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My midterm update: What we have achieved so far and the work still to come

As the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces, I am appointed by the Crown for a single term of 5 years. Having started the role in January 2016, this month marks the halfway point in my term. In my blog this month, I reflect on what we have achieved so far and what I hope to achieve before the end of my term.

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Volunteering for all #VolunteersWeek

This week is Volunteers’ Week in the UK. It is an annual event that provides an opportunity to recognise the contribution that volunteers make to society. Volunteering is something that is strongly encouraged within the OSCO by myself and my senior management team. In my first blog for June, I will be sharing with you why I believe volunteering is so important and how it benefits our office.

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Improving our communication with you

The Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman (OSCO) is a learning organisation. That means that as we grow and develop, we strive to improve the way we do things. This applies to all areas of our work – including how we tell people who we are and what we do. In my last blog for May, I will be sharing with you what we have done and will be doing over the coming year to improve our communication with you.

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Address your stress for #MHAW

May 14th – 20th was Mental Health Awareness week – an annual event hosted by the Mental Health Foundation in the U.K. Each year, a different theme is explored to raise awareness of mental health, break down the stigma surrounding these issues and bring about lasting positive change. This year the theme was Stress, something […]

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How many staff does it take to investigate complaints?

No, it isn’t the start of a good joke! The question of whether an organisation has enough staff to deliver their core objectives is one that is common to most sectors, including the ombudsman community. As many of you will have seen from our recent communications, including the Annual Report, we don’t currently have enough staff to meet our published time targets. While this is an issue we are working to rectify as quickly as we can, I thought I would use my second blog this month to explore this issue further.

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Introducing our Chief Of Operations

In 2017 the Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman went through a restructure in order to provide greater oversight of and resilience in the operational arm of the office. As part of that restructure, two new positions were created – Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff. This month the Ombudsman is turning her blog over to the Chief of Operations, Eleanor Handslip, so that she can tell you more about the role and what she hopes to achieve.

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March 2018 – Banter or bullying – how can you tell the difference?

It is an issue that is often discussed not only in the media but in schools and workplaces. It is also often an issue that comes up in complaints concerning bullying, or even sexual harassment. What is banter and how can you tell when it is something more serious?

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February 2018 – Respondents

When discussing the Service complaints process, people often focus on the complainant and the complaint handler. We want to ensure the complainant has the support they require and the complaint handler the knowledge and resources to investigate and decide the matter in a timely manner. However, there are other people involved in the complaints process […]

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December 2017 – ‘Tis the Season for Giving Back

Christmas is almost upon us and whether you celebrate it or not, it is widely considered a season of giving.  However here at the OSCO, we also believe that it is the season for giving back which we try and do each year. The festive season is a busy and exciting time of the year.  […]

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November 2017 – The Language of Complaints

Earlier this month the Legal Ombudsman published research they had conducted on ‘The Language of Complaints’. Although focussed on their role and that of legal service providers, there are lessons to be learned for all complaint handlers, including my office. When a person makes a complaint it is generally about an issue that has caused […]

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