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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT : The OSCO contact information is changing from 22nd October 2018. Our website address will be www.scoaf.org.uk, and our email addresses will  change. To find out more information about the changeover click here.

News and Blog: 2018

October 2018 – We need to talk more about Mental Health.

Mental health issues aren’t rare. In fact, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health ill health each year. So why aren’t we talking about it more? As part of the #timetochange pledge, my office is actively working to change how we think, talk and act about mental health. While this is […]

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World Mental Health Day 2018 – Let’s make it a day we ask twice

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem this year alone, if a colleague says they’re fine, they might not be. To really find out, ask twice. It’s World Mental Health Day on 10 October and we’re supporting Time to Change, a growing movement that’s changing how we all think and act about mental […]

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Backlog Update

As of 28 September we have 123 applications for substance (merits) and maladministration investigations that are waiting to be allocated to an investigator, this is a small increase from the last update in August. However, our Investigator Support Officer is providing regular updates to all of those waiting for an investigator. We have offered three […]

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The importance of educating personnel on the Service complaints process

In my first Annual Report as Service Complaints Ombudsman, one of the recommendations I made concerned the importance of training and education on the Service complaints system at all levels. It was a recommendation that I made after receiving feedback from a number of personnel who felt there wasn’t enough training on this issue. While work on this recommendation is still continuing, I wanted to let you know more about what we have been doing and why I think education in this area is so important.

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Update on backlog

As of 23 August 2018 we have 122 applications for substance (merits) and maladministration investigations that are waiting to be allocated to an investigator. Those applications date back to November 2017. We now have five Senior Investigators working on substance and maladministration cases after our new member of staff completed their training. We are in […]

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Just and equitable – what does it actually mean?

There are time limits for making a Service complaint and also for making an application to my office. These time limits are set in law.  Complaints that are made outside of those time limits can still be accepted if it considered “just and equitable”. But what does that actually mean?

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Samaritans #TheBigListen

Today, the Samaritans are hosting The Big Listen – a 24-hour event to raise awareness of their work and the importance of listening. The Samaritans are open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. They take calls from anyone who is finding it difficult to cope. It is a safe place […]

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Our allocation backlog

An Ombudsman’s office is the place people turn to when things go wrong. Whether they want information about how they can address their complaints, or want an investigation, there is an expectation that the Ombudsman can and will help in a timely manner. However, those expectations may not be met when that office is experiencing a backlog. This is the current situation in my office.

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Forces TV – How A Civilian Ombudsman Is Helping Servicemen And Women

New ways of dealing with complaints in the Armed Forces mean personnel can now take their grievances to the service complaints ombudsman.

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