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One apology for poor service in 2019/20?

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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

From your Annual Report and Accounts 2019-2020 (page 44):

'This year we handled 126 formal complaints about our service, which is less than 1% of the total number of complaints we handled. This compares to 335 (1%) in the previous year. We upheld 56 of the formal service complaints we looked at and took action to put things right. This included an apology, a re-examination of certain issues, an explanation, or changes to our service. In 2019-20, we made 20 compensation payments to complainants due to poor service. These came to a total of £15,977. A significant proportion of these costs related to historical cases from previous years.'

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

1. Please confirm that you offered only one apology in connection with your service in 2019/20.

2. Please provide the number of apologies you offered in connection with your service for each of the previous 5 years exclusive of 2019/20.

3. Please provide the total number of complaints from which you calculated the percentage figure of less than 1% for 2019/20.

4. Please confirm that the total number of complaints you received in 2018/19 was 33,500 (335 x 100).

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s
(PHSO) Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team. This is to confirm
we have received your request.

If you have made a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or Environment Information Regulations 2004, we will
respond to your request within 20 working days in accordance with the
statutory time frames set out in both Acts.

If you have made a request for personal information held by the PHSO, your
request will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the provisions
of the Data Protection Act 2018 and will be responded to within one
calendar month in accordance with the statutory time frame set out in the
Act.

We may contact you before this time if we require further clarification or
if we need to extend the time required to complete your request.

For Subject Access Requests, we will send any personal information via
secure email, unless you instruct us differently. To access the
information on the email we send, you will need to sign up to our secure
email service. Details can be found on our website using the link below:
www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open...

If you require us to post your personal information to you instead you
will need to inform us of this and confirm your current address as soon as
possible.

Angharad Jackson
Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director Information Assurance
Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
PHSO CityGate
47-51 Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3HQ
[email address]

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Dr Bruce Newsome has recently written an article about the PHSO:

'According to heart-breaking testimonials, most complainants are treated by PHSO staff as time-wasters, liars, idiots, fantasists, egotists, and objects of ridicule. The victims have nowhere else to go. Parliament’s Select Committee on Public Administration has complained since 2015 that the PHSO is unaccountable to Parliament except through annual reports. The PHSO’s only practical accountability is to the executive, which controls its funding and appoints its person, but every executive has said that the PHSO is “independent.” Its own solution to criticism is to demand more powers.'

https://thecritic.co.uk/democracys-accou...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Anyone interested in complainants' experiences of the PHSO may like to read the reviews on Trustpilot:

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.om...

The latest reviews continue to paint a bleak picture of the organisation. Comments include:

'It is a rip-off. I did not want to give the PHSO even one star. They don't deserve any stars at all as it is a lousy service. It is not even a service. It only supports the NHS.'

'Their perfomance has been as abysmal as that of the trust I am complaining about.'

'They don't objectively look at your complaint, in my experience; a 'professional' can do/say what they like.'

'One gains the distinct impression that their role is to obfuscate for as long as possible then turn down appeals or, if the evidence is overwhelming, recommend derisory compensation.'

' If only I had read these reviews before I decided to submit a complaint to PHSO. If I had I would never have wasted my time and energy.'

'Just another waste of time regulator who reject well-founded complaints.'

'I had documentary evidence that the Trust were lying about my case, yet they accepted the Trusts handwritten note on my file. Not interested on the conflicting computer notes!'

' The entire process is impersonal to the point of rudeness. Your involvement is not welcomed, it is tolerated but mostly it is ignored. Updates were infrequent, investigation boundaries were shifted and my questions went unanswered.'

'I would have been better off if this service had not existed and sought help from a solicitor from the start.'

'Acting as the secondary NHS negligence defence force the PHSO is secretive, dismissive, and abusive in their matter-of- fact way you will be denigrated, passed-around, worn out, but never questioned to verify their 'lay' & vague understanding of complaints or of facts you are reporting.'

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Dr Bruce Newsome shoots to bits PHSO figures in his latest hard-hitting article entitled: 'letting another quango mislead parliament?'

https://thecritic.co.uk/why-is-the-gover...

'The PHSO investigated 30.6 percent fewer cases in 2019-2020 compared to the preceding year, even though enquiries fell by 7.4 percent. Yet, the PHSO misreported 13 percent more enquiries, as recently as August this year.'

'The PHSO refused to quantify the reduction of demand in the final six months. The PHSO’s communications with me on these issues were confusing. Its first excuse was that the person responsible for that part of the report separated from the PHSO. Another excuse was that the National Audit Office hadn’t asked for clarification or correction of that part of the report. In the end, it went back to its claim that because its metrics changed in November 2019 it could not be expected to quantify the subsequent fall in demand .'

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'Phso the Facts' have produced a graph which vividly illustrates how the number of complaints upheld by the PHSO has more than halved between 2016/17 and 2019/20 - from 1,531 to 650:

https://twitter.com/phsothefacts/status/...

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I had expected a response by now. Please let me know by what date I should receive a response.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s
(PHSO) Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team. This is to confirm
we have received your request.

If you have made a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or Environment Information Regulations 2004, we will
respond to your request within 20 working days in accordance with the
statutory time frames set out in both Acts.

If you have made a request for personal information held by the PHSO, your
request will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the provisions
of the Data Protection Act 2018 and will be responded to within one
calendar month in accordance with the statutory time frame set out in the
Act.

We may contact you before this time if we require further clarification or
if we need to extend the time required to complete your request.

For Subject Access Requests, we will send any personal information via
secure email, unless you instruct us differently. To access the
information on the email we send, you will need to sign up to our secure
email service. Details can be found on our website using the link below:
www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open...

If you require us to post your personal information to you instead you
will need to inform us of this and confirm your current address as soon as
possible.

Angharad Jackson
Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director Information Assurance
Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
PHSO CityGate
47-51 Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3HQ
[email address]

J Roberts left an annotation ()

More bad news regarding the PHSO:

'It is telling that at every turn the state dismissed them. Whether it was a “sham” coroner’s investigation, a “seriously flawed” police inquiry or the disinterest paid to Elizabeth by NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens and the former Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who both singularly turned their back on the family in 2014.'

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/healt...

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

If you have responded to my request it appears to have gone astray. Please respond.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are J Roberts please sign in and let everyone know.