Total number of review requests at PHSO

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 partially successful.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

According to data released in August 2014, PHSO carried out 703 reviews following complaint from members of the public in 2013/14
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

As the Ombudsman has discretion to refuse a review this would not reflect the total number of reviews requested. Can you provide me with the number of review requests NOT accepted by PHSO using the same categories as before?

I would also appreciate the same data for 2014/15 if it is not under embargo.

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.

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

Colin Hammonds left an annotation ()

.....after having had the final report and then requesting a review request plus informing the PHSO of the wish to make a formal complaint against them for not having carried out any investigation in the first place, apart from an email saying they will be contacting my "correspondants" i haven't heard much more......does anyone know if there is a limit in time for accepting to carry out a review request or at least informing those concerned that there will be one or not, am i going to be informed of anything, is there a procedure for the PHSO to comply with, is it normal just to leave complainants hanging on like that ?

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

The 'customer' must make a complaint within three months but there is no strict deadline for PHSO to carry out your review. Many people think that due to the time passed they are getting a review only to find that they are turned down some months later. You may find this useful. http://phsothefacts.com/review/

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Colin.. Your at the 'Ghosting ' stage , where the PHSO won't even receipt an email.

It took me an entire year to get a response. External investigator called it being 'locked' into a negative bureaucratic process, which it (PHSO ) treated as unalterable, of refusing to consider the points made for review'.

And even then, my FOIA request got vexed..just for asking how to get a response,

(Court upheld my request. So it was just another annoying obstacle from this extraordinarily arrogant organisation)

I'm only sorry to see that complaints STILL have to put up with this rude and unacceptable attitude towards members of the public.

:::

The only thing to do is to send it recorded delivery by mail...to Dame Julie Mellor.

At least you will have proof of delivery - if it's only a signature.

It may to go into the waste paper bin from there - but someone may have the basic courtesy to receipt it ..if you request a receipt ..so it's worth a try.

Good luck.

Colin Hammonds left an annotation ()

JT Oakley...thank you, i am now considering going to the police..i have to agree with you on all you've said.....Colin

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms Reynolds

 

Your information request (FDN-239676)

 

I am writing further to your email of 11 November 2015, in which you asked
for information on the total number of requests for reviews received in
relation to decisions made by or service provided by the Parliamentary and
Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) over 2013-14 and 2014-15.

 

PHSO’s Customer Care team was established in November 2014, and the
information you have requested has been routinely recorded since then.  We
received a total of 392 requests for review between November 2014 and
March 2015.

However, prior to this point, this information was not routinely recorded
in such a way which would allow us to meet the terms of your request.  As
such, we would need to manually check individual cases to determine which
information was relevant to your request.  To do so would significantly
exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours as set out in the the Freedom of
Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations
2004 and so section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to
this part of your request.

I am sorry we are unable to comply with the full terms of your request but
I hope that the information we have been able to provide has been useful. 
If you are unhappy with my handling of your information request, you can
ask for a review by responding to this email.

 

If you still have concerns after that, you can ask the Information
Commissioner’s Office to look into your case.  Their contact details are
available on their website at: [1]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][email address]

 

 

 

From: phsothefacts Pressure Group
[mailto:[FOI #301162 email]]
Sent: 08 November 2015 15:14
To: foiofficer
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Total number of review requests
at PHSO

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

According to data released in August 2014,  PHSO carried out 703 reviews
following complaint from members of the public in 2013/14
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

As the Ombudsman has  discretion to refuse a review this would not reflect
the total number of reviews requested.  Can you provide me with the number
of review requests NOT accepted by PHSO using the same categories as
before?

I would also appreciate the same data for 2014/15 if it is not under
embargo.

Yours faithfully,

Della Reynolds

phsothefacts Pressure Group

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show quoted sections

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Aimee Gasston,

What a totally sloppy and unsatisfactory response to my request. I don't believe the statements you have made and you have simply concocted a notional figure in order to negate a request for information from the public and protect the reputation of the Ombudsman. Your 'facts' do not match others in the public domain and I request that Steve Brown checks all the details before deciding whether this request has been handling appropriately. If he fails to do so I will take the matter to ICO.

Fact 1. It may be that the Customer Care Team came into existence in November 2014, but before that you had a fully functioning Review Team who must have kept a breakdown of the numbers of review requests made. How can you possible start to 'learn from complaints' when you don't have a record of how many you get in the first place? How would you know if the number was rising or declining? Utter nonsense.

Fact 2. In March 2014, Mick Martin produced a paper entitled 'Learning from Complaints About Us: What are complainants telling us about our service and how are we responding?' At Point 3.1 he states that, "Per month the Review Team receives approximately 280 enquires about our work." That is the total number of enquires (complaints). How did Mr. Martin arrive at that figure if no records were kept until November 2014? https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Fact 3. You stated that over a five month period from November 2014 to March 2015 you received a total of 392 requests. That would average at 78 per month. Well below the rate previously stated by Mr. Martin. Where exactly did this figure come from? It does not match a further response to Mr. Moore on 4.12.15 on a similar subject which states that in August 2015 you received a total of 155 'feedback' complaints and in September 2015 the total was 200 and in October 219, making 574 in a three month period. I would like Mr. Brown to account for the gross discrepancy in these figures. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Fact 4. I also requested that the figures were broken down as before to list those made following assessment, those following investigation and those relating to service delivery. No attempt was made to deliver such a breakdown even though it took 19 working days to provide your response. Mr. Brown, why no breakdown? https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Fact 5. Bernard Jenkin, Chair of PACAC has made it clear that he wishes public bodies to use clear language, a complaint is a complaint he said and should be called a complaint. Why do PHSO interchangeably use the terms, enquiry, review request, complaint and now feedback? Covering the trail with misleading terminology does not engender public confidence.

Fact 6. It is clear from Mr. Martin's more honest account in March 2014 that PHSO accepted only 17% of complaints submitted. Section 3.3 gives the total number accepted for review as 597 from an estimated annual total of 3,360 (280 x 12). 83% of complaints are therefore turned down without investigation. No wonder you were keen to hide the total number of complaints submitted with a performance like this. No learning can be achieved from all the complaints ignored and it makes a mockery of your complaint handling statistics (99.8% accuracy rate) when the vast majority of complaints are simply put in the bin. You have clearly kept the total figure from me so that I could not calculate your poor acceptance rate without realising that details were already in the public domain. You have in fact been caught out.

I consider this matter to be so serious, the deliberate and wilful attempt to mislead the public, that I will submit details of this request as evidence for the PACAC scrutiny meeting to be held on 12th January. I sincerely hope that the Ombudsman herself is held to account for this appalling performance.

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'Total number of review requests at PHSO'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Yours in disgust,

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.

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

E. Colville left an annotation ()

"I consider this matter to be so serious, the deliberate and wilful
 attempt to mislead the public, that I will submit details of this
 request as evidence for the PACAC scrutiny meeting to be held on
12th January."

You are absolutely right and entitled to do so Della. Coupled with PHSO being caught in another active lie per their recent response to this request: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m... there can be no other conclusion but that wilful misrepresentation, deception, lies and oppressive conduct is systemic and engrained in PHSO's culture.

It is incontrovertible evidence that PHSO does not act honestly and fairly in handling FOI requests and associated litigation.

An obligation to act in accordance with FOI law implies an obligation to be satisfied as to the level of assurance that such action would comply with FOI legislation and that level comprises an honest and reasonably held opinion that the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, High Court and ultimately the Supreme Court, are more likely than not so to hold.

Which begs the question: what level of assurance from Steve Brown and/or other legal advisers must PHSO have obtained to take this particular course of action as being considered to be appropriate in terms of the prospect of successful challenge under FOI legislation and likely consequences of such a challenge to the ICO and beyond?

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

I intend to take this all the way to tribunal if necessary. It is clear that the data was and is available and to say otherwise is a direct lie.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Go for it..

Found the FOIA tribunal to be fair and impartial.

What a difference that made.....

The court procedure was fine, as explanations are given by the staff.

And at the moment, if you have a reasonable case - it's free.

It may not be so in the future,

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Can you inform me of whether Steve Brown has started his internal investigation on this matter?

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.

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

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Reynolds

Your information request (FDN-239676)

Thank you for your email of 4 December 2015. I am sorry you are unhappy with the original response to your information request. I can confirm that your concerns have been passed to my colleague, Steve Brown, for him to review. However, in the meantime, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some additional information.

First of all, in our original response to you we referred to PHSO having received 392 complaints about PHSO between November 2014 and March 2015. However, this was not accurate and the actual number was 433. I am sorry for this error.

I am also sorry that we did not provide you with the total number of complaints about PHSO as split by type (decision or service). It was not clear from the wording of your original request that this was the information that you were seeking, but I can provide it to you now.

The 433 complaints about PHSO received between November 2014 and March 2015 are split into type in the table attached. The ‘other’ category usually refers to further work being completed on longstanding complaints. I should also explain that since the Customer Care team was set up, all complaints about PHSO are looked at and responded to. However, of the complaints about PHSO received by the Customer Care Team between November 2014 and March 2015, 17 complaints about casework decisions were passed to the Corporate Casework Team to review.

Though I understand your frustration, I can confirm that, prior to the introduction of the Customer Care team, we did not routinely record details of every complaint about PHSO made to the Review Team. We are not, therefore, in a position to say how many we declined to look at.

We hold figures of reviews processed and their outcomes, but not details of those complaints about PHSO which were ‘refused’ a review. As such, it is not possible for me to provide you with figures on the number of complaints that were not reviewed without checking through a number of individual cases to determine that a complaint was made, but a review not eventually carried out. As it would take so long to extract this information, we are unable to comply with this part of your request.

However, our records allow us to say roughly how many contacts and pieces of correspondence the review team received in the past. It is the approximate number of contacts that Mr Martin is referring to in his statement from March 2014 rather than the number of complaints received.

Finally, you have also mentioned that you have found terminology to be confusing. Please let me know what language you find confusing and I will explain anything that is unclear. You might find it useful to look at our most recent annual report (available online at: www.ombudsman.org.uk/pdfs/publication-sc... – from page ten, terms such as ‘enquiry’ and ‘case’ are explained.

I hope that this additional information is helpful.

Yours sincerely

Luke Whiting
Head of FOI/DP

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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

'First of all, in our original response to you we referred to PHSO having received 392 complaints about PHSO between November 2014 and March 2015. However, this was not accurate and the actual number was 433'.

:::

So that's 41 that got lost....

How can you 'lose' 41 complaints?

The answer is that probably a lot more are lost, in that I'm still waiting for a contact from customer care - well past 20 days.

Biack Hole 1

Note the date:
December 20, 2014.

Dear Ms TO,

Thanks for your email

Regarding your personal case I understand it has now been picked up by the customer care team that has been established and they should be contacting you soon.

As you know I share your concern regarding lost (withheld destroyed etc) records as for me it undermines a complainants ability to get a true understanding of what happened and to have confidence in the system. It is as far as I can see a problem that is widespread. We have started planning a project to investigate cases with missing records which we would hope to start in the New Year and aim to publish early in the new financial year.

I would be happy to keep you informed regarding this investigation.

Gavin

:::

Customer care clearly can't be bothered....

::::::

But if the complaint Is ignored ..then it doesn't exist.

Biack Hole 2.

28/10/ 2015

Dear Mr Martin,

Are you doing anything at all about this extraordinarily sub-standard complaint handling?

Since it doesn't follow your own basic rules and criteria for service, I would give thought it would have been an easy decision to forward to an external investigator.

Regards

JtOakley

::

( Nb Told its gone to Customer care by Mr Martin's secretary..........Yeah, right. Still waiting.).

:::::

So I'm now wondering whether the PHSO is fiddling the figures, because if it had responded, it would have to include these complaints in its complaint figures.

It would even more interesting to know how many complaints were received .....but received no response.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Luke Whiting,

You have absolutely no understanding of the frustration caused by PHSO so to state that you do is just an attempt to appear customer focussed when your clear objective is to prevent disclosure of information which may be harmful to the reputation of the Ombudsman. I am not seeking your understanding but honest information.

I see you have pulled a different number out of the hat and the total number of complaints received has risen to 433 for a five month period bringing the average to just 86 per month. As previously stated this figure does not match with other data already released into the public domain and your chart is unconvincing. It contains no dates and no details of breakdown in the manner provided in the example I used in my initial request, which asked for the 2013/14 data using the same categories as before. Yet you state that I did not make it clear than I requested such a breakdown. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

You offer to make clear any confusing terminology when the only confusion is that PHSO deliberately use interchangeable terms to describe the same events. For instance you have now stated that Mr. Martin was referring to the approximate number of 'contacts' in his March 2014 review of complaints about PHSO. Although section 3 is titled 'Overview of Complaints' you are suggesting that the approximate 280 enquiry figure per month referred to here is the number of 'contacts' and not the number of 'complaints'. Yet in this letter from Steve Brown in October 2015 Mr. Brown, Head of Risk and Assurance, confirms that, "... in the Customer Care context a 'contact' is the same as an 'open complaint'. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

I am pretty sure that Mr. Martin, Managing Director and Deputy Ombudsman would give accurate figures for the number of complaints in a section titled 'overview of complaints'. So be it complaint, contact, enquiry or review request, essentially PHSO knew in March 2014 that approximately 280 were received every month throughout 2013/14 yet did not disclose this information when specifically asked to do so.

You were in possession of the information requested, yet failed to provide it giving instead a false account which stated that figures had not been recorded. Mr. Martin referred to these figures in March 2014 and I doubt that he found them by manually searching through every case file as suggested by your response. PHSO is therefore in breach of the data protection act and I will await the response from Steve Brown before deciding whether to take up this matter with ICO.

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.

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 ()

Appalling incompetence ...... which we pay for!! More than irony!

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

APPALLED.
I am one of those statistics! I recall that Della Reynolds fought hard to get some historical cases reviewed.

http://phsothetruestory.com/

In my case; it turns out that those cases that the PHSO said they had reviewed - had not been subject to a best review. I have an admission of this from Scott Riley; at the point that he realised that the PHSO had not bothered to review or seemingly protect the factually incorrect data copied to them about a GP's Surgery in Bury St. Edmunds.

I am now forced to be a Person In Litigation - with no access to a GP or any NHS services. No just, right nor fair!

FionaWatts@magnacarta300

J Roberts left an annotation ()

phsothefacts wrote:

"Mr. Brown, Head of Risk and Assurance, confirms that, "... in the Customer Care context a 'contact' is the same as an 'open complaint'."

Mr Brown's comment is confusing. The truth, it would appear, is that all 'open complaints are 'contacts', but not all 'contacts' are 'open complaints'. Therefore, a 'contact' is not the same as an 'open complaint' - It has a much broader meaning, which includes 'open complaints'.

“The role of the Customer Care team is to handle all feedback from our service users at any time through the customer journey"

"The contact will fall into one of the following categories:

Positive feedback
Complaint about our service on an ongoing case
Complaint about our service on a completed case
Complaint about our methodology
Complaint about our decision
Post-review correspondence
General comments on PHSO"

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

One other thing, could the PHSO figures for service complaints be small because they show only service complaints for 'ongoing' cases? If, for example, someone made a service complaint after their complaint about an organisation was disposed of, it might not show up in the figures the PHSO has been providing since it is a service complaint on a 'completed' case. An FOI request for separate figures may be in order!

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

I see the show is STILL rolling on!! They haven't changed one iota!! It's a total sham!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

And still fiddling the stats..

Tut.

This should be compulsive reading for any new potential complainant - thinking whether or not out their case to the PHSO.

I'm still mystified by the PHSO complaints system...after three years.

And if it 'ghosts' complaints - by not responding to requests, it should give them the reason why.

::::

The Ombudsman should have a simple system - which every citizen can understand.
With key points and a sensible system informing complaints what is going on at each stage.

As it is, it has all the hallmarks of being over-managed and ridiculously Byzantine for middle-management control -and inflating the stats for reasons.

Colin Hammonds left an annotation ()

....are there actual examples of where the PHSO have actually carried out a independent investigation of any investigative nature, not a showcase example for propaganda reasons but a real enquiry as they are intended to do .......how long is this masquerade going to go on for ? The whole PHSO set-up is to kill off any complaint and it stands out like a sore thumb........

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Customer Care Guidance 1.0 (version date 15/4/15):

"24. The review request form should be completed and submitted to the Customer Care Manager, who will decide whether to pass this to OCWT for a review.
"25. OCWT will then decide whether to review the case. If they do not feel a review is needed then they will explain why and the Customer Care Team will explain this to the service user. If they decide to carry out a review, the case will remain with OCWT who will complete the review and inform the service user of the outcome."
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Does the application of this guidance mean that all requests for a decision review from complainants between November 2014 and March 2015 were dismissed without review, except for 17? (17 refers to the number of complaints so the number of complainants could be even lower)

Colin Hammonds left an annotation ()

J Roberts .....Regarding articles 24 and 25 ....what would happen if i were to disagree by thinking that a review is needed ?......nothing........This is the heart of the problem, when it comes to the PHSO the complainant has no power at all.....even if by some minutest chance the PHSO does hold up the complaint there is still no obligation for the authority accused to abide by the decision, the PHSO is nothing but an administrative masquerade, what concerns me is how come it's managed to last so long......

E. Colville left an annotation ()

Coin: By way of response to your observation and question that:

"..the PHSO is nothing but an administrative masquerade, what concerns me is how come it's managed to last so long......"

I'd direct you to an insightful statement by Lord Lester of Herne Hill who in 2000 said about PHSO:

"Of course it is convenient for Ministers to have a rusty machine that takes a long time and does not deal very effectively with citizens' complaints."

HoC Deb Jan 2000 Clmn 967 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

That's the crux of the matter.

The apportioning of blame for this sorry state of affairs can be laid squarely at the door of consecutive Governments since 1967 together with a captured House of Commons whereby Party (tribal and self-interested) loyalties, reinforced by the Whips, trump any facade and pretence of so-called duty elected MPs have to their constituents. That much could not be clearer.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not aware of any MP (in recent times of otherwise) who has stood up to be counted in the HoC, potentially risking the wrath of their Party, by fighting tooth and nail against a perverse or otherwise deficient PHSO decision affecting one of their constituents, far less a chorus of like-minded MPs joining forces in solidarity.

Colin Hammonds left an annotation ()

E Colville......so are we at the very heart of the problem...that is...don't touch the establishment and don't question it either..... Is the problem with the PHSO and other institutions of the same order simply because democracy and justice have been sidestepped to facilitate the protection of the status quo........ ?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Phsothefacts: I noticed that you asked for review of your request.

It was then for request reviewer Mr Brown to make his entirely independent judgement whether Mr Whiting's department had complied with the FOIA

Yet you received a reply from Mr Whiting.

I read the internal files to a request that I made, which showed that Mr Whiting drafted Mr Brown's supposedly independent Review response, ....so it appears that asking for an independent review by him wouldn't have made much difference anyway.

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

But surely, if you have asked for an independent review, you should have got one?

Or at least received some response from 'independent' reviewer Mr Brown clarifying why he could not carry out your requested review?

The question is why does the PHSO employ and pay the salary of an independent reviewer - if he doesn't carry out independent reviews?

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Some interesting observations on this thread. It is clear that the numbers do not add up and do not match with other data already in the public domain. I quite clearly requested an internal review some time ago. Let us hope that Steve Brown has spent this time independently checking the data for himself. It is not good enough to allow the person complained about deal with the complaint. So common at PHSO but wrong on every level.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

I send a complaint of 12 points about a member of staff of Somerset Partnership Trust and that person investigated it...he found nothing wrong!!!!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

They don't.

Brenda:

It's always your word against theirs, so you will lose, unless you tape it.

Then they refuse your tape..... As the PHSO did to me.

And with complaints about telephone conversations , somewhat surprisingly ....managers are ALWAYS sitting at the next desk to the employee who you complained about and 'overhead the whole thing'. .....Even your end of the telephone conversation.

And the manager will ALWAYS say that the employee concerned acted superbly in every little way.

Advice: Get everything in writing and, if not, tape every conversation..

D. Speers left an annotation ()

I was told by Steve Shrubb (the retiring CEO of WLMHT) that Russell Barr (PHSO Director of Investigations)visited his Trust and (allegedly) said "Firstly, this is NOT an investigation"

So the lessons since my sons death must have been learnt......I wonder why they wont (can't) evidence them?

I also wonder why The Dame wont reply to ANY post including a formal complaint lodged some YEARS ago....maybe its time to revisit things or was my complaint "lost"?
Is my complaint re my sons death still with The Customer Care team?
Who removed the "unremedied injustice" flag from my complaint?
If nothing to investigate why have 40+ case workers names looked at my file?

So many questions still!
BTW (would have been)My sons 40th birthday today .....emotions are still so raw! Offline shortly!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The PHSO says:

"It is not the case that once a review is complete, a complainant is no longer acknowledged by PHSO. As stated in the policy which we released to you, only a very senior member of staff can authorise a note to be placed on an individual’s file to say that they should no longer be communicated with. [sic].

This is only done in extreme circumstances, when PHSO has done everything they can to help the individual concerned. On such cases, we will not issue an acknowledgment or any form of substantive reply, unless we see a compelling reason to do so."

:::

Extreme circumstances? Like not reading a complaint on the page next to the MP 's letter for instance?
As the external investigator stated?

The fact that they don't tell you that someone has placed 'a note' in on your file - or a logical reason for it - is wrong.
It is an abusive strategy for just covering up mistakes.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'However, of the complaints about PHSO received by the Customer Care Team between November 2014 and March 2015, 17 complaints about casework decisions were passed to the Corporate Casework Team to review.'

In information request FDN-226147 I wrote:

"Please provide details of the number of complaints about yourselves that you closed in each of the past 12 months. Specify the numbers for:

1. service;
2. decision; and
3. service and decision."

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Figures in table for November 2014 to March 2015:

service - 94
decision - 168
decision and service – 34

If the figure of 17 is subtracted from 168 + 34 (202) does this provide the number of complaints about decisions that were recorded as being unworthy of a review during the 5-month period (185 or 92 per cent)? Of course, a larger number of complaints about the PHSO may have been received between November 2014 and March 2015.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

That sounds about right J. Roberts. Cases closed would indicate both those closed after investigation and those closed without investigation. It would appear that PHSO accept only a small minority each time and these are the ones which are recorded in the annual report. In 2014/15 it stated that PHSO reviewed 392 decisions and 103 complaints about service for the entire year. From this data and other sources it is clear that PHSO receive far more complaints than that but just choose to ignore them.

Brown Steve, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Yet another apology about the FOIA team.

If the enormous External Affairs and Strategy Department wouldn't insist on being involved in the processing of FOIA requests, the FOIA team might spend more of their time on improving the accuracy of its responses.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

The figures I used in my annotation above cover the period 30 November 2014 to 30 March 2015 - four months and not five. The PHSO has recently confirmed that:

" the Customer Care Team was established on 30 November 2014 and the data is drawn from this date until the end of the business year (30 March 2015)."

micky mouse left an annotation ()

Given what we all know, I am surprised the PHSO have not been charged with other laws eg:, Misrepresentation Act 1967

The Misrepresentation Act exists to protect consumers from false or fraudulent claims that induce you into buying something or entering into a contract. It also allows you to claim damages.

Your contract, They lead you into the belief that they will look into your compaint, & be independant, be fair, & open.

As to fair, they loose you with the double standards, & double dealings, after 3 years, I dont have a clue what they are about. They wrote yesterday to advise they are delaying a temp report until feb as they need the Trust Solicitors report, then today say, they have today issued a temp report, & can ammend it if need when they get the Trust solicitors comments, to see if they then need to change anything. For my point, agter 3 years, there is not one shred of proof that even one single document was destroyed. As I get DPA from trust & PHSO every months as updates, it is sickening to wee the PHSO to the TRUST,
Hi Ben, Good morning Ben, I THOUGHT THEY WERE IMPARTIAL. They gave Trust my complete application, then denied it, they said, they can do what they want.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Dear Steve Brown,

The usual manoeuvring has taken place and although you state that my complaint is 'fully upheld' you have failed to uphold the key aspect. That you withheld information which was recorded and stored by PHSO, namely the total number of review requests (complaints) submitted to PHSO in 2013/14.

It is beyond belief that PHSO did not store this information prior to November 2014. Mr. Martin's reference to 'Overview of Complaints' in March 2014 confirms that this data was recorded and he gave the number of 280 enquiries per month. Far higher than the figure given in response to this request, even with the revision. I was given misleading information and your review has done nothing to address this key aspect.

I will now take this matter up with ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Della Reynolds.

phsothefacts Pressure Group

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The problems arise when the response is a letter, rather than the FOIA requested documents.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Looks like The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman has been well and truly rumbled by a VOLUNTEER.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

There seems to be such a wide gulf in the information given to PACAC -in evidence by Dame Julie Mellor and Mick Martin .....and what these FOIA requests show.

It either means that the PHSO's chief officicers haven't got a grip on the information - other employees maybe misinforming them - or that that they are deliberately misinforming PACAC.

I can't think that either Dame Julie Mellor or Mick Martin would lie to PACAC, so, logically, it must be a case of officers giving them incorrect information.

Since the IT systems are now updated, at great public expense, there is no reason why the correct information shouldn't be accessed.

So why isn't it?

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

I'm pretty sure that Bernard Jenkin and PACAC know that PHSO play the 'spin game'. He said at the last scrutiny meeting that the staff survey results were the one set of data that could not be 'gamed' by PHSO - so by default they are aware that all the other data is being gamed. They also know from their post bag that the two sides don't meet in the middle.

D. Speers left an annotation ()

So many questions left unanswered .......this isn't openness and transparency.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The reviews are a dun deal.

But the year on year percentage of those referred to external advisors after reviews might be interesting.

Because if the percentage has dropped, that might mean that the PHSO might be less inclined to let specialists - who might actually understand cases - get their hands on it's substandard cases.