Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

What plans has the PHSO to address its 'toxic' culture?

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

:::

The information required:

Request Title/summary within scope.

Below us an extract from PACAC/ Dame Julie Mellor January 2016

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...

Dame Julie Mellor: I think what I am hearing is that what you meant by “change programme” was how we work with our staff to effect change. With that level of activity, on everything that we do underneath each part of the business plan, there will be work streams, of which this is one part. That will come to the board. For different projects it comes to the board; for different areas of work it comes to the board.

Q84 Chair: Can we have the other half of the equation? Can you produce this? This is us holding you to account. We want to know how you are going to improve your engagement, how you are going to talk to your staff differently and how you are going to listen to them differently. That 88% support for the mission of the organisation is a huge untapped resource.

Dame Julie Mellor: Absolutely.

Chair: How are you going to harness that energy? We want to know that.

Dame Julie Mellor: Absolutely we can do that. As a result of the staff survey results last summer, we have had a set of activities across the organisation of volunteers working on the four areas, which we have agreed with staff that we want to focus on, that I think you are talking about. The result of that activity is coming to the board and I would be delighted to share that with you.

Q85 Chair: Forgive me for pressing you, but when do you think we could expect to see that?

Dame Julie Mellor: It is coming to our board meeting at the end of January, so you can have it in February.

Chair: Very good, thank you very much.

Q86 Mrs Gillan: When I was a Secretary of State, I had to look at the staff survey in my Department, but I asked the question: what do I have to do to modify my own personal behaviour and my leadership? When you come back to us, could you let us know how you, as the senior management, have modified your own personal behaviour and how you try to take forward the remedying of the situation? If you cannot tell us now, it is something you need to think about and perhaps incorporate in whatever you provide.

Dame Julie Mellor: In fact, leadership and visible leadership is one of the areas of work that we have agreed with staff is included.

:::::

In the light of the low approval of the PHSO's leadership (11percent) and the article in the Health Service Journal today:

'One of the whistleblowers also supplied HSJ with documents showing how a behavioural competency could result in them being called “ineffective” for displaying negative attitudes or challenging new ideas.
All six, who are a mix of current and former managers and investigators, spoke separately toHSJ but gave consistent accounts of the culture and problems within the service.

'One investigator said: “People feel forced to leave because the morale is so poor. It’s quite a toxic environment and a bullying culture developed last year after the behaviour competency was introduced.'

http://www.hsj.co.uk/topics/policy-and-r...

.....I would like to read the plans that Dame Julie Mellor has presented to PACAC to ensure a better culture within the PHSO, so that staff are valued, rather than demeaned as 'ineffective' for not investigating cases as throughly as they might to reach case closed targets.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-252405)

 

In your email of 22 March 2016, you advised that you would ‘like to read
the plans that Dame Julie Mellor has presented to PACAC to ensure a better
culture within the PHSO’.

 

I have interpreted your request as for one details of plans presented by
PHSO to PACAC in relation to staff engagement. 

 

This information has not yet been provided to PACAC and therefore we do
not hold information relevant to your request. It is likely that PACAC
will publish this information in due course.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][email address]

 

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #324278 email]]
Sent: 22 March 2016 20:53
To: foiofficer
Subject: Freedom of Information request - What plans has the PHSO to
address its 'toxic' culture?

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

What plans has the PHSO to address its 'toxic' culture?

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section
(Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under
section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of
the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

:::

The information required:

Request Title/summary within scope.

Below us an extract from PACAC/ Dame Julie Mellor  January 2016

[3]http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...

Dame Julie Mellor: I think what I am hearing is that what you meant by
change programme was how we work with our staff to effect change. With
that level of activity, on everything that we do underneath each part of
the business plan, there will be work streams, of which this is one part.
That will come to the board. For different projects it comes to the board;
for different areas of work it comes to the board.

Q84   Chair: Can we have the other half of the equation? Can you produce
this? This is us holding you to account. We want to know how you are going
to improve your engagement, how you are going to talk to your staff
differently and how you are going to listen to them differently. That 88%
support for the mission of the organisation is a huge untapped resource.

Dame Julie Mellor: Absolutely.

Chair: How are you going to harness that energy? We want to know that.

Dame Julie Mellor: Absolutely we can do that. As a result of the staff
survey results last summer, we have had a set of activities across the
organisation of volunteers working on the four areas, which we have agreed
with staff that we want to focus on, that I think you are talking about.
The result of that activity is coming to the board and I would be
delighted to share that with you.

Q85   Chair: Forgive me for pressing you, but when do you think we could
expect to see that?

Dame Julie Mellor: It is coming to our board meeting at the end of
January, so you can have it in February.

Chair: Very good, thank you very much.

Q86   Mrs Gillan: When I was a Secretary of State, I had to look at the
staff survey in my Department, but I asked the question: what do I have to
do to modify my own personal behaviour and my leadership? When you come
back to us, could you let us know how you, as the senior management, have
modified your own personal behaviour and how you try to take forward the
remedying of the situation? If you cannot tell us now, it is something you
need to think about and perhaps incorporate in whatever you provide.

Dame Julie Mellor: In fact, leadership and visible leadership is one of
the areas of work that we have agreed with staff is included.

:::::

In the light of the low approval of the PHSO's leadership (11percent) and
the article in the Health Service Journal today: 

'One of the whistleblowers also supplied HSJ with documents showing how a
behavioural competency could result in them being called ineffective for
displaying negative attitudes or challenging new ideas.
All six, who are a mix of current and former managers and investigators,
spoke separately toHSJ but gave consistent accounts of the culture and
problems within the service.

'One investigator said: People feel forced to leave because the morale is
so poor. Its quite a toxic environment and a bullying culture developed
last year after the behaviour competency was introduced.'

[4]http://www.hsj.co.uk/topics/policy-and-r...

.....I would like to read the plans that Dame Julie Mellor has presented
to PACAC to ensure a better culture within the PHSO, so that staff are
valued, rather than demeaned as 'ineffective'  for not investigating cases
as throughly as they might to reach case closed targets.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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Dear foiofficer,

Thank you.

I'm sure that many people will be interested to read of how the PHSO are dealing with this appallingly negative situation in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

This was promised to PACAC in February https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
we are now near the end of April so why the delay? Has the work not been carried out and delivered to the Board in January as stated by Dame Julie Mellor? Perhaps the toxic culture is just too tricky to get a handle on. Well, a fish rots from the head down, so that could be a good place to start.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Perhaps the auditors have found something, as they did when the Annual Report request was delayed?

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