There is ONLY one voluntary led PHSO pressure group; so WHO at the PHSO is "listening"?

Fiona Watts 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,

Last year I turned down the opportunity to be on the Service Panel because it seemed to be a costly PR use of public money and resources when all the issues and answers on how to improve the PHSO can be found in the victim's feedback provided by PHSO -the-facts Pressure Group.

Until I read the Terms of Reference, I genuinely thought that I might be able to make a positive difference. However, the REAL answers on how to improve the PHSO lies with this group and The Patients Association.

http://phsothefacts.com/phso-pressure-gr...

The PHSO the facts Pressure Group represents victims of straightforward PHSO maladministration. I have got to know some members of the group and have seen some of that data that confirms this maladministration.

My two FOI questions are in respect of the above summary;
1. When was the last time Mick Martin responded to correspondence from the representative of this voluntary led Pressure Group?
2. How many emails, letters and phone calls has Mick Martin failed to acknowledge in 2015?
3. In light of Russell Barr's BLOG comments last year; How many thank you letters and cards from happy service users has Mr Martin received THIS year?

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

foiofficer, 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.

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All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
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the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

D. Speers left an annotation ()

But what a cohesive group of volunteers!

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Absolutely Dee - when you consider the large teams of people with computers, desks, PA's, secretaries etc....

http://phsothefacts.com/background/

What I like about the PHSO the Facts Pressure Group is that after years of being told that I have imagined these injustices ... one discovers that so many of us have been victims of similar treatment, incidents, cover ups and maladministration!

The group has some very helpful and supportive folk in it too - like you Dee!

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

All the time we were out there on our own PHSO could whitewash our cases and blame the victim. They determined that any evidence you submitted was only your 'perception' of injustice whereas all statements made by the public bodies were beyond challenge. Now together as the PHSO Pressure Group we can see a bigger picture and it is one of systemic corruption and denial of justice. Finally, the tide is turning against the Ombudsman who believed themselves to be untouchable. The Pressure Group will continue to monitor and publicise the actions of PHSO until we have a reformed body which actually protects the citizen and not the organisation.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Dear PHSO The Facts Pressure Group,

You are spot on when you write;
"They determined that any evidence you submitted was only your 'perception' of injustice whereas all statements made by the public bodies were beyond challenge."

... and these Public Bodies then withhold that data which would prove their maladminsitration or misconduct .... knowing that the ICO and PHSO will NEVER challenge them for the data that they continue to withhold!

This Pressure Group has been a life line for so many people from different walks of life, including doctors, but it is run by an unfunded volunteer who does not get enough praise for her hard work, campaign methods and ethics.

The PHSO wasted my time, resources and energy between 2011 and 2015, but I will be eternally grateful to the PHSO Pressure Group for being there - when I became too ill to cope.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Mick 'Mr Communication' Martin is keen to tell the public all about 'The human cost of poor communication'.

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/our...
::::

He says:

The human contact – the way people are treated, the way they are treated when they make a complaint and whether an apology is provided – really does matter in public services.

If people don't get these human elements right then the public's confidence in the service will not be restored.

::::

Quite right. And who could disagree with that?

........Apparently the PHSO can - as these lofty sentiments don't apply to himself, or his organisation.

::::
I have made a partial complaint about my request being vexed erroneously( upheld by a court) since the judge had a few pithy remarks about the PHSO's handling of the request.....and yet I have never had a reply on the question of where this complaint has gone,or who is dealing with it. If anyone.

It's difficult for complainants even to get a receipt of delivery of a complaint, let alone have it investigated.

And complainants will be familiar with the PHSO's advanced 'black hole' techniques.

'Case closed ..Because we say so.. And we don't have to tell you why' letters.

::::

And as is, it would seem that 'Mr Communication' doesn't wish communicate with the tax-paying public at whom he is addressing his remarks.

So perhaps, before venturing into PR territory again, he might attend to his own performance and organisational responses - before holding forth and trying to defray the constant black hole criticism of the PHSO.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Can't wait till the 'blue sky' thinking put into the new PHSO service charter is in place and we can all hold staff to account on how they deliver. Pretty sure that 'we promise to investigate complaints about our own organisation and communicate the findings to the customer' will be high on the to do list.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Watts

 

Thank you for your email of 5 February 2015 in which you requested the
following information:

 

 1. When was the last time Mick Martin responded to correspondence from
the representative of this voluntary led Pressure Group?
(PHSOthefacts)
 2. How many emails, letters and phone calls has Mick Martin failed to
acknowledge in 2015?
 3. In light of Russell Barr's BLOG comments last year; how many thank you
letters and cards from happy service users has Mr Martin received THIS
year?

 

Firstly, I can confirm that Mr Martin, our Managing Director, last
responded personally to the PHSOthefacts email address on 14 October 2014.
While Mr Martin has not written to PHSOthefacts personally since this
time, staff with day to day responsibility for stakeholder engagement, the
customer charter workshops, and our customer feedback teams are likely to
have corresponded with them. 

 

With regard to your second point, we aim to acknowledge all written
correspondence on receipt.  We do not keep a record of where that hasn’t
happened and I can only apologise if that has been your experience. 
Nonetheless, as we do not record it, I am unable to provide you with any
information under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

Turning to your final query, it is worth noting that our customer feedback
program uses a series of feedback methodologies that enables our customers
to tell us about their experiences.  These include:

o Monthly telephone surveys of initial enquiries, closed investigations
and closed reviews;
o Monthly online surveys of customers at the end of the casework process
(enquiries, closed investigations and closed reviews); and
o Customer Care team feedback mechanism, throughout the customer
journey.

Though we have no record of Mr Martin receiving any thank you letters or
cards from service users personally this year, this doesn’t mean the
office hasn’t received any. While feedback may be sent directly to our
Managing Director or other executive management staff, it is more likely
to be directed through other avenues available for people to provide
feedback such as those above. 

 

I hope you find this information helpful.  If you have any further
queries, or would like to ask for a review of my decision you can write to
me at [1][email address].

 

Regards

 

David Thomas

FOI/Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

E: [2][email address]

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

 

 

 

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

References

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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Despite this PHSO worthy battery of responders, I'm still waiting to hear from the employee who is supposedly going to investigate a complaint that I made against two members and of staff - in April 2014.....

1 staff with day to day responsibility for stakeholder engagement
2 the customer charter workshops
3 and our customer feedback teams are likely to
have corresponded with them.
4 Monthly telephone surveys of initial enquiries, closed investigations
and closed reviews;
5 Monthly online surveys of customers at the end of the casework process(enquiries, closed investigations and closed reviews); and
6 Customer Care team feedback mechanism, throughout the customer
journey.

If the only the PHSO would allocate the case to someone,...anyone.. then we could agree on the investigation framework.

::::

'Though we have no record of Mr Martin receiving any thank you letters or cards from service users personally this year'.

Surprise!

Dear foiofficer,

I am dissapointed to see that my question has not received a transparent response under UK data law.

But I am grateful that my FOI inquiry has been answered by someone who has skillfully monitored the PHSO.

As follows;

Jt Oakley left an annotation ( 6 March 2015)

Despite this PHSO worthy battery of responders, I'm still waiting to hear from the employee who is supposedly going to investigate a complaint that I made against two members and of staff - in April 2014.....

1 staff with day to day responsibility for stakeholder engagement
2 the customer charter workshops
3 and our customer feedback teams are likely to have corresponded with them.
4 Monthly telephone surveys of initial enquiries, closed investigations and closed reviews;
5 Monthly online surveys of customers at the end of the casework process(enquiries, closed investigations and closed reviews);
and 6 Customer Care team feedback mechanism, throughout the customer journey.

If the only the PHSO would allocate the case to someone,...anyone.. then we could agree on the investigation framework.

http://phsothefacts.com/double-scrutiny-...

I am loath to progress an Internal Review (because as James Titcombe explained at a conference this week following the report on how the PHSO investigated the tragic death of his son) the general public is finding communications with the PHSO more stressful, traumatic and upsetting than the original tragedy.

The PHSO The Facts Pressure Group is the ONLY PHSO pressure group in the UK. Your response to my FOI queries creates more queries than answers.

Why?

The fact that the Pressure group's representative was last contacted 6 months ago ..... brings into question The Parliamentary Health Service's feedback to Parliament, especially Bernard Jenkins MP and PASC.

http://phsothefacts.com/pasc/

If you are able to progress a more transparent response without an Internal Review, then this would be preferable.

Many thanks for your time on my attempt to verify whether the data distributed by the PHSO Board is genuine or just more PR.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Watts

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.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

David Thomas
Though we have no record of Mr Martin receiving any thank you letters or
cards from service users personally this year, this doesn’t mean the
office hasn’t received any.
Yes it probably does!
More playing with words.
I think it's highly unlikely that the PHSO has received any thank you letters this year! If it had, Mr Thomas would have used to opportunity to say so.
Pitiful that The Ombudsman wreaks more havoc on people's lives than the original matter they came to her with.
Thank you cards? Possibly from outside contractors.
More importantly- how many letters of apology have they SENT OUT this year?
Ooops - we know the answer to that one.
They don't keep a record of it.
Did anybody really think that Russell Barr and Mick Martin were going to make a difference?
An organisation is led by the Head and this one's has still got hers firming stuck in the sand!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I agree CAPurkis.

It seems that the FOIA team have been amalgamated with the PR department.

:::

A FOIA request asks about information on file - which is available under the Act.

The PHSO's correct response is to say that there is no information on the file.

Or there is. And provide it.

Or state the correct FOIA sections, if the information is not available to the public.

..... Not hazard a guess that there 'might be' as a defensive PR statement.

Simply because the PHSO states that thank- you letters are in abundance.

On that basis ..there equally 'might be' elephants roaming Millbank.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

I think all this talk from the PHSO about compliments received is a load of baloney.

On their website prominently displayed is this message:

"COMPLIMENTS

If you think there is something we have done well, we would like to hear from you. If you would like to tell us about your experience, please contact us on 0345 015 4033 choosing option 3 or send us feedback using this form."

Considering the prominence of this entreaty, the fact that only 2 calls were recorded as compliments between December 2014 and January 2015 is quite sobering (In a spirit of generosity I have assumed that these calls were not from the same person). To put things into perspective:

In December 2014 and January 2015 a total of 589 calls (183 + 406) were received on the 03450154033 from callers who chose option 3 ("If you think we have made a wrong decision").

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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

J Roberts..

You are right. It's just spin. And poor spin at that.

Even the two compliments are a bit sad and debatable - because the PHSO has paid compensation on more than two cases.Logically there should have been more thanks.

But if the PHSO concentrated more on paying better rates for specialist front line staff than employing expensive business types and second-rate spinners, it might not find itself so exposed to defending statements like that.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Watts

Thank you for your email.

The PHSO has no further information to provide you on the subject of your original request. If you are seeking an internal review of my original decision, please respond confirming this.

Regards

David Thomas
FOI/Data Protection Officer
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
E: [email address]
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

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Dear foiofficer,

Thank you for your reply but in respect of the above comments, it seems that J.T Oakley may be correct with the concern (on the 7th March 2015) that the Public Relations team has taken over the data management department.

I wish to close with this statement by The PHSO The Facts pressure group. The founder and representative for our pressure group has not had a best response from Mick Martin since October last year.

PHSO The Facts on 8th February 2015;

"All the time we were out there on our own PHSO could whitewash our cases and blame the victim. They determined that any evidence you submitted was only your 'perception' of injustice whereas all statements made by the public bodies were beyond challenge.

Now together as the PHSO Pressure Group we can see a bigger picture and it is one of systemic corruption and denial of justice."

Dear Mr Thomas,

Thank you for confirming on the 5th March 2015 that although Mick Martin states that he is listening to victims - behind the scenes he had not formally responded to the PHSO Pressure Group's correspondence since October last year.

This data confirms half a year of silence from your Executive?!

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Watts

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.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Spent over an hour talking to PHSO Director of Investigations and his deputy. The "Service Charter" was mentioned but if closing down my valid complaint because "other regulators have looked at this" and "the trust said sorry" then nothing is changing!
Nobody is listening if words like "Imponderables" and "what ifs" are acceptable!
I was told "the decision is what we can do now"
How about your job!!!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Oh dear..all that 'blue-sky thinking' seems to have been wiped out by low cloud and a thick fog.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Thank You J.T.Oakley for your annotations and the link to Mick Martin's comments on 27th February 2015.

I reread the link you provided and read this comment by Mr Martin;
"That's why this month we have launched a systemic review into the quality of health service investigations into avoidable harm."

What systemic review?

I am one of many victims still clueless as to what data the PHSO actually reviewed when the PHSO failed to uphold our cases.

My correspondence of letters, and emails addressed to or copied into Mick Martin have failed to obtain an acknowledgement.

Many thanks to you, D.Speer & C.A Purkis's contributions with PHSO The Facts.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Thank you J. Roberts for your straight talk!

"Baloney"

Such an appropriate word!