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Author Archives: Della Reynolds

And does it matter if I still get treatment free at the point of use? The short answer is yes, not just plans but plenty of private contracts have been issued taking the NHS down the privatisation route. And yes, it will matter to you when you have to pay for your treatment from medical insurance and risk bankruptcy if you require multiple or long-term care. Here is the ‘blueprint’ for privatisation laid nearly 30 years ago by Letwin and Redwood – see for yourself how close we are to the end game. In 1988 Letwin and Redwood (conservative) laid down the blueprint for the privatisation […]
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Admit only what is harmless – complaint handling mantra On radio 4 this week it was revealed that Kim Philby, notorious traitor,  advised Soviet spies; If confronted, never, ever confess.  “So my advice to you is to tell all your agents that they are never to confess.  If they are confronted with a photograph of themselves with a Soviet contact or a German contact – it’s a fake.  If they confront you with a report in your own handwriting – it’s a forgery.  Just deny everything.  Only admit what is harmless.  Admit anything you safely can, but deny that essential link […]
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Defensiveness runs through all aspects of the NHS.  To be fair it runs through most public services and quite probably a good deal of private ones as well. Why are we so defensive in the work place, who is to blame? Well, the short answer is everyone is to blame because defensiveness permeates at every level.  So pick your starting point and let’s go on a journey.  The CEO, you say,  it is all the fault of the CEO.  Ok, let’s start there. The CEO of any major NHS Trust is responsible for oodles of people.  As an example Leicestershire Partnership […]
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When I attended the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group Meeting entitled ‘Patient complaint: a duty to listen and learn’ on 24th June, I was reminded of the old joke, “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”  “Only one but the light bulb has to want to change.”  As one meeting on the poor state of complaint handling merges into another and yet another, it struck me that you could ask a similar question; “How many meetings does it take to change the NHS complaint process?”    The primary problem is one of insidious defensiveness and this particular ‘elephant in […]
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As the Health Service Ombudsman moves forward on its new ‘Service Charter’ would it be foolish to think that a new set of promises is all we need to deliver justice and remedy?  Unless there is a major culture change within regulatory bodies, socially accepted injustice will continue as before. If you have ever made a complaint you will recognise this scenario.  Aware that something has gone wrong and being a good citizen you take the time to alert the authorities.  It makes no difference if this is the NHS, PHSO, ICO or any other acronym you care to think […]
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On 7th October the PHSO Pressure Group attended a stakeholders meeting held at the Cabinet Office to discuss complaint handling and the role of the Ombudsman. We were invited by the Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin and present at that meeting was Robert Gordon CB and his team.  Mr. Gordon has had a distinguished career in the Scottish Office where, among other things, he helped to set up the devolved Scottish Parliament. Mr. Gordon has been charged with researching the current Ombudsman landscape and reporting back to the Cabinet Office with suggestions for reform.  We were delighted to be able to […]
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What an outcry there was about MPs ‘marking their own homework’. Georgia Graham and Padraic Flanagan reported in the Telegraph 9th April the words of John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw who instigated the complaint against Maria Miller. “There are very few people outside the club of the House of Commons who believe that MPs should still be regulating themselves. The rest of the country has very firm views on that, and I share that view,” Mr Mann told Radio 4’s Today programme. There was indeed general outrage that MPs were able to regulate themselves and surely that outrage should […]
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Ask the average man on the street about the NHS complaint system and they will have something to say, albeit derogatory.  Ask them about the Health Service Ombudsman and most will say, ‘Who?’  The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, (PHSO) to give them their full title, is the Cinderella of the regulatory system.  They sit at the apex of the complaint process and are the final arbitrators, although keen to inform you that they are not ‘regulators’. Since the demise of the Healthcare Commission in 2009 the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has provided the second and final tier in the […]
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