Outcome of judicial review applications

The request was successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

1.Please can you give me a month by month breakdown of the number of judicial review applications submitted to PHSO from March 2013 to March 2014.

2. Please can you tell me on how many occasions the Ombudsman decided to defend the case and on how many occasions the Ombudsman offered an alternative such as a new review and/or apology, remedy.

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I'm still waiting for an acknowledgement and answer to this request.

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Ms Della Reynolds

By email only

 

FDN-192331

 

25 June 2014

 

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

RE: Freedom of Information request - Outcome of judicial review
applications

 

I write in response to your email of 28 May 2014 in which you requested
information in the following terms:

 

 1. Please can you give me a month by month breakdown of the number of
judicial review applications submitted to PHSO from March 2013 to
March 2014.

 

 2. Please can you tell me on how many occasions the Ombudsman decided to
defend the case and on how many occasions the Ombudsman offered an
alternative such as a new review and/or apology, remedy.

 

Please find attached the numbers of judicial review claims that have been
issued against the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).  I
can confirm that the PHSO decided to defend the case on every occasion
listed in this attachment.

 

It is worth highlighting that it is unusual for judicial review claims to
be issued without some attempt at resolution (such as a pre-action
protocol letter) beforehand.  As such, once a claim is issued, we do not
generally consider whether there are merits, as this has already been
considered at pre-action stage.  For this reason again, it is unusual for
judicial review claims to be issued following the attempt at resolution,
and unusual for PHSO to take any action other than to defend the claim
following that attempt.

 

I hope that this information is helpful.  If you are unhappy with my
decision you can ask for a review by email to:
complaints[1][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: [2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

David Thomas

FOI/Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

E: [3][email address]

W: [4]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

 

 

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Dear David Thomas,

Many thanks. It is clear from your explanation that I should also have asked if you could give me a breakdown of the number of pre-action protocol letters received by PHSO from March 2013 to March 2014 and how many of these were given an alternative remedy?

I will ask that now in the hope that I don't have to wait 20 working days for the answer.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

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

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds,

 

Your information request (FDN-194976)

 

I am writing further to your email of 24 June 2014, in which you ask for
the number of pre-action protocol letters received by PHSO from March 2013
to March 2014.

 

We received 15 pre‑action protocol letters before action during the period
March 2013 to March 2014.

 

I will describe the outcomes of each of these individual cases below.

 

·         Of those, 11 were satisfied with our arguments that they had
proved no legal grounds on which to challenge our decision regarding their
complaint.

·         Four of them proceeded in applying for a judicial review of our
decision.

·         In two of those four applications for judicial review,
permission was granted on limited grounds to proceed.

·         In the other two applications, permission was refused as being
totally without merit.

·         In one of the 15 cases, the matter was referred back to Customer
Services as new evidence was presented after our response to the
pre-action protocol letter before claim.

 

I hope that this information is helpful.  Please let us know if you
require any further information.

 

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: Della [mailto:[FOI #214142 email]]
Sent: 24 June 2014 18:19
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Outcome of judicial review
applications

 

Dear David Thomas,

Many thanks.  It is clear from your explanation that I should also have
asked if you could give me a breakdown of the number of pre-action
protocol letters received by PHSO from March 2013 to March 2014 and how
many of these were given an alternative remedy? 

I will ask that now in the hope that I don't have to wait 20 working days
for the answer.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

show quoted sections

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Clearly it is difficult for an ordinary member of the public, without legal training to bring a JR. This confirms it is only for those who can afford it and not for the sack of justice.

Dear Aimee Gasston,

Thank you for your interesting reply. It was worth the wait. You have provided me with figures which don't match the previous response to this question. The heading on the previous chart was, 'Number of times judicial review claims have been issued against PHSO' for the time span of March 13 to March 14. The total number on this chart was 10, yet you have now informed me that there were 15 pre-action letters Why the discrepancy?

Of the 15 pre action protocol letters only 4 cases went on to court. Of these two were dismissed, but what happened to the other two cases? Was the case which was re-opened one of the remaining two cases? Did the re-opening of this case cease the legal claim?

We are aware that James Titcombe took PHSO to judicial review when you refused to investigate at Morecambe Bay. The decision to 'look again' at his case ended the court proceedings. We also know that following the PHSO investigation scandalously low levels of care were identified at Morecambe Bay maternity unit putting mothers and babies at risk. It should not be the case that citizens must take PHSO to court to receive a fair hearing for their case. Many are unable to do so resulting in serious issues concerning patient safety going unattended.

The fact that many of the pre-action cases were 'without merit' means only that they did not qualify within the limited parameters of the judicial review process. There are different types of merit you know.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

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

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-194976)

 

I am writing to provide some clarity on two of your information requests. 
You have asked why the figures I provided you in response to your request
FDN-194976 are not the same as those provided in response to a previous
request (reference FDN-192331).  This is because in each of your requests
you asked for different things.  Pre-action protocol letters before claim
are between the potential claimant and defendant and their purpose is to
try and avoid court action.  Judicial review is that court action and not
all pre-action protocol letters are followed by claims for judicial
review.

In your first request (FDN-192331), you asked for the number of judicial
review applications submitted to PHSO from March 2013 to March 2014.  The
figures we provided you with related to those applications we had received
(the stage after pre-action protocol).

 

In your second request (FDN-194976), you asked about the number of
pre-action protocol letters received by PHSO over the same period.  I
advised in response to this request that we received 15 letters.  Of
these, four went on to apply for judicial review.  The court granted two
of these applications permission to proceed on limited grounds, while the
other two applications were refused as they were considered totally
without merit.  You can read more about the judicial review process on the
Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website at the following address:
[1]www.judiciary.gov.uk/you-and-the-judiciary/judicial-review/

 

The case I referred to which had been referred back to Customer Services
was not one of the four cases that was granted permission to proceed.  As
I explained in my email, this occurred because new evidence was presented
after our response to the pre-action protocol letter before claim.

 

I hope that this information gives you the clarification you need.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

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

 

Follow us on

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From: Della [[7]mailto:[FOI #214142 email]]
Sent: 28 July 2014 16:54
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Outcome of judicial review
applications

 

Dear Aimee Gasston,

Thank you for your interesting reply.  It was worth the wait.  You have
provided me with figures which don't match the previous response to this
question.  The heading on the previous chart was, 'Number of times
judicial review claims have been issued against PHSO' for the time span of
March 13 to March 14.  The total number on this chart was 10, yet you have
now informed me that there were 15 pre-action letters  Why the
discrepancy?

Of the 15 pre action protocol letters only 4 cases went on to court.  Of
these two were dismissed, but what happened to the other two cases?  Was
the case which was re-opened one of the remaining two cases?  Did the
re-opening of this case cease the legal claim?

We are aware that James Titcombe took PHSO to judicial review when you
refused to investigate at Morecambe Bay.  The decision to 'look again' at
his case ended the court proceedings.  We also know that following the
PHSO investigation scandalously low levels of care were identified at
Morecambe Bay maternity unit putting mothers and babies at risk. It should
not be the case that citizens must take PHSO to court to receive a fair
hearing for their case.  Many are unable to do so resulting in serious
issues concerning patient safety going unattended.

The fact that many of the pre-action cases were 'without merit' means only
that they did not qualify within the limited parameters of the judicial
review process.  There are different types of merit you know.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

show quoted sections

Dear Gasston Aimee,

Thank you for your response and I apologise for the delay. I can only reiterate my remarks from before that cases have different merit and the fact that an individual has taken this matter to this stage should signal to PHSO that they have not dealt with this case in a satisfactory way. Just because it does not meet the narrow definition of merit given by a judge does not mean that PHSO should wash their hands of the case.

Applying for JR has to be a cry for help and it should be responded to sympathetically by PHSO.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Aimee Gasston,

Shame on you and the PHSO response back in 2014.

RE: PUBLIC INTEREST
THIS IS A HEALTH & SAFETY WARNING (A to D)

A) You and I know that your response to Della Reynolds was not factually correct.

B) As is my legal and civil right to do; I hereby confirm on this FOI forum that you have responded to the Human Rights Campaigner, Della Reynolds with malfeasance. (#MisconductInPublicOffice)

C) My evidence to support the above Public Interest Statement?

i. I refer you to the outcome of two of the many cases blocked from benefiting from a judicial review.

I refer you to 2 of 300 cases; Case Number B78YM196 the Claim Number B78YM192.

ii. The outcome of those two cases provided evidence that you are were not being lawful and factually correct with Della Reynolds back in 2014.

You were never lawful in your response to my enquiries neither.

D) Last year, I was invited to a "meeting" by Helen Holmes; still waiting ...

THE UK CITIZEN URGENTLY NEEDS A LEGISLATION TO PROTECT THOSE OF US WHO SOUGHT HELP FROM THOSE WHO WERE IN A POSITION OF POWER TO DO SO.

The tragedy that is Grenfell Tower would never have happened if the PHSO, ICO and the Local Government Ombudsman had been held more accountable by HMCTS.

Yours concerned,

Fiona Watts
@magnacarta300

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Fiona - I can concur with your opinion of Aimeee Gasston .

She not only drove me totally unnecessary to court ( the court agreed with me that her responses had been substandard and upheld my case) but the PHSO refuse to properly investigate the evidence given by its employee to the ICO, which caused this debacle.

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