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The joke called the ombudsman


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the health ombudsman has been under scrutiny from the complaining public for more than a decade and nothing really has changed,

 

 

they only investigate 3% of the complaints made to them and less than 0.5% are upheld.

 

 

most of those who had their complaints turned down have gone on to make a legal claims

 

any complaints about the ombudsman are investigated in-house by the yes the ombudsman.

 

the ombudsman is a monster hovering up tax payers money in order to fight off public complaints and opinions.

 

 

how did we allow our government to do this to us.

 

 

I am a very angry taxpayer and n.h.s patient and will keep shouting about this sorry state of affairs

 

 

because going through the normal channel is just not working

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Yes, I've been there and done that and am very much of the same opinion.

 

I fear that when it comes to believing a damaged patient or the wily hospital management, the latter wins every time. Too often, the complainant, weary to the bones and too weak, physically and mentally, to fight on, gives up when their case to the Ombudsman seems to fall on deaf ears.

 

It is not necessarily the mistakes, failures or poor care that leaves us angry, bitter and cynical, but the way our complaint is dealt with - the realisation that the harm they (the doctors, nurses, management etc) have caused goes unchallenged and unpunished and is thus repeated.

 

The test of how well our institutions are run, how rigorous our regulatory bodies, how strong our legal system, how competent our politicians, are when things go wrong. Too often those with the authority and power (and who receive eye-watering salaries) to listen and learn are deaf and apathetic.

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The Health Ombudsperson's Office is worse than a joke, in my opinion. It is at best a very sick joke, but in reality it effectively comprises part of the suppression of complaints against the NHS, not their exploration and evaluation – still less their 'cure'. Been there, done it - and got a rack of fob-off T-shirts to show for it.

 

It seeks to provide the illusion of there being a meaningful mode of appeal against the 'delay, deny, defend' behaviour of NHS bodies and the clinicians they engage. But the pitiful fraction of complaints it actually investigates tells the real story.

 

The NHS as an institution has no fear whatsoever of such a tiny, pathetic, toothless response – and nor do any of the lavishly-rewarded clinicians and pen-pushers (inc. lawyers) it engages.

 

When it comes to 'delay, deny, defend' - that is what the Office is best at itself. Think of the enormous time and expense it put into the (legal) drafting of a response to baby Joshua Titcombe's valiant father, which, clearly 'nettled', it posted at its website today (letter of 28 08 14):-

 

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/26917/2014-08-28-Letter-from-Mick-Martin-to-James-Titcombe.pdf

 

In order to achieve what? Nothing but the extensive and emphatic demonstration of the type of incompetence and deceit it imagines it is hiding, while at the same time making an accusation that the complainant's own actions were "irresponsible and inappropriate" (p. 10, last but one para.). Beggars belief.

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well aligrubs you have taken the words right out of my mouth.

the investigators are so arrogant they can do and say what they want. I spoke to my investigator on the phone because I did not think my emails regarding the case were fully read and I was so shocked by the shabby and amateurish reports they were sending me that led me to believe she had not familiarised herself with my case, I asked her 2 what actual qualifications do you have in order to carry out this investigation " she replied that is non of your business and totally irrelevant to this case, I told her she was very wrong. I then emailed her putting my points across regarding my dissatisfaction in the way my complaint was being handled. i also join you aligrubs and will shout very loud

Edited by SHIRLI
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The Health Ombudsperson's Office is worse than a joke, in my opinion. It is at best a very sick joke, but in reality it effectively comprises part of the suppression of complaints against the NHS, not their exploration and evaluation – still less their 'cure'. Been there, done it - and got a rack of fob-off T-shirts to show for it.

 

It seeks to provide the illusion of there being a meaningful mode of appeal against the 'delay, deny, defend' behaviour of NHS bodies and the clinicians they engage. But the pitiful fraction of complaints it actually investigates tells the real story.

 

The NHS as an institution has no fear whatsoever of such a tiny, pathetic, toothless response – and nor do any of the lavishly-rewarded clinicians and pen-pushers (inc. lawyers) it engages.

 

When it comes to 'delay, deny, defend' - that is what the Office is best at itself. Think of the enormous time and expense it put into the (legal) drafting of a response to baby Joshua Titcombe's valiant father, which, clearly 'nettled', it posted at its website today (letter of 28 08 14):-

 

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/26917/2014-08-28-Letter-from-Mick-Martin-to-James-Titcombe.pdf

 

In order to achieve what? Nothing but the extensive and emphatic demonstration of the type of incompetence and deceit it imagines it is hiding, while at the same time making an accusation that the complainant's own actions were "irresponsible and inappropriate" (p. 10, last but one para.). Beggars belief.

 

How many times have we heard that phrase "lessons will be learned" - "lessons have been learned" - only to see the same thing happen time and time again ?

 

The report comes over as arrogant and patronising.

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I read about the sad case of Joshua and his father's dispute with the ombudsman. Nolegion's link to the letter from the Ombudsman to James Titcombe is 'interesting.'

 

That the PHSO admit that they made their decisions following a risk assessment that focused on the potential for public scrutiny is disgraceful? Although they say that their assessment processes have changed and 'risk to our reputation' and 'risk of litigation' are no longer categories that they use, all they've done is erase the words from the policy document, those mantras will still be repeated in the minds of the management and ingrained in the culture of the PHSO.

 

I am not consoled with their acceptance that their methodology for investigating the most serious cases was not fit for purpose or that anything will change as a result and they must have cheese in their ears and bags over their heads if they think that 'on the vast majority of occasions the thousands of cases we investigate are completed within a timely manner and are robust in terms of the decisions made, method used and service provided.'

 

There are other points of the letter that make me want to pull my hair out - their claim that they (the PHSO) are open and transparent and yet they deny Joshua's dad details of the legal advice they sought and received, (what are they hiding), and the obsequious thanks to Ann Abraham (the previous failure) for sharing her statement!

 

Shirl1 commented that her PHSO investigator seemed not to have read her emails. I too believe they did not bother to read my correspondence. The PHSO's role is to investigate complaints where individuals have been treated unfairly or have received poor service - yet this is exactly how they treat people who make the effort to contact them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

my investigator would not tell me what qualifications she had,

she said she cannot give personal details I was merely asking what formal training she had

which leads me to believe she has none maybe she was a penpushing civil servant

who went on a two week course before being let lose on the general public.

 

the investigations are not independent.

 

 

the practise manager at my gp's surgery was asked by the ombudsman to interview the nurse whom my complaint was about,

 

 

this was the manager that was also being investigated as part of the same complaint for failing to take action when I first complained two years ago,

 

 

then his word was taken as proof.

 

 

I really was expecting an independent person not connected and employed by my gp's clinic.

 

 

so the original poster is right when she named this thread

THE JOKE CALLED THE OMBUDSMAN

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my investigator would not tell me what qualifications she had, she said she cannot give personal details I was merely asking what formal training she had which leads me to believe she has none maybe she was a penpushing civil servant who went on a two week course before being let lose on the general public.

the investigations are not independent. the practise manager at my gp's surgery was asked by the ombudsman to interview the nurse whom my complaint was about, this was the manager that was also being investigated as part of the same complaint for failing to take action when I first complained two years ago, then his word was taken as proof. I really was expecting an independent person not connected and employed by my gp's clinic. so the original poster is right when she named this thread

THE JOKE CALLED THE OMBUDSMAN

 

 

the sad thing about it is people who have come into contact with ombudsman know all being discussed in this thread is true, but the ombudsman are in a position of complete control it would need more than a handful of people to change the way they investigate.

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How good (efficient, competent) an organisation is shows in the way it deals (and learns) by its mistakes.

 

Perhaps, Conniff, Leigh04, your experience of the health service is satisfactory because of the likes of Aligrubs, Shirl1 and creepin60, who by complaining about unacceptable behaviour and poor care, have kept the health service falling further into a stupor of complacency.

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I have been responsible for dealing with the Ombudsman on behalf of an NHS organisation.

 

I can tell you that from our perspective their investigations are thorough and probing.

 

That you do not get the outcome you want does not mean the process is broken.

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How good (efficient, competent) an organisation is shows in the way it deals (and learns) by its mistakes... complaining about unacceptable behaviour and poor care... [keeps] the health service falling further into a stupor of complacency.

 

That is a perspective I share.

 

stevemLS. Please my enquire whether the persective you present as 'ours' in your above post is that of your experience gained in the employment of one particular (NHS) organisation - or whether you, for instance, are suggesting that what you say reflects experience across the NHS when dealing with the PHSO?

 

If the latter, then I will say candidly that is definitely not a persepctive I share. I have worked both for the NHS and against it, and in my experience across a number of complaints over the years, complaints handling at all levels in the NHS is usually delegated to the junior and ignorable, who could not give a monkeys as long as they tick the boxes their bosses tell them to, starting with the boxes which say 'delay' and 'deny' and ending with 'defend' - at which point the suits in the shape of litigation lawyers take it out of clerical hands and start really seriously blocking the issue with threats of mounting legal costs.

 

In my view, one can only claim that the NHS complaints system - at the end of which the PHSO is the most bitter icing on the cake - 'ain't broke', if one has worked out that it was never designed to work in the first place.

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I have been responsible for dealing with the Ombudsman on behalf of an NHS organisation.

 

I can tell you that from our perspective their investigations are thorough and probing.

 

That you do not get the outcome you want does not mean the process is broken.

 

 

 

 

GOOD MORNING stevemls

 

 

anyone who has had the misfortune to deal with any n.h.s complaints procedure knows the staff on the front line dealing with complaints are not qualified to deal with such important procedures and the ombudsman is no exception I received replies which made it obvious that my complaint had not been fully read.

how do you reconcile the fact the ombudsman allowed

 

 

THE PRACTISE MANAGER TO INTERVIEW THE NURSE WHO ASSAULTED ME TAKING THEIR WORD AGAINST MINE WHICH WAS THEIR ONLY DEFENCE, THIS PRACTICE MANAGER WAS ALSO PART OF THE COMPLAINT, FOUND WANTING IN KEEPING CORRECT RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS AND ORDERED TO MAKE CHANGES BY THE OMBUDSMAN.

SO AN ANALOGY

 

 

TWO BURGLERS WERE CAUGHT ONE WAS THE " LOOK OUT " THE OTHER BROKE INTO THE HOUSE BEAT UP THE VICTIMS AND ROBBED THEM. WHEN INTERVIEWED IN COURT THE " LOOK OUT " WAS ASKED DID YOUR PARTNER IN CRIME USE EXCESSIVE FORCE WHILT HE ROBBED THE VICTIMS " NO YOUR WORSHIPS HE DID NOT "

EVEN THOUGH THE " LOOK OUT " MAN WAS OUTSIDE ALL THE TIME AND SAW NOTHING HIS WORD WAS TAKEN AS ABSOLUTE.

this is how the ombudsman investigate their cases and in my view are overpaid, under qualified hence the original poster thread " THE JOKE CALLED THE OMBUDSMAN

the tragic thing is the people hired by the ombudsman really think they are doing a good job.

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This looks like a young but knowledgeable site:-

 

http://phsothefacts.com/

 

…which could perhaps use a bit more interest\support.

 

So far, the only thing in the 'comments\questions' part of site (found under the heading 'News') stems from the enquiry of a friend of mine made in connection with another thread here at CAG.

 

I am sure there is wider interest in the PHSO than just that. Knowledge gleaned could be fed back here to CAG; and there is a pressure group to join…

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This looks like a young but knowledgeable site:-

 

http://phsothefacts.com/

 

…which could perhaps use a bit more interest\support.

 

So far, the only thing in the 'comments\questions' part of site (found under the heading 'News') stems from the enquiry of a friend of mine made in connection with another thread here at CAG.

 

I am sure there is wider interest in the PHSO than just that. Knowledge gleaned could be fed back here to CAG; and there is a pressure group to join…[/quote

 

 

 

 

GOOD EVENING nolegion

I have signed up with phsothefacts and have just joined their pressure group. when I read that the ombudsman hire very few legally trained staff I was not surprised, the person investigating my case was little more than a clerk. they grandstand themselves as a professional government department but are little better than a mini cab office operator. we really are letting the government treat us with contempt, and I for one will not accept this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

the p.h.s.o pressure group were invited to a stakeholder meeting at the cabinet office by oliver letwin as part of their inquiry into complaint handling and the complaints handling landscape, after an inquiry they may make new legislation for the first time in 47 years making the ombudsman accountable, at present it is not even accountable to the government let alone the general public how is this possible why have successive government not changed this corrupt despotic alien parasite which consumes taxpayers money.

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after reading the website for the p.h.so pressure group I was surprised to learn that each investigation carried out by the p.h.so cost £83,000, yes eighty three thousand pounds, are they eating gold sprinkled biscuits at their meetings

the p.h.so ombudsman do not investigate complaints themselves they are an expensive figurehead, the investigations are passed on to the local p.a.l.s and n.h.s managers.

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Hi Aligrubs, the £83,000 figure comes from dividing the number of investigations by the total cost of the Ombudsman, but that was in the old days when only 8% of formal complaints were investigated. Under the new regime nearly 30% of complaints were investigated, bringing the cost per investigation down. However, although there are more investigations the uphold rate has plummeted from 85% of all investigations at least partly upheld to now only 38% partly upheld. So more people are getting an investigation only to be let down months later when only a small fraction of their complaint is upheld. Usually something minor, like delay and often something they didn't even complain about. PHSO staff carry out the investigations but they require no special training and have no legal or clinical expertise. They will take the word of p.a.l.s or n.h.s. trusts at face value without any supporting evidence, but do carry out the investigations themselves.

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Hi Aligrubs, the £83,000 figure comes from dividing the number of investigations by the total cost of the Ombudsman, but that was in the old days when only 8% of formal complaints were investigated. Under the new regime nearly 30% of complaints were investigated, bringing the cost per investigation down. However, although there are more investigations the uphold rate has plummeted from 85% of all investigations at least partly upheld to now only 38% partly upheld. So more people are getting an investigation only to be let down months later when only a small fraction of their complaint is upheld. Usually something minor, like delay and often something they didn't even complain about. PHSO staff carry out the investigations but they require no special training and have no legal or clinical expertise. They will take the word of p.a.l.s or n.h.s. trusts at face value without any supporting evidence, but do carry out the investigations themselves.

 

 

GOOD MORNING facethefacts

 

 

your website is enlightening everyone should access it. you say p.h.so have no special training no legal or clinical expertise this is obvious to us who have had dealings with them personally, my investigator was an absolute amateur and when I spoke to her on the phone she sounded like a school leaver on work placement, she refused to tell me what qualifications she had in order to do justice to my complaint.

you say they carry put the investigations themselves. well in my case they asked the practice manager who is hired and payed by the practice to interview the nurse who assaulted me during my smear test and that was the total evidence the p.h.s.o used in their decision, the very same practise manager who was accused by p.h.s.o of keeping incorrect records regarding my case. apart from shuffling paper and sending a few emails what else did they do regarding my complaint

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  • 2 weeks later...
Yes, they always consult the trust and/or GP and believe everything they say, with or without supporting evidence. That's the quickest way to close down the case! Thanks for your comments on the site.

 

 

 

on the 7th October three members of the phso pressure group PAID to attend an n.h.s complaints conference called WESTMINSTER-BRIEFING-AGENDA it was to be a day of presentation and discussion centred around the frances reports, 290 recommendations for improvement the fact there was so many recommendation shows the degree of change required. for more details follow facethefacts.com I personally recognise that voices from the p.h.s.o ombudsman were paying lip service to get the public off their backs for a few more years whilst paying penpushing under qualified people high salaries to continue the undemocratic work they have done for so many years.

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I've been following this with interest and will continue to do so, I've yet to have any dealings with the PHSO either professionally or personally so it's intere to get an insight into people's opinion of the service.

 

I can't help but wonder what qualifications would be appropriate for dealing with such a broad base of problems, you don't necessarily want someone clinical for and administrative error and likewise vice versa but then staffing and paying for a specialist team is likely to be even more expensive than training lay people.

 

Just as I and most of my colleagues come from just about every industry sector I think that there's a good case to be made for using people from all backgrounds. I wonder if perhaps some sort of lay representation on a panel might also add some confidence so that someone from outside of the Govt / NHS can be involved in ensuring that cases are properly heard.

My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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I've been following this with interest and will continue to do so, I've yet to have any dealings with the PHSO either professionally or personally so it's intere to get an insight into people's opinion of the service.

 

I can't help but wonder what qualifications would be appropriate for dealing with such a broad base of problems, you don't necessarily want someone clinical for and administrative error and likewise vice versa but then staffing and paying for a specialist team is likely to be even more expensive than training lay people.

 

Just as I and most of my colleagues come from just about every industry sector I think that there's a good case to be made for using people from all backgrounds. I wonder if perhaps some sort of lay representation on a panel might also add some confidence so that someone from outside of the Govt / NHS can be involved in ensuring that cases are properly heard.

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD EVENING think about it

 

 

what we who have suffered at the incompetent hand of the ombudsman want is to have our complaint which at times are quite serious investigated independently not just pen pushers at the p.h.s.o writing to the very people who have been the cause of the complaint or there employers ie;practice manager asking them a few questions then believing everything they say and nothing you say.

I told my investigator " do you think I have wasted two years of my life going down the complaints route including the police if it were not true so you are calling me a

liar "

she wrote back saying she did not thing I was not telling the truth but according to the nurse and practice manager there were no suggestions on my medical records that I complained at the time. no I screamed the place down.

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