Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

1. Please provide details of the the number of PHSO staff who were eligible for performance bonuses in the year 2015/16.

2. Please provide details of the the number of staff in respect of 2015/16 who were classified as 1. fully effective and 2. highly effective.

3. Please state the amount of money paid in respect of 2015/16 to 1. fully effective performers and 2. highly effective performers.

4. Please provide information in respect of 201516 for senior member PHSO managers. State the total number of senior managers eligible for performance bonuses and state the numbers that were 1. fully effective performers and 2. highly effective performers.

5. Finally, please clarify the position regarding Directors and Executive Directors who were deemed to be highly effective performers – Did they receive the 5% bonus?

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J Roberts

 

Your information request: FDN 274239

 

I write in response to your information request of 18 December 2016 in
which you asked:

 

1.  Please provide details of the number of PHSO staff who were eligible
for performance bonuses in the year 2015/16.

2.  Please provide details of the number of staff in respect of 2015/16
who were classified as 1.  fully effective and 2.  highly effective.

3.  Please state the amount of money paid in respect of 2015/16 to 1. 
fully effective performers and 2.  highly effective performers.

4.  Please provide information in respect of 2015/16 for senior member
PHSO managers.  State the total number of senior managers eligible for
performance bonuses and state the numbers that were 1.  fully effective
performers and 2.  highly effective performers.

5.  Finally, please clarify the position regarding Directors and Executive
Directors who were deemed to be highly effective performers Did they
receive the 5% bonus?

Response

 

1. 333 staff were eligible for performance awards in 2015/16.

 

2. 256 staff were classified as fully effective and 65 as highly
effective.

 

3. £116,157 was paid to fully effective performers and £183,797 to highly
effective performers.

4. There were 8 senior managers eligible for performance awards. 6 were
classified as fully effective performers and 2 as highly effective
performers. Please note I have taken senior managers to mean Grades 0/1 in
PHSO’s structure.

 

5. Senior staff pay increases were paid in line with staff in grades 2-8,
where fully effective an increase of 1% was awarded, and where highly
effective it was 6%.  No salary increases were made to Executive Directors
during this period.

 

I hope this information is helpful.  If you wish to discuss this further
please do not hesitate to contact me. If you are unhappy with the handling
of your request you can ask for an internal review by emailing
[1][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email].

 

Beyond that, it is open to you to complain to the Information
Commissioner’s Officer ([2]www.ICO.org.uk).

 

Kind regards

 

 

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

 

 

show quoted sections

J Roberts left an annotation ()

I was surprised to learn that 96 per cent of staff eligible for performance bonuses received them. More surprising was that 20 per cent of recipients were deemed to be 'highly effective' (the average bonus for these elite performers was about £2,828).

It is also noteworthy that only 333 staff were eligible for performance bonuses:

"The lowest number of staff at PHSO in the 2015 calendar year was 413, recorded at the end of August."

and,

"The highest number of staff at PHSO in the 2015 calendar year was 460, recorded at the end of November."

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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

PHSO now seems to be run on acceptable collateral damage strategy.

The 'why' is to impress PACAC with the PHSO leadership.

That boils down to improving stats, while cutting costs.

Which is basically impossible on increasingly complex cases.

:::

This means some complainants will get 'burned' in order to hit management targets.

They are the PHSO's acceptable collateral damage.

It's normal 'factory' business methods - but adapted to processing a 'business', which isn't like that of a factory, which deals with similar products on a production line.

:::

How it works:

The Stick - staff are target monitored and so 'persuaded' to go faster.

The Carrot - To hit their own target (and therefore the leadership target) for £££'s.

This means employees have to work harder and faster,
They will make mistakes due to increased speed.

But only a certain proportion of complainants will be able to pick up their mistakes. Most will find it too hard to endure any more paperwork.

And drop out. Case closed. Target hit.

:::

The PHSO does not readily admit mistakes- as that would throw the stats, so if the complainant persists, the next level is designed to close down even more complainants .

If the case has to be unwillingly reinvestigated, complaints will eventually get a highly apologetic letter saying: ' I understand how upset you just have been' and 'sorry, sorry, sorry' .( by recall, 14 sorry's is the record).

Most of the remaining complainants will drop out at this point.

Satisfied that someone has acknowledged their complaint and they've received a *set paragraph letter of apology - even though their complaint has not been resolved.

* the same phrases are used by cut and paste.

Nb Leaving, for instance, more people are at risk of injury - or even death - ( see Morecambe Bay case) in the hospital that the complaint was made against.

:::

If the complaint mentions a judicial review, they are dissuaded by veiled threats from the PHSO - of the financial loss they will incur. The '££££'s-loss' dissuaded complainants become are more collateral damage.

Their cases might be sound but system is designed to hit targets for the benefit of the leadership, not impartially and conscientiously investigate cases - taking all the time they need.

:::

The staff are not culpable. It's difficult to surmount the joint stick and carrot strategy. They can't go slower and they lose money if they do.
Even if they can see complainants are being neatly processed out of the system by inadequate investigations of complex cases.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

14 apologies! I got 21 I think it was....any advance on that?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Apologies Brenda - thought you'd got 14 ....

Well if you discount the customer letter apologies and add in the constant drip drip sorry's, I think I could give you a run for your money at 21.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

It is most surprising that so many staff are receiving huge bonuses given the spate of high-profile resignations and the number of apologies being issued to some complainants. Remember, this is an organization that an awful lot of people felt badly let down by:

"I can confirm in the business year 2015/16 we received 1969 requests for review (to be clear this figure excludes complaints about our service, post review correspondence and longstanding complaints)."

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

I suppose employees who speedily deals with 'requests for review' - even just to inform requestors that their requests have been turned down - could qualify for performance bonuses.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

"I can confirm in the business year 2015/16 we received 1969 requests for review (to be clear this figure excludes complaints about our service, post review correspondence and longstanding complaints)."

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

I suppose employees who speedily deals with 'requests for review' - even just to inform requestors that their requests have been turned down - could qualify for performance bonuses.

:::

Correct- here's how the complaint stats are reduced ..

1. They 'redefine' complaints about your the way your complaint was handled- (where they entirely investigated something you had not complained about ) - or didn't bother to understand what it was about ...

......into 'SERVICE COMPLAINTS'

So the complaint remains uninvestigated.
Nb Unless you kick up a fuss - by catching them doing it.

2. Post review correspondence is where a complainant writes and says:

'You STILL haven't investigated my original complaint' and is then black-holed( no answer) so drops off the stats.

3. Long term complaints never get investigated properly. To do so and find the PHSO was wrong is embarrassing.
They only usually get investigated if a Minister steps in after people keep dying etc,

( see the Titcombe case and the struggles he had).

:::

So lowering the reported complaints total as far as it can....Even then it's 1969.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Of course all those who dig in and keep asking for justice are tarred with the brush so adeptly held by Paul Flynn of PACAC as 'persistent complainants who will never be satisfied' But I guess if you design a broken system you then have to defend it.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Snce Paul Flynn spent a lot of time on his iPad during the time complainants gave evidence to PASC ( now PACAC) its hard to know exactly what he took in.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

JT,

You are exactly right, after 21 apologies for poor service, my original complaint of 5 years ago, or was it 6, has still not investigated.

Anyone with half a brain might think that was a course for a complaint in itself.

I wonder why Paul Flynn can't see that.

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