PHSO Change Programme and Value for money

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 refused by Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

On 10th June 2015 I made the following request. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

I asked for the following information;

In March 2015 PASC released a report entitled 'Investigating
clinical incidents in the NHS' That report was critical of present
complaint handling at PHSO and called on the Ombudsman to deliver
an internal change programme.

75. Complainants deserve an Ombudsman they can have confidence in.
There are
serious questions about the capacity and capability of the
Ombudsman’s office, in
particular in relation to complaints involving clinical matters. We
are aware of
considerable anguish and disquiet where Parliamentary and Health
Service
Ombudsman investigations fail to uncover the truth, and of pain
inflicted by the
Ombudsman’s defensiveness and reluctance to admit mistakes. This
underlines the
need for improved competence and culture change throughout the
system, including in
the PHSO. PHSO leadership is aware of the need for this change, but
it is proving more
challenging than expected. We welcome the PHSO’s aim to improve the
quality and
accessibility of its services. However, the Ombudsman’s office is
under considerable
strain. Fundamental reform of the Ombudsman system is needed.

81. We recommend that the Ombudsman’s change programme be its main
priority in the
immediate future. The Ombudsman should publish proposals on the
progress of its
change programme, set out the form it will take from now on, what
it is intended to
achieve, and by when. These proposals should be published in time
for our successor
Committee to consider them.

1) PASC calls for the proposals to be published in time for the
successor committee to consider them, so on that basis can PHSO now
release into the public domain the proposal for its change
programme?

2) 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?

These proposals were not published in time for the successor committee to consider them (12.1.16 meeting) but were promised to the committee for early February. Since PASC asked for the plans to be 'published' ie. put in the public domai, I am requesting to see all information held regarding the change programme and NAO value for money inquiry at the earliest opportunity.

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

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-246036)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 24 January in which you asked a
number of questions.  I will respond to each of these in turn.

 

 1. PASC calls for the proposals to be published in time for the successor
committee to consider them, so on that basis can PHSO now release into
the public domain the proposal for its change programme?

The latest information about PHSO’s change programme can be found in
our Strategic Plan which is available on our website here:
[1]www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/29034/PHSO_Strategic_plan_2015-16_to_2017-18.pdf

Additional information can also be found in our annual report at the
following link: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk/ar2015

Beyond this, we do hold additional information relating to the change
programme.  However, your request as currently framed is so broad as to
engage section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This is the
exemption applies where it would be too costly to extract all information
relevant to a request.  We would be happy to consider a revised and
narrowed request, however, and the information on our website might assist
you in doing this.

 2. 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.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [3]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [4][email address]

 

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #312333 email]]
Sent: 24 January 2016 18:40
To: foiofficer
Subject: Freedom of Information request - PHSO Change Programme and Value
for money

 

     Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
    
     On 10th June 2015 I made the following request.
    
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
    
     I asked for the following information;
    
     In March 2015 PASC released a report entitled 'Investigating
     clinical incidents in the NHS' That report was critical of present
     complaint handling at PHSO and called on the Ombudsman to deliver
     an internal change programme.
    
     75. Complainants deserve an Ombudsman they can have confidence in.
     There are
     serious questions about the capacity and capability of the
     Ombudsmans office, in
     particular in relation to complaints involving clinical matters. We
     are aware of
     considerable anguish and disquiet where Parliamentary and Health
     Service
     Ombudsman investigations fail to uncover the truth, and of pain
     inflicted by the
     Ombudsmans defensiveness and reluctance to admit mistakes. This
     underlines the
     need for improved competence and culture change throughout the
     system, including in
     the PHSO. PHSO leadership is aware of the need for this change, but
     it is proving more
     challenging than expected. We welcome the PHSOs aim to improve the
     quality and
     accessibility of its services. However, the Ombudsmans office is
     under considerable
     strain. Fundamental reform of the Ombudsman system is needed.
    
     81. We recommend that the Ombudsmans change programme be its main
     priority in the
     immediate future. The Ombudsman should publish proposals on the
     progress of its
     change programme, set out the form it will take from now on, what
     it is intended to
     achieve, and by when. These proposals should be published in time
     for our successor
     Committee to consider them.
    
     1) PASC calls for the proposals to be published in time for the
     successor committee to consider them, so on that basis can PHSO now
     release into the public domain the proposal for its change
     programme?
    
     2) 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?
    
     These proposals were not published in time for the successor
     committee to consider them (12.1.16 meeting) but were promised to
     the committee for early February. Since PASC asked for the plans to
     be 'published' ie. put in the public domai, I am requesting to see
     all information held regarding the change programme and NAO value
     for money inquiry at the earliest opportunity.
    
     Yours faithfully,
    
     Della Reynolds
    
     phsothefacts Pressure Group
    
     -------------------------------------------------------------------
    
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References

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phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

In the PACAC meeting of 12.1.16 Bernard Jenkin made it clear that the requested 'change programme' was not the same as the 'strategic plan'.

Q82 Chair: Okay, but when we asked for you to make your change programme your main effort, we had in mind the culture and behaviour of the organisation. We asked you to set out your proposals on the form it will take from now on, and what it is intended to achieve and by when. We do not feel we have seen those proposals.

He then went on to clarify what is meant by a 'change programme'.

"Where is the programme where you are talking to your staff about what values the organisation has, how those values are reflected in the way you treat each other, and the openness, honesty and frankness with which you deal with the problems that emerge? Everything we have learned about customer-facing organisations is that customers will only feel as well looked after as the staff feel looked after by the management. Where is the document that goes into all this, which asks what kind of day do staff have: what feels like a good day for a member of staff in relationships with their colleagues? What feels like a bad day? How do we make sure that staff have more good days in the office and fewer bad days? That is about how people interact with each other and trust each other. Where is that document?"

Dame Julie Mellor replied;
As a result of the staff survey results last summer, we have had a set of activities across the organisation of volunteers working on the four areas, which we have agreed with staff that we want to focus on, that I think you are talking about. The result of that activity is coming to the board and I would be delighted to share that with you.
Dame Julie Mellor: It is coming to our board meeting at the end of January, so you can have it in February.

For the sake of clarity I am asking to see the 'change programme' which has been recorded and sent to Bernard Jenkin and PACAC in February. We can see from the above dialogue that this document exists and PACAC requested that it be put in the public domain in recognition of public interest.

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.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Can you explain the delay in providing me with the information I have requested? The document has been clearly identified and there is supporting evidence that it is recorded information which has been sent to PACAC a month ago. The change programme was order to be in the public domain before the last PACAC meeting. Are you prepared to put it in the public domain now and if not why not?

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

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-249795)

 

I am writing further to your email of 23 February 2016 in which you asked
to see a copy of a specific document referred to during the recent PACAC
scrutiny session.  Thank you for clarifying your previous request.

The document in question did not exist at the time you made your request.
The results of the staff activity that Dame Julie Mellor referred to in
the PACAC hearing came to the Board in March and, as a result, have not
yet been provided to PACAC.  An extension to the original deadline has
been agreed and this information will be provided to PACAC shortly.  It is
likely that PACAC will publish this information in due course.

 

I hope that this information is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

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 #312333 email]]
Sent: 23 February 2016 09:18
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - PHSO Change Programme and
Value for money

 

     Dear foiofficer,
    
     In the PACAC meeting of 12.1.16 Bernard Jenkin made it clear that
     the requested 'change programme' was not the same as the 'strategic
     plan'.
    
     Q82 Chair: Okay, but when we asked for you to make your change
     programme your main effort, we had in mind the culture and
     behaviour of the organisation. We asked you to set out your
     proposals on the form it will take from now on, and what it is
     intended to achieve and by when. We do not feel we have seen those
     proposals.
    
     He then went on to clarify what is meant by a 'change programme'.
    
     "Where is the programme where you are talking to your staff about
     what values the organisation has, how those values are reflected in
     the way you treat each other, and the openness, honesty and
     frankness with which you deal with the problems that emerge?
     Everything we have learned about customer-facing organisations is
     that customers will only feel as well looked after as the staff
     feel looked after by the management. Where is the document that
     goes into all this, which asks what kind of day do staff have: what
     feels like a good day for a member of staff in relationships with
     their colleagues? What feels like a bad day? How do we make sure
     that staff have more good days in the office and fewer bad days?
     That is about how people interact with each other and trust each
     other. Where is that document?"
    
     Dame Julie Mellor replied;
     As a result of the staff survey results last summer, we have had a
     set of activities across the organisation of volunteers working on
     the four areas, which we have agreed with staff that we want to
     focus on, that I think you are talking about. The result of that
     activity is coming to the board and I would be delighted to share
     that with you.
     Dame Julie Mellor: It is coming to our board meeting at the end of
     January, so you can have it in February.
    
     For the sake of clarity I am asking to see the 'change programme'
     which has been recorded and sent to Bernard Jenkin and PACAC in
     February. We can see from the above dialogue that this document
     exists and PACAC requested that it be put in the public domain in
     recognition of public interest.
    
     Yours sincerely,
    
     Della Reynolds
    
     phsothefacts Pressure Group
    
    

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phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

As we have now identified the data in question is it possible to release it following this FOI request for said information?

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

 

Your information request (FDN-253239)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 1 April 2016, in which you asked
us to provide information which Dame Julie has provided to PACAC. 

 

This information has not yet been passed to PACAC, therefore we still do
not hold information relevant to your request.  As I stated in my previous
email, it is likely that PACAC will publish this information in due
course.

 

Yours sincerely

     

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

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 #312333 email]]
Sent: 01 April 2016 22:37
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - PHSO Change Programme and
Value for money (FDN-249795)

 

Dear foiofficer,

As we have now identified the data in question is it possible to release
it following this FOI request for said information?

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

show quoted sections

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear foiofficer,

Details of the change programme where requested in January and offered to PACAC in February. Now we are at the end of April (early May) and the change programme still does not exist. There is no change programme. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Since Dame Julie Mellor had already been taken with presenting this plan BEFORE PACAC questioned her, you would have thought that she would step on it.

From this part of her evidence she seems to have no idea how to address the PHSO employee culture -regarded by some a toxic.

And cannot distinguish the internal culture from process, as Bernard Jenkin states.

Q75 ..

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...

Since her degree is in experimental psychology, this is worrying......

Q75 Chair: That brings us to the question of the change programme. What you describe in your answer sound and feel more like changes to process rather than changes in what one might call culture, but perhaps we had better describe it as attitude and behaviour of staff. In our clinical incidents investigation report that was produced just before the election, we were quite critical of your capacity and capability to deal with the quantity and nature of the complaints that you have to deal with, particularly from the NHS. We said that we expect PHSO to make its internal change programme its main effort. Would you say that you have done that?

Dame Julie Mellor: Yes, I would. Chair, may I comment on your first point about culture and then I will comment on the change programme? In terms of culture, I think a common definition is “the way we do things around here”. It is the summation of everything. It is the summation of the training that staff receive, their working practices and the guidelines that they are asked to follow, which is where the four things I have outlined come in. It is the technology support that is available to people to do the job efficiently and quickly, and so on. I think all the things that we are developing and improving have an impact upon culture over time.

In terms of your question about the change programme, two years ago we set out on an ambitious five-year programme to modernise our service. We were clear on the four things that we wanted to achieve and they are in our strategy. It is about making it easier for people to find us, doing more cases and providing an excellent service, using the insight from the higher volume complaints to make sure that people’s aspiration that their complaint makes a difference is honoured by us and that you can follow that through, and that that applies to complaint handling as well as service, and it is about us being an efficient and effective organisation.

Our change programme is to deliver those four things, and we have been very clear that we were doing it in three stages. The first is the one that has just been completed in the annual report that you are looking at today, which was to meet demand so that, when people were not being taken seriously, anyone who comes to us with a case to answer gets an investigation and a decision from us. The second, which we are right in the middle of, is some of what you have just been asking about. That is about the quality of the service, how we treat people, and how we make sure that we are independent and impartial, and the third is preparing for any reform to the legislation and the creation of a new service. Our whole set of activity, from our strategy through to our business plans through to what then gets delivered in each year, is our change programme.

Q76 Chair: Again, the three things you have just mentioned are all about activity and process. They are not directly addressing culture, and they are not directly addressing the behaviour and attitude of staff. How much easier would it be if the behaviour and attitude of your staff was exactly right? Wouldn’t all these other things flow from that change in culture, which so many people outside your organisation do not feel they see?

Dame Julie Mellor: I will ask Mick to come in, but staff do what their leaders ask them to do. I have said this to the Committee before. What we are saying is that there are changes in expectation and our service charter describes those expectations. That is then what we expect our staff to do, but you cannot expect staff to come up with that if it is not what they have been asked to do in the past. That is why it has been so important to listen, to develop the service charter and to introduce the service model, as we did in August, which now makes it very clear to staff—they find it very supportive—what is expected of them. It reduces uncertainty. They are clearer, and they are therefore better equipped to deliver. Mick, did you want to say something?

Mick Martin: No.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-256460)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 2 May 2016 to advise that the
submission to PACAC on staff engagement (or ‘change programme’) has now
been finalised and was passed to the Committee on 25 May 2016.

 

Given that you have previously requested a copy of this information, we
have considered whether or not we are able to make this information
available under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).  However, as
there are restrictions on publishing information prepared specifically for
the Committee, we got in contact with the House of Commons whose FOI team
have advised that it is protected by parliamentary privilege.  This means
that it would also be exempt in line with section 34 FOIA, the
parliamentary privilege exemption.  However, the Committee may decide to
publish the document in due course, in which case it would be publically
available.  If we become aware that this information is going to be
published, we will let you know as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

 

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #312333 email]]
Sent: 02 May 2016 15:16
To: InformationRights
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - PHSO Change Programme
(FDN-249795)

 

Dear foiofficer,

Details of the change programme where requested in January and offered to
PACAC in February.  Now we are at the end of April (early May) and the
change programme still does not exist.  There is no change programme. 
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Yours sincerely,

phsothefacts Pressure Group

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