Two members of the Pressure Group recently met with Dame Julie Mellor and staff at Millbank Tower.
Unfortunately, the tone of this meeting was all ‘jam tomorrow’ with little concern for mistakes from the past. Dame Julie Mellor clearly stated that PHSO did not have the resources to re-assessed previously closed cases and would not consider doing so.
James Titcombe has continually pointed out that no organisation can move forward until the mistakes from the past have been learnt. How can you make improvements if you do know what went wrong. In this video he talks about the importance of learning all the lessons from the past in relation to improving patient safety.
We agree with James and the only way for PHSO to improve and really provide that ‘jam tomorrow’ is to use the ‘gold dust’ contained within previously closed complaints to find out what went wrong. This is particularly true where cases of avoidable death have been closed without investigation.
To this end we have called upon Dame Julie Mellor and PASC to hold a seminar or ‘listening’ event for all complainants who still have concerns over their cases. This would include all members of the Pressure Group who wish to be represented. Below is an extract from the correspondence with PHSO and PASC making our request.
We can understand your concern with regard to resources in connection with reviewing previously closed cases. However, we feel that we must reach a compromise on this issue for two reasons;
- There are valuable lessons to learn from these cases, particularly in relation to patient safety.
- Without acknowledgement, remedy and the knowledge that lessons have been learnt many complainants cannot find closure and are suffering prolonged emotional anguish.
As discussed, we would like to propose a seminar where members of the Pressure Group can be heard. We would like our complaints regarding the service delivery of PHSO to be acknowledged and where necessary further investigations instigated. We are suggesting a seminar in the House of Commons with members of the PASC committee and the Ombudsman present. This would be a listening event in line with that recently carried out by CQC http://www.cqc.org.uk/blog/james/conversation-whistleblowers?cqc
The ‘gold dust’ of complaint is contained within our cases. There can be no moving forward until the lessons of the past have been learnt.