My name is David Czarnetzki and my issues concerning the conduct of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman have now been ongoing for over four years. The following letter was handed to my Member of Parliament, Philip Dunne at his constituency surgery on 30thAugust 2019.
The detail should impart on the reader a need for extreme caution in pursuing a health service complaint via this particular body. In 2015, the Patients Association described this organisation as “unfit for purpose”.
Read my story. You may well conclude it still is.
30th August 2019
Philip Dunne MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Open letter regarding the conduct of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)
You will now recall the issues first raised with you in July 2015 following the publication of a final report, by PHSO on 22ndJune 2015, concerning my earlier treatment at Telford Hospital during 2013 and 2014. You corresponded with PHSO on three occasions in 2015 and, on each occasion, received no response from them. I have since been forced to embark on a determined, tenacious and sustained process to uncover the extent of the failings encountered at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust and also those at PHSO. The PHSO failings are the focus of this letter and fall into three main categories.
- Refusal to quash the June 2015 final report
You will see from the core documents on the file that Rob Behrens the Ombudsman admitted, in a letter dated 9thApril 2018, his June 2015 final report came to the wrong conclusion. Since then I have been requesting the report be quashed. In his letter to Sir Bernard Jenkin, dated 1stFebruary 2018, Mr. Behrens confirms he has powers to quash a final report yet has failed to do so in this case. He has refused to explain why or enter into correspondence on this matter. His refusal to quash a report recognized as ‘flawed’ needs to be questioned at a parliamentary level.
His decision not to quash the final report has the following consequences:
- Behrens has portrayed me as an individual who made an unsubstantiated complaint in the eyes of Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. I have strong objections to, and resent, being left in this position.
- The Trust has not been contacted by the Ombudsman and therefore never had an opportunity to learn from the issues raised since the flawed June 2015 report was published. You will be aware this particular NHS Trust is subject of various enquiries into the standard of some of its services and I must confess some sympathy for the relatively new Acting Chief Executive who may well be doing her best to improve things. Incorrect reports absolving the Trust, published by PHSO, can only hamper any genuine effort the Trust CEO makes to create better outcomes.
- If the Ombudsman is prepared to leave this incorrect report in the public domain, it then becomes legitimate for complainants, NHS management, clinicians and politicians to suspect and question the level of thoroughness and accuracy in every report he issues including, may I say, his Annual Report which is subject to scrutiny by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). It is now fair to say that, if the Ombudsman is prepared to conduct himself in this way in one case, he is prepared to behave in the same way in other cases to users of his service whether they are a complainant or respondent. The very credibility of the Ombudsman is at stake and Mr. Behrens remains at the head of a discredited organisation as previously identified in the Patients Association report issued in 2015.
- Failure to comply with procedures for resolution
PHSO, on its website, issues guidance on principles of good complaint handling. The outset of this document clearly states; “We will also apply the Principles to any complaints made to us about our own service”. Section 5 covers points to consider when deciding an appropriate level of compensation. These are:
- The nature of the complaint
- The impact on the complainant
- How long it took to resolve the complaint
- The trouble the complainant was put to in pursuing it.
PHSO guidance goes on to say; “Remedies may also need to take account of any injustice or hardship that has resulted from pursuing the complaint as well as from the original dispute”.
The PHSO letter of 9thApril 2018 offered me £1000. There was acknowledgement I have suffered injustice and PHSO would have awarded this sum against the NHS Trust had his final report of 15thJune 2015 accurately reflected the treatment I received. The letter also offered, in addition, a token sum of £500 to cover PHSO’s own poor complaint handling, but this part of the offer failed to demonstrate how his own guidelines on compensation levels were taken into account. My reply dated 11thApril 2018, to the PHSO letter of 9thApril, was ignored and after a further six weeks I felt compelled to issue proceedings in the County Court. The proceedings were to be primarily concerned with the conduct of the Ombudsman and not his decision regarding the belated award he made against the NHS Trust which, due to the passage of time and the fact that the original report had not been withdrawn, made legal action against the NHS Trust impossible. Subsequent to the issue of legal proceedings, there was an arbitrary improved offer by PHSO to settle the matter for a total sum of £2000. Bearing in mind I had by now spent £205 on Court fees, this represented a real increase of £295 over the offer in the letter of 9thApril and still failed to show any compliance with his stated policy on points to consider in calculating financial remedy.
- The Court Action
My claim against PHSO, amounting to £4537, consisted of £3800 damages, £532 interest in line with Court rules and £205 costs. PHSO filed an acknowledgement of service with the Court on 12thJune indicating an intention to defend the claim. There then followed an astonishing sequence of events.
Despite the in house legal expertise at their disposal, PHSO failed to properly comply with Court procedure and, on 31stJuly 2018, the Court issued a Judgment in Default against PHSO ordering them to pay me the total sum of £4537. Feeling vindicated, I awaited settlement in accordance with the Court judgment but unaware this appalling organisation had yet to finish compounding my misery.
One must ask how PHSO allowed the Judgment in Default to occur. Their next step was to apply to the Court to have it set aside and my original application struck out.
The first hearing was set for Telford County Court (small claims process) on 31stDecember 2018. PHSO engaged a barrister from 39 Essex Chambers. The Judge agreed the Judgment in Default should be set aside but gave leave for me to re-submit my original application with additional supporting evidence. There was no direction by the Judge at this hearing that the small claims route was not open to me to pursue my claim.
The second hearing took place at Telford County Court on 30thJuly 2019 with a different barrister from the same chambers representing PHSO in front of a different Judge. This time, the Judge ruled he had no jurisdiction to hear the case and the application by PHSO to have the matter struck out was successful. However no costs were awarded.
The evening before the second hearing, an email timed at 1859 hours 29thJuly (just 15 hours before the appointed hearing) was sent to me by an in house lawyer of PHSO. The email reads; “On reviewing the documents in your case we note you have referred to a statement dated 10 November but we are unable to trace this. Could you please send a copy of that statement by email before the hearing tomorrow”.
I complied with the request. However, it raised further issues. 153 pages of evidence PHSO should have been considering before the first hearing accompanied my statement of 10thNovember 2018. I was also concerned that significant personal data had now gone missing. PHSO have since provided proof to my satisfaction they have the data and issued yet another of their insincere apologies, the total number of which now runs into three figures, each becoming less meaningful than the last.
I seek your re-involvement and have two requests:
- That you write to the Acting Chief Executive of Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, enclosing this letter and the letter of 9thApril 2018 signed personally by the Ombudsman, Mr. Behrens. Your letter should invite her to return the PHSO final report dated 22ndJune 2015 to him. That action alone will at least demonstrate some integrity exists within the Trust and that the new Acting CEO is not prepared to be part of what can only be described as a PHSO cover up which has taken me over four years to expose. I can confirm the Trust is at no risk of legal action from me. My reason for initially going to PHSO was to avoid having the issue of my treatment dealt with at Court.
- That you personally meet with Sir Bernard Jenkin, Chair of PACAC, and discuss the ramifications of this case with him. You should also hand him the complete file of case papers in order to demonstrate that, despite the scrutiny of PACAC, nothing has yet changed for the better within the PHSO framework. The fact that Mr. Behrens is quite prepared to leave in circulation a final report he has identified as inaccurate should be enough for Sir Bernard and Mr. Behrens to consider whether his position as Ombudsman and also the position of his Chief Executive remain tenable. I am quite prepared to accompany you at such a meeting. I do not expect this matter to be sidelined citing previous comments of Committee Clerks in correspondence that PACAC does not look at individual cases. PACAC has done so in the past and has taken oral evidence in some. The public might have a better Ombudsman Service if PACAC takes a greater interest in individual cases in the future.
I do have to say that, having personally attended the last scrutiny hearing of PHSO by PACAC in January 2019, I was disappointed to see the session lacked understanding, depth and incisiveness, particularly as so many people had made written submissions and also took the trouble to attend. It is worthy of note that, despite Mr. Behrens refusing to engage with the co-ordinator of the support group PHSO-The Facts, at least fifteen new people have joined this group in recent months as a result of their experiences at the hands of PHSO. I have seen that PHSO seeks greater own initiative powers and yet resists greater oversight of its work, stating this would undermine the authority of the Ombudsman. This must be resisted if a PHSO “mini dictatorship” within our democracy is to be avoided. It is clear the process of peer review and PACAC scrutiny is not bringing improvement and a wider, independent public enquiry into PHSO must now be carried out.
There is one final comment I wish to make and that is in relation to the offence of Misconduct in Public Office (MIPO). If in the event Mr. Behrens or any other person makes a suggestion the Police have found no evidence of misconduct in public office within his organisation, I have to point out that would not be an accurate statement. Letters in my possession from the Metropolitan Police indicate that, according to legal advice they have received, they are prohibitedfrom conducting investigations into PHSO of MIPO by virtue of the legislation controlling the operation of PHSO. That is not the same as saying MIPO has not taken place. This is also something for PACAC to consider and address as it leaves all employees at PHSO immune from prosecution in the event of any willful or deliberate misconduct on their part.
PACAC should be asking the question as to whether it should be necessary for the sledgehammer of a Judicial Review to be sought to crack what was, in this case, a miniscule peanut of two parties being £1800 apart in their positions regarding compensation.
I see no point in your writing to Mr. Behrens again as he ignored your correspondence in 2015 and much of mine in the intervening period. I await your response, asking you to send me a copy of any letter you write to the Acting Chief Executive at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. Bearing in mind this is an open letter I intend to circulate widely, I will be pleased to also circulate your response to it. It is clear from this case PHSO maintains its ability to fail at every level be it investigative, administrative, legal or executive.
In the matter of R Behrens ‘personal review’ promised some of the complaints made “Historic” by PHSO procrastination by consistently delivering decision ‘unfit’ by PHSO own criteria, it appears that the PHSO lead has fallen into the typical pattern of deriding complainants for their requests for competence, accuracy and transparency.
As example, two of the questions refused response by Behrens in the matter of the death of my son after sparse and aggressive so-called “care” by NHS BSMHT Lyndon teams: (a) what medical evidence informed lay caseworkers that complaints could be dismissed because “my son would probably have died anyway” (yes, actual words, Mr Behrens are you not you are responsible for upholding PHSO Principles? Please refer to your own website and PR claims), and (b) why the PHSO annually pretends to be working for the good of ‘UK-PLC’ (while salaried by citizen taxes) and whilst committing harms on complainants to generate case-closures to an agenda which includes denigration, derision, bullying, delays of years, uneducated assumptions in clinical procedure, mocking the content of NICE procedures and showing distinct weight to unsubstantiated NHS claims, with outright refusal to deal with complaints of all these tactics.
And no, I don’t expect a response of any honesty or calibre. Previous evidence is that I will not get it…. and why am I such a fool to expect it? When will the Government controlling PACAC committee wake up; stop the harm, and think of the impact on continuing NHS negligence? More harm – more work for PHSO- more disappointments for the harmed and more life sentences for the bereaved?
No, I don’t expect a response of any honesty or calibre. That would demand Integrity.
It has been a severe failing that the PHSO simply refuse to investigate complaints about their own operation and the way complainants are abused of their rights to fair and unprejudiced dealings. The chance that ‘Principles’ will be followed any more than zero with their own complaints, is remote. The evidence builds:
I have now suffered this abuse since 2009 when PHSO was approached to examine the negligent care and approaches with my son who then ended his life in November 2008. So on top of the PTS I was plunged into, the PHSO made every gain of this stress to exacerbate it by what can only be summed up as mental abuse. This is blatantly against the Law of this country apart from in no way respecting the Principles it preached.
Having evidence of this abuse counted for nothing. Even when official complaint was placed December 2013, it took constant strain in reminders and broken promises by PHSO staff to offer the investigation in September 2017. This was after another feeble but outrageous effort at ‘Resolution’ of my NHS complaint (2015). In point of Fact , the outcome of that was now far more serious a complaint from which I have never recovered.
After appearance and disappearance (in contact) of a ‘customer service investigator’, not only did the PHSO fail to respond to agree the points of my complaint; but not one single question was asked. When the investigator ‘appeared’ again there was this grossly dismissive and prejudiced ‘report’ which made free use of unsubstantiated or irrelevant nonsense – more taxpayer expense, more dismissal, zero value to UK.plc and failed NHS patients.
It took until October 2017 for the lead PHSO R Behrens to promise to look into “Historic” failures, and then another six months to deliver what can only be described as more ‘Dismissal’. The point that apparently there was no recorded ‘review’ was kept for me to see says it all. No report = no Review. I found the covering letter from Mr Behrens further offensive in the nonchalant dismissal of the ill this was now causing and that I had had to suffer this on top of the original outcome of failures previously reported to NHS.
Later, having had no response to specific harms from the PHSO, and outright refusal to explain their harm, I discovered that the NHS Trust had very obviously lied to the PHSO, leaving the way open form a prompt ‘Resolution’ very much in NHS favour in a mutually ‘bartered’ closure with NHS Trust CEO.
This organisation is not just corrupt in its ignorant responses and ‘matey’ NHS dealings but, critically, abusively harmful to the complainant. I can only recommend that for complainants tempted to even approach the PHSO, to do so with extreme caution: expect nothing except antagonism of your original harm.
Try to put aside any altruistic thoughts of the value of offering your experience for public learning and good. There will be none; and you may well be destroyed in the process. In typical PHSO responses is always the overtone that “it didn’t happen” usually bolstered some statement that “we could find no evidence….. ” having dismissed the evidence blow by ignorant blow whilst denying your expectations and citizens’ rights.
Spot on. PHSO should come with a health warning.
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Dear Mr O’Brien.
So far, 19 of the 48 comments on this thread are yours and they are not all consistent in content. The purpose of publishing an open letter to my MP is to make others aware of the many obstacles PHSO placed in the path of satisfactory resolution in my case. If you read the letter again, you will see that after over four years, PHSO still have not told the hospital concerned where it failed and I am at a loss to understand why they do not use their official position to provide learning to this particular NHS Trust. My story has yet to be completed. Philip Dunne MP has confirmed to me he has written to the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust and also forwarded the full file to PACAC (as I suggested in the letter). When I have something further to report, I will do so but in the meantime, if you have an issue with PHSO, why don’t you follow my example and tell your true story. That is what this site is for. If you are taking legal action against an NHS Trust, PHSO will not get involved and, therefore, you have no issue with them. This site is, under those circumstances, perhaps the wrong forum for you.
David at least you have an MP that is doing something. Mine did though contact RB who has promised to investigate what I raised but he promises a lot to many people and never delivers. I feel that my MP is a post man! Good at sending things hither and thither, has concerns blah blah but not being proactive or putting his head about the paparpet.
I can say that even in this late stage of 2019 that nothing has changed at the PHSO. They still make basic mistakes, ignore complainant evidence or lose it, produce amateur reports, misrepresent facts which I can prove and use a list to justify a report that is amateur. Not to mention the time delays which we all know about. I have written an open letter to the Patients’ Association CE and copied it to my MP. It is also going to the PM and should be appearing on the site. I’m not expecting miracles but when the next big mid Staffs happens which I fear will, not one of these people can say they didn’t know and people like me will pop their heads up and shout loudly. It might be then that is the only way to effect change but then after mid Staffs all that happened was organisations were renamed but still the same ineffectiveness and lack of transparency and accountability. In other words the deck chairs on the Titanic are moved around with the same result.
The NHS may have celebrated 70 years but my prophecy about the next 70 years being the years of scandals is sadly coming true and every few months we learn of yet another one, the latest being Furness again with urology failings spanning years. That to me is sad and a disgrace because nothing is allowed to change to prevent more of these scandals by any organisation in the process.
Totally agree Caroline. About 100 deaths at our local maternity unit are currently under investigation and the official report is awaited
I am not in a fight . I am following due legal process
Have it your way John. You have my best wishes in any event.
Mmmh? I wonder how that due legal process is fairing John?
As long as you are not labelled “delusional” you’ve got a some chance of success.
I never blamed my self for the incompetence of PHSO staff when they turned down my complaint against an NHS Trust in May 2016. Incompetence is not corruption.
As already explained it is pointless going to a Government Quango which is either incompetent or too small to cope with the volume of complaints addressed to them. The cause of the problem needs to be addressed in a court of law ., Not by an anonymous clerk in a Tower block
Incompetence is not corruption but the repeated failure to apply the evidence, well within the Ombudsman remit, is.
These are all matters of opinion , not matters of fact. If indeed PHSO was corrupt Parliament would have investigated the matter
Really John. After all you have said. If the system is not corrupt why are you having to take legal action?
I am taking action against the NHS who failed to treated me in a competent manner. This has nothing to do with the PHSO and your personal opinion of that organisation.
But if the PHSO held the NHS to account for their incompetency then you wouldn’t have to take them to court yourself. Isn’t that the point of an ombudsman – To protect the public from the abuse of power?
I suggest you go back to first base. Your perception of the role of an Ombudsman is totally incorrect. In effect he is a referee and if you do not like his decision you can go to court after his review. or you can go to court without even bothering with what is in effect another tier of Government bureaucracy designed to delay the consequences of an error in ALL Government accountable bodies not just the NHS.
Ok the ombudsman is a referee who closes down 97% of the cases he receives every year. That is not incompetence but deliberate cover up. Corrupt by design. Let me not take up more of your time John for I am sure you will never see our point of view. Best wishes to you and your fight for justice.
It is not just patients who suffer from NHS failures. Staff are also beaten by the system. With unions colluding with employers. It is not just PHSO involved in cover ups, ALL Government Department do it. https://minhalexander.com/2018/10/18/whistleblowers-in-their-own-words-whats-wrong-with-uk-whistleblowing-law-and-how-it-needs-to-change/
This is true John. They are all corrupt by design unable or unwilling to hold anyone to account.
Sadly the conduct of people within civil service is to cover up for everything, simply because they are accountable but never held to account. That is not corrupt that is simply a self preservation system devised by the civil service and approved by Parliament.
You see our newly appointed Prime Minister before the Supreme Court being accused of lying. to the Queen and her collusion in proroging Parliament.. The ultimate insult, we shall see what the court decides in due course.
With such high drama going on , how on earth does you group plan to change a process approved by parliament. without going to the Court process .
Corruption is wider than financial misdemeanour. Corruption is the way in which power is unfairly used against the citizen. You give some good examples. The simple truth is that we can’t change the ombudsman. We have tried all routes and it is well protected. But our truth needs to be heard and new people coming through need to understand how it works or they blame themselves.
I am in the process of filing evidence with solicitors in proceeding against two NHS Trusts and a G.P. .
As stated elsewhere there is in my view no point in going to another Government department to complain about the NHS. when they made the mistakes and cover up.
I also note that Parliament is now in the final stages of creating the HSIB to replace the PHSO. This is just another attempt to paper over the cracks, in the NHS. I cannot understand why people do not take legal action against NHS Trusts , and G.P.s who cause the problem in the first place.
Before placing the minutes of our meeting on August 27th. 2019 on public record I shall be copying them to Mr Greck and to Mr. Behrens asking them both to confirm that they are a true record of the meeting.
Good luck, particularly with getting a reply from Mr.Behrens
David I am not fussed whether I get a reply from Mr, Behrens or not . Stephen Greck got what he wanted which is why was there to support him. .
Fingers crossed for Stephen. He deserves justice and closure.
Money isn’t something all of us have to spare or waste going to Court.
I have seen all this. Even a request to PHSO Rob Behrens to investigate the corruption and coercion at #phso was denied. I note that blocking complaints about #phso is now the policy advised down to “feedback” channel ‘Customer Services’ where Service is the last item on their agenda for self-protection. Corrupt in purpose and management; entirely prejudiced as proven by predetermined outcomes and people needing medical attention for PHSO traumas. Liars and thieves of life is my experience. It’s odd the PHSO never asks questions or even invites them. This failed and prejudiced body needs to be brought to heel SOON: people are dying from their ignorant opinion.
Thank you for the comments. I saw your very sad story. We all have a public duty to spread the word about PHSO misconduct as widely as possible. It has yet to dawn on Mr Behrens the way he conducts his organisation will inevitably lead to wholesale rejection of his service by the public and make the ‘service’ obsolete. Mind you – that might be the plan of his political masters. There is always a high price for speaking truth to power and we must continue to do so using all means available. If telling mine makes someone else think twice about using him, I will count that as a success
David Your persistence in taking on A Government Department single handed is admirable. It almost bears comparison to the efforts of Gina Miller.
I find it odd therefore that I was invited by Della Reynolds to join her google discussion group in June 2019 then about 2 weeks after I met with Mr. Behrens on August 28th. 2019 I was removed from the group for no apparent reason. .
Thus leaving it impossible for me to report back on the meeting, as I had been requested. Surely PHSO the facts should practice what it preaches
You asked to join the group John and we were happy to have you. We thank you for attending the meeting with Mr Behrens to support a group member. If you wish to send you report you can email it to Phsoemail@example.com. It became increasingly clear John, as explained to you, that a group working to reform the Ombudsman was not the right place for someone who felt the Ombudsman was not the problem. Please continue to read and comment on posts and we all wish you the very best in your efforts to hold those in authority to account.
Surely, the PHSO should provide justice, otherwise there is no point in their existence for the ordinary citizen? The NHS is being destroyed because of government policy, assisted by Ombudsmen who are all words and no action to bring about change in the NHS. David, I admire your tenacity bringing such abject failure to the attention of the public.
All Government offices are designed to do what you suggest. Why is PHSO any different ???
For those who want the PHSO abolished, they should take up the matter with Parliament not with me .
We want a better service John. Parliament set up the ombudsman to protect the state. They are not going to act on our behalf and leave themselves vulnerable.
Debbie Bunn, My complaint was rejected by PHSO in May 2016. At which point it was obvious to me that they were not competent.
Pointless complaining to a Government department about their own conduct .
Only Parliament can change the law and that involves lobbying all members of Parliament not just the odd one as in David’s case
We’ve done that John at a time when ombudsman reform was on the political agenda and got nothing but lip service. The ombudsman is corrupt by design and always has been.
Dear Mr O’Brien
I thought that was exactly what I did with my letter to Philip Dunne. I have not taken the matter up with you, nor do I wish to as to do so would be a misuse of my time
Can anybody on this thread explain what exactly “corrupt by design” means , other than as a term of abuse.
Designed to serve the state whilst masquerading as a service to the public and made deliberately unaccountable so it can act with impunity.
The promised improvements under Rob Behrens have not happened. The PHSO are still an unaccountable organisation, failing to dispense justice, victimising complainants, favouring public bodies over the public, biased, discredited amongst everyone who uses them, not fit for purpose. Only parliament can force change on this organisation, but will they ever listen? I hope Philip Dunne MP can bring some attention to this David, it’s long overdue for parliament to listen to the public and take appropriate action.
Nicholas , The PHSO are accountable to Parliament , and in theory Parliament is accountable to us, the public.
Yet over the past three years we have irrefutable evidence that Parliament does not give a damn about the electorate .
Even the joint forces of all the opposition parties cannot force the government, now in a minority, to do anything beyond administer what is now known as the Zombie Parliament.
I wish David every success as I have read the horrors and confusion he has been through and he ahas my moral support if nothing else
Thank you David for continuing the fight. The PHSO, and so many regulatory bodies that cost the tax payer dearly, are really not fit for purpose. Their remit is to shut down complaints and make the establishment look as if it works for the people. We know the truth, and that is that they grind you down purposely without regard. The PHSO actually make the injustice worse, we literally pay them to be abused for the rest of our lives. I will get my story out there, I will make that short film, but I’d have difficulty making it short! Stay well everyone, and for David and others who still have the strength to fight this corrupt system, thank you as you are also my voice.
David I wish you luck. So many failed by the very organisation put in place to resolve issues for the general public when they have been let down by the NHS. After my extremely negative experience I would never recommend the PHSO to anyone.
Invited to lodge a complaint by Mick Martin, then deputy Ombudsman of “Breaking down the barriers the elderly face when they need to complain..” fame, (my mother was issued a 28 day Notice to Quit without warning and died 7 weeks after she was forced to leave Merrie Loots Farm Care Home) and then after 3yrs and 2 investigations was let down by NEW Ombudsman Rob Behrens: Evidence ignored, failings found, even if Merrie Loots had acted correctly outcome would “most likely” be the same, complaint not upheld, blah blah..
Thank you for supportive comments Debbie. I know my situation with PHSO is fr from unique. If we keep telling our stories, change has to come.
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Good luck David. Far too many people damaged by PHSO staff incompetence to count.
Keep it up
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As a long standing follower of this site can somebody explain how Mr Berhens can be accused of not at answering a letter in 2015 when he was not involved with PHSO at that time.
Unfortunately too many people believe that the PHSO can resolve problems experienced by patients of the NHS. That is not its purpose, it is simply another tier of Government set up to try to correct systemic errors within the NHS, which are a nationwide problem.
As with most Government departments it is both impersonal and incompetent and definitely does not perform in the way people expect or want it to.
There were other letters John written directly to Rob Behrens by the MP which were just ignored. If it is not PHSO’s job to resolve disputes then what is the purpose of the Ombudsman?
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The job of the PHSO is clearly defined on their web site..
Although many people on this site are not satisfied with the outcome of their own investigation, PHSO is a Government department which is not allowed to exceed its powers as laid down by Parliament .
For those dissatisfied with the decisions made by PHSO they should be lobbying Parliament to change the law, as abusing PHSO on line will get nobody anywhere.
Best of luck with those complaints which are under review.
It is not beyond their powers to make honest, evidence based decisions John. The stats speak for themselves when fewer than 3% of complainants achieve any kind of uphold from PHSO. If this organisation cannot protect citizens from the abuse of power it should be abolished.
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John as in the case of my mother, the PHSO said in their view the care home failed to act in line with NHS Values and the Ombudsman’s own Principles. But they said, even if Merrie Loots had acted correctly the outcome would “most likely” have been the same! The PHSO don’t uphold our complaints even when failings are found. We have every right to use whichever medium we choose to speak of our own experience with the Ombudsman. I expect if your own complaint isn’t upheld, you will hold a different view too.
Dear Mr O.Brien
Please interpret the letter correctly. It states my MP’s correspondence to PHSO in 2015 was not answered. Mr.Behrens was not named personally at that stage of this open letter. He was appointed in 2017 and you will see he failed to respond to correspondence in April 2018. The whole point of my telling this ‘tale of woe’ is to demonstrate nothing has changed at PHSO since the baton passed to him. PHSO is charged with conducting investigations into complaints raised about NHS issues not resolved locally. I hope readers of the letter find it thorough in content and unbiased in opinion. It is factually correct and supported by over 150 pages of evidence which my MP, Mr. Dunne has pledged to forward to Sir Bernard Jenkin at PACAC
I have considerable experience of both NHS staff and PHSO staff not replying to correspondence . As I understand it they are not under any legal obligation to respond. Which is why I am planning to take a number of NHS employees to court for refusing to reply.
You should talk to Stephen Greck about how ineffective Members of Parliament are in following up cases with PHSO. He had three of them on his case at one stage and once they realized how complex his case, was they all dropped support for him.
I wish you well with Mr. Dunne and Sir Bernard Jenkins , both of whom seem to be fighting for survival in Parliament at the moment .
I’m glad you have still gone on with this as I gave up about 4 years ago. I was not getting any where and it was better for me to move on with my life. Regards
None of us get anywhere with it Philip. It is not fit for purpose. Would you like to tell your story in a short 3 minute film?
Thank you for your comment Mr Bonnett. I would encourage you and others to also tell their stories.