Staff Training continued!

D. Speers 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 partially successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Dear foiofficer,
Following on from my recent FOI Request.......can I make a fresh request please.I have noted this case recently and believe it covers many aspects re PHSO Staff training
http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.a...
Perhaps after reading this, you can advise me please or any detail you may wish to add.

Thank you, I appreciate your time!
Yours faithfully,

D. Speers

informationrights@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.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Speers

Thank you for your email of 3 July 2016. I am afraid it is not clear to us what information you are seeking under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

You seem to be asking us to provide you with commentary on an article. As you may be aware, statements of opinion are only accessible under FOIA where such an opinion is already recorded.

In line with section 1(3) FOIA, we will need to ask you for further information so that we are able to identify and locate the information requested.

Alternatively, if you would like us to look again at the way we processed an information request for you previously, please provide us with a reference number or a link to it so that we know which request you are referring to.

Yours sincerely

Aimee Gasston
Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

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

show quoted sections

Dear InformationRights,
I am responding to the kind email, from Aimee Gaston, which quoted Section 1(3) of the FOIA and having reread the information I sent you........I agree it is not specific enough. Therefore I feel I can clearly identify my area of concern now.......This is the relevant paragraph: "Following this decision, it may be difficult for a public authority to justify non-disclosure if a different public authority has already disclosed information of the same type. If other ombudsmen have released similar information then my argument is that the PHSO should do likewise." Following this decision, it may be difficult for a public authority to justify non-disclosure if a different public authority has already disclosed information of the same type. I believe this decision was upheld by the Information Commissioner on appeal.

As aiming to keep this FOI request in the public domain, I therefore refer you to my original request, asked in March this year!, which for ease of ref I have copied again: I asked 3 questions & said!
"Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
I note the recent publicity which details the Agency Staff brought in to "deal with the backlog of complaints"

Three questions please:
1. What specific training do PHSO investigative staff have ?

2. What training in investigative process's do temporary agency staff have?

Finally:
3. Can I please have contact details (email or addresses)for your Director of Investigations or his assistant as my emails keep bouncing back......if there is a technical glitch I may need to post!

Thank you!

Yours faithfully,

D. Speers

Informationrights@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.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Speers

 

Your information request (FDN-262493)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 4 July 2016, in which you asked
the following questions:

 

1. What specific training do PHSO investigative staff have ?

2. What training in investigative process's do temporary agency staff
have?

3. Can I please have contact details (email or addresses)for your Director
of Investigations or his assistant as my emails keep bouncing back......if
there is a technical glitch I may need to post!

 

In relation to your first two questions, our response of 21 April 2016
(our reference: FDN-252538) is still broadly accurate.  This is available
to view online at:
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

 

Since then, the timing of the legal induction has reduced to two hours. 
We have also recommenced quarterly training events for investigators.   In
June all investigators were invited to a three hour session led by
Assistant Directors to look at how we scope investigations and how we
share emerging thinking during an investigation.  The next quarterly
training events are likely to be in October 2016.

 

Finally, I would like to confirm that PHSO’s Director of Investigation
post is currently vacant – Russell Barr has left the organisation. 
However, it is not necessary to have the contact details of an individual
and you can find general contact details on our website here:
[2]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/contact-us

 

In addition, our postal address is:

 

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

 

I hope that this information is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [4][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: D. Speers [mailto:[FOI #343362 email]]
Sent: 04 July 2016 14:31
To: InformationRights
Subject: FDN-262493 - RE: Freedom of Information request - Staff Training
continued!

 

Dear InformationRights,
I am responding to the kind email, from Aimee Gaston, which quoted Section
1(3) of the FOIA and having reread the information I sent you........I 
agree it is not specific enough. Therefore I feel I can clearly identify
my area of concern now.......This is the relevant paragraph: "Following
this decision, it may be difficult for a public authority to justify
non-disclosure if a different public authority has already disclosed
information of the same type. If other ombudsmen have released similar
information  then my argument is that the PHSO should do likewise." 
Following this decision, it may be difficult for a public authority to
justify non-disclosure if a different public authority has already
disclosed information of the same type. I believe this decision was upheld
by the Information Commissioner on appeal.

As aiming to keep this FOI request in the public domain, I therefore refer
you to my original request, asked in March this year!, which for ease of
ref I have copied again: I asked 3 questions & said!
"Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
I note the recent publicity which details the Agency Staff brought in to
"deal with the backlog of complaints"

Three questions please:
1. What specific training do PHSO investigative staff have ?

2. What training in investigative process's do temporary agency staff
have?

Finally:
3. Can I please have contact details (email or addresses)for your Director
of Investigations or his assistant as my emails keep bouncing back......if
there is a technical glitch I may need to post!

Thank you!

Yours faithfully,

D. Speers

show quoted sections

J Roberts left an annotation ()

At the Pacac hearing today:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/commi...

Amanda Campbell made a big thing of 2,000 training days having been 'invested' in staff over a particular period (possibly 2017/18, I can't remember). But what exactly does this mean?

“Of all the positions filled during 2017/18:

i. 107 were full time permanent positions.
ii. 73 were full time temporary positions.
iii.6 were part time permanent positions.
iv. 2 were part time temporary positions."

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

If 2017/18, did 188 new staff each receive about 2 days of training? I hope the 67 new caseworkers and 19 intake caseworkers received more than 10. What sort of training was it - online, one-to-one, class-based?

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Annual Report and Accounts 2019-2020 (page 15)

'Over the past year, the Learning and Development Team has supported the development of a Training Academy for new caseworkers. The Academy offers corporate induction and mandatory eLearning modules, as well as classroom training.

After initial training, new caseworkers are assigned to work for a dedicated Academy operations manager to provide high levels of support and guidance. They remain in this environment for a number of months, before moving on to work in operational casework teams.

Following last year’s pilot, we are also delivering a sector-leading accreditation programme for senior caseworkers. By the end of March 2020, most senior caseworkers had completed the accreditation process, qualifying them to work with greater autonomy.'

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

Given that:

'1. There were 5,744 Parliamentary complaints received in 2018/19

2. There were 38 Parliamentary cases upheld or partly upheld at
investigation in 2018/19 (3 upheld, 35 partly upheld)'

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

I hope this new training programme will stop fully upheld Parliamentary complaints from becoming a thing of the past.

C Rock left an annotation ()

Thank you J Roberts.... "...sector-leading accreditation programme for senior caseworkers" appears to be an puerile internal opinion with no substantiation. PHSO can hardy claim that lying continued to present (2020) did not harm complainant with obvious intent, since the PHSO simply declines to investigate on the assumption of innocence. The PHSO still has no Complaint System, and in my case "...trusted... senior caseworkers.." lied again, proving harm was endemic to process.

The PHSO's wild imagination (No .. Assertion) that all complaints Must be about the prime compliant is also a total nonsense. The PHSO himself R Behrens has shown total dishonour in perpetuating arrogant claim that the PHSO (i.e. all and any reporting to himself) could possibly cause harm. So much so that not one approach has been made to deal with the process that lies, denigration, mocking of disability and similar abuses of the complainant. Most people would think of that as harm. Not R Behrens, however: opportunities mockingly dismissed with not a care: there are criminal elements here.

The only complaint route offered to me was to take it up with the investigators - who promptly disappeared off the scene (no doubt with due personal reasons) as soon as the colluded and 'dirty' deed was signed by BSMHFT CEO and the Solihull GPs involved. They plainly did not want to deal with the mess and complaints that would arise when secret details were forcibly requested via DPA rules (as shown by point blank refusal to explain unsubstantiated opinions - then months of delay of release to ensure response time-out) .

The slippery PHSO now says "Learning and Development Team has supported the development of a Training Academy ". There is nothing meaningful or substantiated here. How can the very same PHSO move forward whilst leaving a trail of destroyed lives and potentially further deaths as a result of NHS cosy liaisons (which did happen - thanks to self-righteous PHSO) ?

I find these PHSO statements as sickening as any previous while the complainant is left unsupported to deal with years of blatant lying and complainant abuses with not one recognition by these people.

I had to suffer, firstly, the lies and ignorance for 8 years so PHSO could say "Not Worth Investigation... No Further Action Required... Complaints dismissed... case closed" and secondly for the PHSO to cook-up something with NHS (and not even relevant to the complaint) so PHSO could justify to PACAC why it took them that 8 years - but still leaving the complaints unresolved. It is now ELEVEN years unresolved - this is the ongoing corruption in the PHSO.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Evidence from complainants about the PHSO's failure to provide a decent service keeps mounting. In addition your own shocking experience we have:

Trustpilot:

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

Nic Hart's complaint concerning the Ombudsman's handling of the investigation into his daughter's death:

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

'phsothefacts' (and the recently published book):

https://twitter.com/phsothefacts

Despite all of the evidence questioning the PHSO's fitness for purpose, I find it alarming that no politician seems concerned that only 0.6% of parliamentary complaints in 2018/19 were upheld to some extent and that only about 1 in every 1,900 was fully upheld. Maybe politicians are more interested in the PHSO's energy efficiency or in the time it took the organisation to process the 99.4% of complaints that had no positive outcome for complainants.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

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 ()

PACAC - Second Special Report of Session 2019–21

[PACAC]

"5. The Committee recommends that future value for money studies should provide assurance on the quality of the PHSO’s casework, by comparing it with best practice in the Ombudsman sector. (Paragraph 38)"

[PHSO RESPONSE]

"We welcome the Committee’s recognition of the benefits of the independent peer review of PHSO’s Value for Money in 2018. We agree with the Committee that casework quality is an important element of value for money.

Over the coming months, we will explore the most effective approach to undertaking this work and share our plans with the Committee."

https://committees.parliament.uk/publica...

Best practice in the Ombudsman sector - where is that to be found?

J Roberts left an annotation ()

The latest job advertised related to staff training:

“Learning & Development Coordination Administrator Apprentice

The successful candidate will need to manage competing priorities and stakeholders to meet tight deadlines, whilst providing customer service excellence as we plan, deliver, and evaluate training and development activities across our exciting new L&D curriculum. 

You will be the face of our corporate induction sessions and able to deliver sessions both face to face and virtually, helping to welcome new starters into the organisation and start them on the pathway to develop their careers.”

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...

From the reviews available on recruitment websites, this is likely to be a difficult job.

Two reviews on the Indeed:

"Very challenging environment with no room for manoeuvre due to strict management/ policies in place. Policies not applied fairly across teams. No room for progression and no security of jobs given that you are shown the door fairly quickly if you are unable to perform to set targets (which is easily done as the work is demanding). Great colleagues though who made the role and time there worthwhile."

and;

"An every changing environment quite hard to keep up with all the changes. Very strict on staff and no understanding of work and life balance. Some staff and management but most don't have any experience of how to manage a team. Very focused on targets but need to realise they need quality not quantity. Staff want to make a difference but are restricted by policies."

https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Parliamenta...

The reviews on Glassdoor are generally bad too – two this year and four from 2019.

One recommends the place, one is neutral and four do not recommend it.

'Appalling management truly a circus of very dishonest leadership.' (July 2020)

'No opportunites for progression or development.' (January 2020)

'Run like a call centre.' (August 2019)

'When I left morale was extremely low due to the actions of senior management.' (August 2019)

'Worthy work and good people.' (May 2019)

'They focus only on the number of cases; quality or the correct decision or actions are still not paramount' ((January 2019).

https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Parl...