Monday, 29 September 2014

"We are Scotland's Ombudsman" the last resort?

"The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about councils, the National Health Service, housing associations, colleges and universities, prisons, most water and sewerage providers, the Scottish Government and its agencies and departments and most Scottish authorities.

 "Our vision is of enhanced public confidence in high quality, continually improving public services in Scotland which consistently meet the highest standards of public administration. We aim to bring this about by providing a trusted, effective and efficient complaint handling service which remedies injustice for individuals resulting from maladministration or service failure."


(Quotes above from the SPSO website, bolding is mine.  Photos of Senior Management at SPSO, screenshot from website)

On 17 September 2013 I submitted an online complaint about NHS Fife to the SPSO website about my son's dehumanising treatment in Stratheden Hospital in February 2012.  I did this because I wasn't happy with the way that my complaints against NHS Fife were handled.  

On 9 December 2013, after conversations with an SPSO Complaints Reviewer that I didn't find particularly helpful or supportive, I finally was informed that my complaint would be passed on to the SPSO "investigation team".

On 16 December 2013 I received a letter from the SPSO Complaints Reviewer who had been "allocated" my complaint.

On 20 February 2014 I received an Email from the SPSO Complaints Reviewer who informed me that he had referred my complaint " to the Ombudsman’s mental health adviser for his comments".

I received occasional updates from the SPSO Investigator by Email on the progression of my complaint and then on Friday past, 26 September 2014, I received a voicemail at around 5pm to say that the decision letter on my complaint about NHS Fife had been issued with mention of an option to phone to discuss afterwards.

[It was my birthday yesterday]

This morning, 29 September 2014, I received the SPSO letter with the "decision" on my complaint.  I wasn't happy with what was written and phoned to discuss the letter with the Complaints Reviewer.  I then Emailed him, copying in the SPSO senior management team.  

Here is the last paragraph of my Email:


"I will be writing a full response to your Investigation, the points you make, the Adviser comments and your decisions on these (I may do this in a blog or book in full view).  It seems to me on first reading of your letter that the words of NHS Fife staff hold more weight than the words of a mother and her son.  Justifying human rights abuse and bad practice in "notes" (or "records") that read like works of fiction.  I am not surprised but I am disappointed.  I had hoped for justice.  It just means that I will keep on speaking out until justice is done."



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