Since becoming Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in April this year, I have been working with colleagues to make PHSO a more effective service.
PHSO is often the last resort for people who are dissatisfied with treatment or service they have received – be it from a government body or NHS healthcare provider – and it is imperative that the service we provide is independent, just and fair. In order to ensure PHSO continues to improve, I have been keen to get input from as many of our stakeholders as possible.
As part of this work, and to coincide with PHSO’s 50th anniversary year, we are launching a number of initiatives to engage with complainants and bodies within our jurisdiction. These include, but are by no means limited to, PHSO’s first Open Meeting taking place this November, and the launching of our new podcast series.
Our first podcast: Learning from mistakes
Last week, for the inaugural podcast recording, I sat down with Scott Morrish whose son Sam died in December 2010 of severe sepsis, aged just three years old.
Scott has worked tirelessly, using the experience of the complaints process that followed his son’s death, to draw attention to issues in the health service, and at PHSO. In our conversation, we discuss a number of these issues as well as questions sent to me from people on Twitter.
Recorded live and unedited, this is the first of our regular ‘Radio Ombudsman’ podcasts which you can listen to from today.
A valuable conversation
For Scott, our conversation was an opportunity to address the fundamental change of culture that he thinks is needed both in the NHS and here at PHSO. He wants to use the experience of his case and how it was handled to point out issues that he thinks have not been dealt with since the cases were concluded.
What is especially interesting about Scott is that he does not blame or criticise individuals for what happened to his family; in fact, he too is in favour of skills development for staff throughout the healthcare system so we are all better equipped to deal with the issues he faced.
I found our conversation to be valuable and thought-provoking. There is a lot of learning for me as Ombudsman, and for everyone who works at PHSO and in the NHS, about how it felt to be a complainant going through a very traumatic process.
You can listen to the podcast below:
I will be inviting a wide range of guests with important, interesting ideas and experiences to join me for future podcasts. Our next one will be broadcast in November – please follow us on SoundCloud for updates.