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...