PHSO's Trustpilot account

J Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman did not have the information requested.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I see that your organisation has a Trustpilot account:

"This company has a Trustpilot account but we have no records of them asking their customers for reviews."

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

1. Please provide the date on which you acquired your Trustpilot account.

2. Please provide all recorded information surrounding your decision to acquire the Trustpilot account.

3. Please provide all recorded information concerning any intentions or plans to seek reviews of your service by PHSO complainants on Trustpilot.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J Roberts,

 

RE: Your information request:

 

I write in response to your email to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman (PHSO) 18 November 2019 requesting information under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

Request:

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

 

I see that your organisation has a Trustpilot account:

 

"This company has a Trustpilot account but we have no records of them
asking their customers for reviews."

 

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...

 

1.  Please provide the date on which you acquired your Trustpilot account.

 

2.  Please provide all recorded information surrounding your decision to
acquire the Trustpilot account. 

 

3.  Please provide all recorded information concerning any intentions or
plans to seek reviews of your service by PHSO complainants on
Trustpilot.  

 

Yours faithfully,

 

J Roberts

 

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

 

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[FOI #621144 email]

 

Response:

I have addressed each point below in the same order as you have asked:

 

 1. Please provide the date on which you acquired your Trustpilot account.

 

Information not held.

 

 2. Please provide all recorded information surrounding your decision to
acquire the Trustpilot account. 

 

Information not held.

 

 3. Please provide all recorded information concerning any intentions or
plans to seek reviews of your service by PHSO complainants on
Trustpilot.  

 

Information not held. We are not currently seeking reviews of our service
by PHSO complainants on Trustpilot.

 

If you believe we have made an error in the way I have processed your
information request, it is open to you to request an internal review. You
can do this by writing to us by post or by email to
[1][PHSO request email] . You will need to specify that the
nature of the issue is and we can consider the matter further. Beyond
that, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s
Office ([2]www.ico.org.uk ) or seek a judicial remedy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[PHSO request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

J Roberts left an annotation ()

An unprecedented 5 star review of the PHSO has appeared on Trustpilot:

"I received a letter from the clinic with at least some resemblance of an apology..."

Click link above for further details.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J Roberts,

 

RE: Your information request: R0001059

 

I write in response to your email to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman (PHSO) 15 January 2020 requesting information under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

Request:

Healthwatch England has found that 88 per cent of NHS trusts are failing
to comply with all legal requirements concerning the collection and
recording of information by complainants:

 

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...

 

The article states that Sir Robert Francis QC believes that the PHSO
should become more involved with trusts:

 

'One persistent problem remained the gap, he said, between hospitals and
the national Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Sir Robert argued
commissioners of NHS services should be more involved.'

 

Please provide all information you hold related to Sir Robert Francis QC
and/or Healthcare England on the subject of your increased role with NHS
trusts/hospitals.   This information may be contained in minutes, reports,
emails etc.  I am only interested in information from 1 September 2019.  
If you conduct an electronic search of your records, please provide
details of the search terms used and specify what electronic records were
searched.

 

Response:

I can confirm that the information you have requested Is not held.

 

If you believe we have made an error in the way I have processed your
information request, it is open to you to request an internal review. You
can do this by writing to us by post or by email to
[1][PHSO request email] . You will need to specify that the
nature of the issue is and we can consider the matter further. Beyond
that, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s
Office ([2]www.ico.org.uk ) or seek a judicial remedy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[PHSO request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

J Roberts left an annotation ()

This response should have been sent here:

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

But since I was brought here, I had a look at the latest PHSO reviews on Trustpilot:

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

The 5-star review I referred to earlier in the thread has not been repeated. The latest reviews include this from someone who was told not to use the service again:

'not going to take any further complaints from me in the future as I am "taking up their time for which could be spent looking at other people's complaints and therefore preventing them from looking at other complaints".'

And this from someone who identifies as an NHS clinician:

'[A]s a family we were bullied by ITU staff to switch off his ventilator'.

'My father has thankfully been out of hospital for the last 5 years and is very well'.

I understand that this isn't the forum for people to discuss PHSO performance, but some readers may be interested in how the PHSO is faring on Trustpilot.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

The number of PHSO reviews on Trustpilot has passed the 100 milestone. Sadly, there's been no improvement. The 'bads' keep mounting up.

Some extracts from the latest comments:

“I have had the utter misfortune to engage 3 times with PHSO.”

“If you are ploughing a lonely furrow with your PHSO investigation look up phso-thefacts support group which threw me a lifeline when the course of my investigation went awry.”

“What the PHSO puts on their web site about taking non compliance seriously isn't what happens.”

“I've already written to my MP about the shoddy service we received from the ombudsman. Its time something was done other than posting complaints about them on here”

“You can tell by their attitude over the phone when discussing your case that they couldn't care less.”

“If the rating scale had a minus end to it I would have used it heavily.”

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

J Roberts left an annotation ()

All of the latest reviews of PHSO on Trustpilot are 'bad'. 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.'

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

Dr Bruce Newsome writes:

'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 ()

Dr Bruce Newsome's criticism is as sharp as any surgeon's scalpel in his latest article on the PHSO entitled 'Healthcare Needs an Ombudsman':

https://thecritic.co.uk/healthcare-needs...

'Your final champion is supposed to be the Parliamentary & Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO), but this is mistermed in so many ways. It is unaccountable to Parliament, except to submit annual reports. It is unaccountable to the Prime Minister’s Office, except through long-term funding cycles and appointments. It can choose for itself which complaints to investigate or reject. No parliamentary committee or politician can overrule it.'

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 ()

Another dozen reviews have been left on Trustpilot since 2 August 2020.

Still all bad. They include:

1. 'I would have given nil stars if I could.'
2. 'No help no justice.'
3. 'The PHSO are there to protect the establishment...'
4. 'Complete and utter garbage.'
5. 'They should be reformed or scrapped, its a major waste of taxpayers money.'
6. 'Running round in circles from beginning to the end of them refusing to investigate my complaint.'
7. 'Totally shameful. The PHSO should be disbanded and replaced with an HONEST organisation.'
8. 'No matter how much evidence you provide,they will simply ignore it in order to protect.the organisation being complained about.'
9. 'ZERO, ZERO Stars. Sorry but its the truth.'
10. 'Worst customer service, Run by accountants, don't care about patients!'
11. 'I was promised they would investigate and then they changed their mind after contacting the GMC'.
12. 'the UK Administrative Justice Institute called for blogs on an Independent Review of Administrative Justice.'

Here is a link to the blog referred to in 12:

https://ukaji.org/2020/09/22/ukaji-call-...

It's more bad news for the PHSO (and complainants).

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/...

It is shocking to think that had the PHSO not changed how it deals with complaints about 900 people who had 'not upheld' outcomes in 2019/20 might have had their complaints upheld to some extent (1,531 minus 650 = 881). Of course, we will never know for certain. I find it hard to believe, however, that the less detailed approach to investigations adopted by the PHSO has coincided with such a great increase in the number of complainants bringing baseless complaints.

See comment dated 11 October 2020:

'We are making increasing numbers of decisions without the need for a detailed investigation. We have developed our capacity for mediation, enabling us to facilitate conversations between complainants and bodies in jurisdiction.'

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

Hundreds shot down by new rules.

J E Garner left an annotation ()

It would be interesting to qualify what the PHSO deem to be "baseless complaints" and the criteria used to ascertain the same?
I doubt most people would go to all of the trouble to notate a complaint, if they did not feel aggrieved in some way!
The PHSO sound very much like the JCIO, must be a government "independent" body thing.....

J Roberts left an annotation ()

More bad news concerning 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...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Additional Trustpilot reviews since September (see comment of 1/10/20). Like before, all 1-star reviews. No good news on which to end the year, I'm afraid.

1. The PHSO, NMC, GMC, CQC and Health Improvement are all part of the problem and the regulatory bodies appear to have lost the meaning of regulation, accountability and consequences.
2. The answers to my complaints where copied and pasted carbon copies of everyone elses. I was treated as a number not an individual.
3. Left To Languish And Scope Of Their Investigation Narrowed To Bolster Corrupt Govt Aims. Neither Impartial Or Fair
4. I have waited years now for them to act on this but they just keep saying the are looking into it ..how many years do they need when evidence is there for them to see .not fit for purpose
5. This is an organisation that is not fit for purpose. Can you leave less than 1 star?
6. It feels like a brick wall at every turn - are they all in it together? Excuses are given for every argument they are presented with and so can be easily perceived as a corrupt 'ombudsman'.
7. Don’t bother wasting months of your life with these incompetent useless people.
8. ...waste of public money as it always finds In NHS favour.
9. I would put no stars. Absolute rubbish . They are on the public bodies side. I was passed from one caseworker to another.
10. I provided all the evidence. Some of it was highlighted by the PHSO, but then didn't go into why they wouldn't investigate it. All it said was there was "no point" in investigating.
11. Complaining to the PHSO is a waste of time, public £ and, dare I say it, a complete farce really.
12. If PHSO was UK regulated company it would have been shut down years ago. Unfortunately due to the number of serious complaints and total lack of trust in this Government funded service, the PHSO embarked on a PR strategy to point fingers elsewhere.
13. My advice is it would be better to not waste your time with this useless entity - especially if you want to avoid further disappointment.

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

J Roberts left an annotation ()

A load of comments, many critical of the Ombudsman, have added under a piece by David Hencke titled 'The Ombudsman’s much delayed justice train for 50s women lost pensions':

https://davidhencke.com/2021/03/20/revea...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

No improvement in the Trustpilot reviews this year. All reviewers have given the lowest possible star rating. Here's what they said:

1. Readers should be aware of the devastating effect the PHSO can have on their lives if they choose to use the service which essentially props up false NHS claims
2. As for doing a SARS (subject access request) all I got back was completely redacted (blacked out) information. What could be so bad they have to hide every word.
3. This organisation is designed to keep your complaint tied up in the system so that it times out and you will no longer be able to sue the NHS for medical negligence
4. Just another government organisation thats under-funded and solely exists to protect "medical criminals".
5. This is a criminal mental torture behaviour by PHSO.
6. There does not exist any independent bodies in this country for any of these agencies so miscarriages of justice will continue to be covered up and ignored and innocent people abused.
7. Really rubbish another English organisation who cannot do anything just waste your time.
8. Ultimately, we found it a cruel and protracted experience. One we would never choose to undertake again.
9. Steer well clear of any expectation that this outfit are there to give you justice or correct wrongdoing. A sham service that aims to defer, delay and discourage.
10. 6yrs on and stil pursuing a corrupt investigation by phsco, council social services and sanctuary care.
11. Ombudsman is yet again another corrupt company of rubbish
12. My advise it pursue other avenues and give the PHSO a wide birth!
13. The NHS are just as bad.... as soon as they throw the PHSO name into your complaint response, you might as well start choosing what kind of rope would be ideal for a noose, wanting to end the suffering.
14. I had proof in eyewitness, written letters, and it was recorded on my medical notes but they still refused to do anything and just allowed my health trust to cover up

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Still nothing but the lowest possible rating - all 1 stars:

1. The PHSO are a disgrace and not impartial in any way. 10/8/21
2. The Ombudsman had me filling lots of forms, Then they came back saying we too busy to intervene. 8/8/21
3. They appear to be more focused on shutting down the complaint than bringing the large publicly funded bodies of the NHS to account. 4/8/21
4. These people did absolutely nothing to help me. They took my case on in December 2020 and kept fobbing me onto 4 different case workers. 3/8/21
5. Basically this organisation is there to cover up mistakes. All other reviews are correct. There is not justice, no honesty. 20/7/21
6. The lies starts with the pre recorded message upon phoning them: "We treat everyone with respect". 18/7/21
7. Pointless energy sapping waste of time, they should be sued, 15/7/21
8. I followed all the correct processes and the evidence is watertight, but because I did not report my concerns sooner, the Ombudsman cannot investigate – 15/7/21
9. Do not use! This organisation is basically I. The same club as dwp, Hmrc etc and complaining about any will be a complete waste of time. 7/7/21
10. Completely misunderstood the nature if my complaint against livewell southwest, it's almost as though they deliberately misconstrued my complaint 5/7/21
11. This organisation needs to go 29/6/21
12. What an absolute waste of time, full of every excuse, should have written a book on this. 16/6/21
13. They call after months to say your complaint isn’t worth attention Too busy? Doing what? 3/6/21
14. I feel terrible for all those who have come to rely on the PHSO to try and put right the wrongs they have experienced only to find that they are a time consuming, energy draining, incompetent bunch who are morally derelict 24/5/21
15. THESE people are simply not worth talking to. 22/5/21

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Latest Trustpilot reviews:

1. Some of the helpline staff are initially sympathetic, but once you submit a complaint to the PHSO they seem invariably to side with the government department. 18/9/21
2. They initially lost my report, then told me records said my case was marked as resolved by the hospital even though I had email evidence that it wasn’t. 16/9/21
3. I am a postgraduate in Law, who has done LPC, found PHSO is being staffed with totally incompetent with low calibre in education 3/9/21
4. Sadly I have to agree with everyone else. It took two years to get our complaint against the Environment Agency looked at … 1/9/21
…..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................
5. I've put 3 stars because so far, the contact with the Case Worker has been fairly positive. So I will write an updated review in due course. * 13/9/21
…................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
6. I wish i had read all these reviews before starting this process! 27/8/21
7. Rubbish service supported by government and tax payers money 22/8/21
8. Be aware that the PHSO and its staff are not only incompetent but will not listen to reason and should come with a health warning [retired solicitor] 21/8/21
9. I used this service last year and basically it was a waste of my time! They lie, pass you on from invisible case worker to invisible case workers 19/8/21

* I've highlighted this review because it's not a 1 star.