Of these 46 complaints, three were about the review team or customer care
team or a member of those teams. All three of those complaints were
reviewed by an internal reviewer.

Given that you previously informed me that 4 cases had been upheld against members of the review or customer care teams in 2014/15 and that these were all upheld following internal review. It would appear that you are saying in the whole year you received only 7 complaints involving the review team, that all of these were investigated by internal review and 4 of the 7 upheld. Can you clarify that this is the case?

Alternatively, you may have omitted to inform me of the numbers of complaints reviewed externally but not upheld.

Can you also attach your policy which states the procedure for a complaint investigation against a member of the review team. It seems that internal review of their own colleagues could be subject to bias.

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.

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

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Are the review team STILL at it? Still reviewing their own reviews?

It took me a year to get my case past the er.....decidedly 'negative' ....review team.

Here's what the external investigator told Dame Julie Mellor ( who was then forced to apologise) :

:::::

The review team failed to provide Mrs TO with a reasonable or acceptable level of service. The service actually provided was, in my view, well below the level you would consider adequate. Some of the decisions at particular points were unreasonable; there was a failure to co ordinate the review team's work with the efforts being made by the FoI team; and the review team seems to have become 'locked' into a negative bureaucratic process, which it treated as unalterable, of refusing to consider the points made for review.

It is also clear that a substantial avoidable delay resulted. I can it say what the result would have been if one had been launched in November 2012, as it should have been, but whatever it's outcome a good deal of delay would have been avoided.....

...It is not evident from the papers that I have seen that the PHSO has a robust system to dealing quickly where complaints are made about the review team itself.

::::::

Seems nothing has changed.

No lessons learnt.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

It would appear that PHSO review team internally investigate each other which must make for difficult relationships round the water cooler.

Service complaints often fail to be recognised as service complaints no matter how starkly the complaint is made. This evidence to PACAC shows the way the stats are manipulated to reduce service complaints to a minimum.
http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...

So the first hurdle is to have your service complaint recognised as such and the second is to secure an independent, unbiased review. Then Dame Julie Mellor has the gall to go to the media with finger wagging stories of poor complaint handling by other public bodies. All quite remarkable really.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Interesting, I made a complaint about Russell Barr and Julie Mellor, they noted my concern!

I wrote back that these are complaints, as yet nothing!

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Shame on the Dame.

She's had enough time, surveys feedback and focus groups to get the point by now....

The PHSO review team should be acting independently.

And NEVER review its own work.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Agreed JT but how to get them to listen when they get away with no accountability and can say what they like?

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Happy New Year to all.
You have the beginnings of a rap there Jt Oakley
"SHAME THE DAME"
PHSO IN NAME (only)
SITUATION IS GRAVE.....
(Please feel free to add to this!)

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

I don't think I will ask for a review of the decision of my historic case. I know the answer before we start. I'll think about but at the moment I'm not going to play their game.
I've just written a synopsis of all my complains. I tried to keep it brief but it is still 17 pages and starts in 2004!
What we really need is an investigation into the workings of phso, the cover ups, the collusion.... I vote for Grant Thornton. They appear to have done a good job on CQC

Colin Hammonds left an annotation ()

....am i being overly cynical but is this a simple case of "put up and shut up"......it seems to be the overriding impression i get coming from the PHSO....

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Believe me, I will not be shutting up!!!!!!!!! Just re-gathering my thoughts and strategy....
It's like a game of chess.....never mind that people's lives are at stake when PHSO do not investigating properly....

So my next move....hummmm 12thJan is coming... and Sarah Fox erroneously says, I approached the Dame at the House of Commons, now there's an idea......

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds,

 

Your information request: FDN-244320

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I can confirm you have been given the data we hold and your understanding
of that data is accurate.

 

You have also asked for our ‘policy which states the procedure for a
complaint investigation against a member of the review team.’ I can
confirm we do not hold a specific policy about that and that complaints
about staff would be considered under the customer care policy available
online here:
[1]http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/bei...

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Luke Whiting

Head of FOI/DP

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/bei...

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

thank you for the confirmation that of the seven (accepted) complaints concerning the review team all of them were handled internally by presumably the review team themselves.

At the PACAC scrutiny meeting on 12.1.16 Mr. Ronnie Cowan asked;

We know that any organisation that provides a service will receive complaints. Monitoring the complaints and encouraging an honest dialogue with the party that is complaining would seem to be mutually beneficial, but we are getting reports that say that a complaint has been made, and for the case reviews and complaints with the PHSO service, they deal with the same member of staff who dealt with the original case. That cannot be feasible.

Mr. Martin replied;

No, it is not the case. We have set up and are running a dedicated customer care team for every person who has experienced our service, whether or not it is just a first contact, or we have assessed their case or investigated. That is a different set of people than the people who handled the cases.

Can you confirm that the 7 complaints made about the review team were all investigated by the Customer Care Team?

Later Mick Martin stated that;
We do carry out external reviews. We have access to independent people who do not work for us, and who are expert and experienced in investigations. We send a selection of our reviews to them—about 25% of all the reviews that we do. We have done 43 of those this year

Given that there were only seven complaints regarding the review team can you give any insight into why these were not put out for external review?

The customer care team and the review team appear to be interchangeable. Can you confirm that staff do not work in both teams in a flexible manner?

Yours sincerely,

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.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

phsothefacts wrote:

"The customer care team and the review team appear to be interchangeable. Can you confirm that staff do not work in both teams in a flexible manner?"

I too am puzzled by how the deck chairs of the Review Team had been moved around. This table shows how staff labels have been changed:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

I made this supplementary request:

"In the list you provided of Review Team members and their new job titles, 5 members of staff with the job title 'Reviewer' have each been reclassified to that of 'Caseworker'. Please specify how many of these 5 caseworkers are included among the 5 caseworkers now working in the Corporate Casework team carrying out reviews of PHSO decisions (page 2 of organogram).”

The PHSO responded:

"Referring to the table supplied to you on 24 July, 5 of the caseworkers were in the Corporate Casework team. "

I think I'm right in saying that 5 reviewers (who largely sent letters to complainants telling them that they could not have a review) now work in the Corporate Casework team as caseworkers. The Corporate Casework team decides whether a case passed to them from the Customer Care Manager should be reviewed. Figures indicate that they receive only a tiny proportion of requests on which to adjudicate – Customer Care Officers continue to carry out the work previously done by Reviewers (largely sending letters to complainants telling them that they cannot have a review). Customer Care Guidance:

.https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

There is some confusion with the word 'request'. Complainants make requests for reviews, but members of the Customer Care Team also make requests to the Customer Care Manager for a particular case to go to the Corporate Casework Team to be considered for a review.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

There is a difference between internal service complaints and how external complaints are treated.

Service complaints do not have an agreed scope between caseworker and complainant.

So complaint caseworker decides what your complaint is and ...carries on regardless, ignoring your protests and telling you what it your SHOULD have been.

You are not allowed to state why the caseworker has just got it wrong - from the off. ( happened to me).

:::

I made two complaints.

1,.One before the court case .

2. And one after I'd read the files running up to the case.,...Showing what went on between the * PHSO and the ICO.
( *which is partly why the PHSO lost - and was criticised by the Grc Tribunal Qc judge).

:::

Director of Customer Service Annette John explains the internal/ external process in her letter to me:

'You have expressed concern that X did not confirm the scope of HIS investigation with you, and refer to this being a requirement of our Investigations Manual......

( Nb Note the 'HIS' - that's fair. It wasn't my MY actual complaint he was investigating).

'You also provide a number of further points which you say he has not considered in our response.

'I would like to clarify that our Investigations Manual relates specifically to the process our investigations follow when investigating company's about OTHER Organisations.

'This does not relate to how our Customer Care Team considers service complaints.

'We would expect out Customer Care officers to be clear about what service issues are that we are being asked to consider.

' However, they would not normally specifically confirm a scope in the same way that or investigators would'.

NB (Perfectly clear about his investigation - unfortunately it wasn't concerning the central issue of my complaint, which was edited out and ignored - despite my protests.

The scope of the post-case complaint was just ignored.

Two complaints rolled into one - and both only partly investigated.

:::::

Apparently the basis of second complaint wasn't good enough to investigate at all, even though the court had criticised the PHSO's service.

So the caseworker mansplained to me what I OUGHT to have complained about, leaving out the courts' verdict of the PHSO's service.....then carried on regardless, stating that external criticism of the PHSO from the court was irrelevant ...because I'd won my case.

Which is truly ironic, as its on file that my first complaint on the PHSO's service could be NOT considered UNTIL AFTER the case, as the court case had bearing on the first complaint.

,....Presumably the PHSO thought I would lose and then could reject my complaint on that basis.

The caseworker's 'investigation' implied that the Tribunal judge was wrong about the PHSO's service, and the PHSO's service was just fine.

The caseworker is not a QC.

Therefore I believe the QC's opinion is sound , rather than that of the caseworker.

::::

So there you have it... Straight from the horse's mouth.

The arrogant PHSO considers itself a cut above all the other organisation that it investigates - in that it's investigatory rules for those, don't apply to itself.

1.If you make a service complaint about the PHSO's mishandling of a complaint - or their behaviour, the PHSO will not agree what the complaint is - by scoping it.

2. The caseworker can choose to rewrite the central points of your argument.

3. They can then be ignored.

4. So Hooray! ....PHSO employees can do no wrong - yet again.

5. The PHSO then refuses to let your complaint go to someone qualified ( in this case a lawyer) as the unqualified caseworker's decision has to stand.

::::

What was it the external advisor said in my first upheld complaint?

'The review team failed to provide Mrs TO with a reasonable or acceptable level of service. The service actually provided was, in my view, well below the level you would consider adequate. Some of the decisions at particular points were unreasonable; ..the review team seems to have become 'locked' into a negative bureaucratic process, which it treated as unalterable, of refusing to consider the points made for review'.

'...It is not evident from the papers that I have seen that the PHSO has a robust system to dealing quickly where complaints are made about the review team itself'.

:::::

So despite the yards and yards of new 'service' procedures - nothing has changed.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-245991)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 24 January 2016, in which you
ask questions about complaints made about the Review Team.

 

Before we respond to your request, please could you clarify request by
explaining to what seven complaints you are referring. 

 

It would be helpful if you could provide us with a relevant time frame or,
if the information was provided to you in response to an information
request, a reference number.

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][email address]

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #294187 email]]
Sent: 24 January 2016 17:48
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: your information request FDN-244320

 

     Dear foiofficer,
    
     thank you for the confirmation that of the seven (accepted)
     complaints concerning the review team all of them were handled
     internally by presumably the review team themselves.
    
     At the PACAC scrutiny meeting on 12.1.16 Mr. Ronnie Cowan asked;
    
     We know that any organisation that provides a service will receive
     complaints. Monitoring the complaints and encouraging an honest
     dialogue with the party that is complaining would seem to be
     mutually beneficial, but we are getting reports that say that a
     complaint has been made, and for the case reviews and complaints
     with the PHSO service, they deal with the same member of staff who
     dealt with the original case. That cannot be feasible.
    
     Mr. Martin replied;
    
     No, it is not the case. We have set up and are running a dedicated
     customer care team for every person who has experienced our
     service, whether or not it is just a first contact, or we have
     assessed their case or investigated. That is a different set of
     people than the people who handled the cases.
    
     Can you confirm that the 7 complaints made about the review team
     were all investigated by the Customer Care Team?
    
     Later Mick Martin stated that;
     We do carry out external reviews. We have access to independent
     people who do not work for us, and who are expert and experienced
     in investigations. We send a selection of our reviews to themabout
     25% of all the reviews that we do. We have done 43 of those this
     year
    
     Given that there were only seven complaints regarding the review
     team can you give any insight into why these were not put out for
     external review?
    
     The customer care team and the review team appear to be
     interchangeable. Can you confirm that staff do not work in both
     teams in a flexible manner?
    
     Yours sincerely,
    
     phsothefacts Pressure Group
    
    

show quoted sections

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

On the 21st November 2015 in response to this FOI you stated that;

Four complaints about members of staff in either the Customer Care
Team or Review Team were reviewed internally and upheld.

Then on 23rd November 2015 you stated;

Of these 46 complaints, three were about the review team or customer care
team or a member of those teams. All three of those complaints were
reviewed by an internal reviewer.

I am sorry that I stated 7 complaints in total as this was clearly an error, but it is still not apparent from your response whether there were four or three complaints.
It is remarkable that in the whole of 2014/15 you received only three/four complaints about the review team or customer care team. Also, given that the number was so small it is surprising that these complaints were all investigated internally, by members of effectively the same team instead of going automatically to external review. This would rather suggest that complaints are handled by the same people named in the complaint or at least by a close colleague.

In response to this FOI concerning customer satisfaction you confirmed that there was only a 22% satisfaction rating for those receiving a review in 2014/15. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
A 78% dissatisfaction rating which resulted in only 3 or possibly 4 complaints about the review team. Extraordinary - and I have to say unbelievable.

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.

Gasston Aimee, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Thank you for your clarification.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #294187 email]]
Sent: 08 February 2016 18:51
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: your information request FDN-245991

 

     Dear foiofficer,
    
     On the 21st November 2015 in response to this FOI you stated that;
    
     Four complaints about members of staff in either the Customer Care
     Team or Review Team were reviewed internally and upheld.
    
     Then on 23rd November 2015 you stated;
    
     Of these 46 complaints, three were about the review team or
     customer care
     team or a member of those teams. All three of those complaints were
     reviewed by an internal reviewer.
    
     I am sorry that I stated 7 complaints in total as this was clearly
     an error, but it is still not apparent from your response whether
     there were four or three complaints.
     It is remarkable that in the whole of 2014/15 you received only
     three/four complaints about the review team or customer care team.
     Also, given that the number was so small it is surprising that
     these complaints were all investigated internally, by members of
     effectively the same team instead of going automatically to
     external review. This would rather suggest that complaints are
     handled by the same people named in the complaint or at least by a
     close colleague.
    
     In response to this FOI concerning customer satisfaction you
     confirmed that there was only a 22% satisfaction rating for those
     receiving a review in 2014/15.
    
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
     A 78% dissatisfaction rating which resulted in only 3 or possibly 4
     complaints about the review team. Extraordinary - and I have to say
     unbelievable.
    
     Yours sincerely,
    
     Della Reynolds
    
     phsothefacts Pressure Group
    
    

show quoted sections

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-245991)

 

I am writing in response to your emails of 24 January and 8 February 2016
in which you asked two questions.  I will respond to each of these in
turn.

 

 1. You clarified that you were asking about complaints referred to in a
previous Freedom of Information (FOI) request response.  This FOI
response was dated 23 November 2015 (case reference FDN-238757) and
referred to three complaints about members of staff in either the
Review Team or Customer Care Team.  I have reviewed these cases and
can confirm that we hold no information which would answer your
request for recorded information relating to ‘why these were not put
out for external review’.  One of the cases has now been destroyed in
line with our retention and disposal policy and the other two
contained no relevant information.
 2. I should first advise you that the Review Team no longer exists and
the Corporate Casework Team now carries out reviews of complaints
about PHSO casework decisions where appropriate.  The structure of
both the Corporate Casework Team and the Customer Care Team is
detailed in our organisational structure chart, which is available on
our website at the following link:
[1]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open-and-transparent/our-publication-scheme/who-we-are-and-what-we-do

I can confirm that staff members do not work across both teams, but the
two teams do work together where appropriate.  The Customer Care Team is
the first point of contact for individuals making complaints about service
they have received from PHSO or decisions made by PHSO, and it will pass
complaints about decisions to the Ombudsman’s Casework Team for a review
where appropriate.

 

I hope that this information is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][email address]

 

 

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #294187 email]]
Sent: 24 January 2016 17:48
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: your information request FDN-244320

 

     Dear foiofficer,
    
     thank you for the confirmation that of the seven (accepted)
     complaints concerning the review team all of them were handled
     internally by presumably the review team themselves.
    
     At the PACAC scrutiny meeting on 12.1.16 Mr. Ronnie Cowan asked;
    
     We know that any organisation that provides a service will receive
     complaints. Monitoring the complaints and encouraging an honest
     dialogue with the party that is complaining would seem to be
     mutually beneficial, but we are getting reports that say that a
     complaint has been made, and for the case reviews and complaints
     with the PHSO service, they deal with the same member of staff who
     dealt with the original case. That cannot be feasible.
    
     Mr. Martin replied;
    
     No, it is not the case. We have set up and are running a dedicated
     customer care team for every person who has experienced our
     service, whether or not it is just a first contact, or we have
     assessed their case or investigated. That is a different set of
     people than the people who handled the cases.
    
     Can you confirm that the 7 complaints made about the review team
     were all investigated by the Customer Care Team?
    
     Later Mick Martin stated that;
     We do carry out external reviews. We have access to independent
     people who do not work for us, and who are expert and experienced
     in investigations. We send a selection of our reviews to themabout
     25% of all the reviews that we do. We have done 43 of those this
     year
    
     Given that there were only seven complaints regarding the review
     team can you give any insight into why these were not put out for
     external review?
    
     The customer care team and the review team appear to be
     interchangeable. Can you confirm that staff do not work in both
     teams in a flexible manner?
    
     Yours sincerely,
    
     phsothefacts Pressure Group
    
    

show quoted sections

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

In your reply you stated that;

The Customer Care Team is the first point of contact for individuals making complaints about service
they have received from PHSO or decisions made by PHSO, and it will pass complaints about decisions to the Ombudsman’s Casework Team for a review where appropriate.

But what happens when the complaint is about the Ombudsman's Casework Team? Do they investigate themselves? What happens to complaints about service - who investigates those?

Also it must be a corporate decision, not random chance, that all service complaints are handled internally, yet you have no recorded information. Extraordinary.

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

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-245991)

 

Thank you for your further email.  I can confirm that we hold no recorded
information which would answer your question further to the casework
policy and guidance which is available on our website at the following
link:
[1]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open-and-transparent/our-publication-scheme/our-policies-and-procedures

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][email address]

 

Follow us on

[4]fb  [5]twitter  [6]linkedin

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #294187 email]]
Sent: 18 February 2016 13:14
To: foiofficer
Subject: Re: Your information request (FDN-245991)

 

     Dear foiofficer,
    
     In your reply you stated that;
    
     The Customer Care Team is the first point of contact for
     individuals making complaints about service
     they have received from PHSO or decisions made by PHSO, and it will
     pass complaints about decisions to the Ombudsmans Casework Team
     for a review where appropriate.
    
     But what happens when the complaint is about the Ombudsman's
     Casework Team? Do they investigate themselves? What happens to
     complaints about service - who investigates those?
    
     Also it must be a corporate decision, not random chance, that all
     service complaints are handled internally, yet you have no recorded
     information. Extraordinary.
    
     Yours sincerely,
    
     Della Reynolds
    
     phsothefacts Pressure Group
    
    

show quoted sections