It would appear that Mr Behrens who took up his appointment as new PHSO Ombudsman at the beginning of April is ready to hear from ‘service users’ as he starts (yet another) programme of reform.
In all of this, we need to keep listening to people who use our service and be flexible, but not unprincipled, in response. I know that this is exactly what Amanda Campbell, our Chief Executive, and the Executive Team are working towards.
Keep your eye on the ‘unprincipled’ part of this response. It could well be the loophole through which PHSO will escape any obligation to deal with poorly handling historic cases. For instance, would it be ‘unprincipled’ to reopen a case against an authority where they have previously closed it without uphold? Would it be ‘unprincipled’ to hold to account individuals who may not have been at the organisation when your complaint was handled 3, 4, 5 years ago? Would it be ‘unprincipled’ to cause distress to public sector employees who have already been told they have not acted with maladministration or hold to account PHSO workers who have now left the organisation?
We must give Mr Behrens the benefit of the doubt – for now.
You can read his full statement here and do let him know exactly what you think of PHSO – after all, he is looking forward to hearing from you.
Towards the end of May I’ll be taking part in a Twitter Q&A through the @PHSOmbudsman Twitter account. If you have any particular questions or topics you’d like to us to focus on, please email them toDigital@ombudsman.org.uk
If you have any questions regarding an individual complaint please email Phso.Enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk
I look forward to hearing from you.