rat enters maze but the route to justice is blocked with a no access sign.
Cartoon by pixomanic

What really happens when you make a complaint to the

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. 

PHSOtheFACTS is a pressure group who have been lobbying PHSO and Parliament since 2013 in an attempt to improve the quality of complaint handling for the public and hold the Ombudsman to account.  Many meetings and many words later we can report that no significant improvement has occurred though many promises have been made.  We have all been let down by the Ombudsman and by the complaint system as a whole. We are now using our experience to provide a public information service to give you the facts on how PHSO operate.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) have a very low uphold rate which is generally less than 5% of all complaints submitted each year and that includes partial uphold which is often for something minor.  This means that the chances are that your case will fall into the 95% who leave without any uphold, remedy or improvement to services.  Is it worth taking the time and trouble to even make a complaint to PHSO?

If you have a strong case against a public body then your best option may be to find a solicitor who will give you a no-win no-fee deal and take that body directly to court rather than waste your time with the Ombudsman. Just bear in mind that the whole complaint system and that includes legal challenges is set up in favour of the public bodies. 

In this blog post from phsothetruestory  you will be able to see some of the reasons why so many complainants are dissatisfied with the investigation process at PHSO using evidence from our own cases. The list includes failing to investigate valid complaints, timing out complaints which were submitted within the 12 month period, ignoring evidence from the complainant and bias towards the public body under investigation.

This site will give you both information and a voice should you wish to present anything for publication.  For regular updates please subscribe below, you can also link directly to the blog phsothetruestory, facebook and twitter by following the links at the bottom of the page. You can join the pressure group here . You are not alone.

In this video Della Reynolds, coordinator for PHSOtheFACTS talks to staff at IPSIS, later to become HSIB (Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch) about the complainant’s journey. For context the 35% uphold rate for PHSO refers only to investigations undertaken. Many complaints are denied investigation by PHSO and if all complaints presented are taken into account the uphold rate falls to just 5% of cases.