How can Ombuds schemes be reformed?
Ombuds schemes enable citizens to complain about the service they receive – and in the case of public services they play a crucial role in the balance of power between citizen and state. They hold government, the NHS, councils and other public bodies to account when their failings harm people – both resolving individual cases and informing public service improvement and reform.
However, the public service Ombuds system in England is hamstrung by outdated powers and organisational structures, and has fallen behind systems in the devolved nations and other modern democracies.
So how could Ombuds schemes be reformed? What are the options for reform? And why has it been so hard to achieve progress? One proposal is to establish a new Public Service Ombudsman (PSO) to bring together the jurisdictions of existing public service Ombuds schemes, but a bill drafted in 2016 was never passed.
To discuss potential next steps for Ombuds reform, the Institute for Government is delighted to host an expert panel including:
Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Rob Behrens CBE, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, former Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
Sandra Verkuyten OBE, Former CEO of the Hearing Aid Council
Patrick Vernon OBE, Social Commentator and Campaigner
The event will be chaired by Dr Matthew Gill, Programme Director at the Institute for Government.
Follow us @ifgevents and get involved in the conversation using #IfGOmbuds.
We would like to thank the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman for supporting this event.
Date: Monday 06 March 2023, 12:30 — 13:45 (GMT)
Location (In-person and Online): INSTITUTE FOR GOVERNMENT, ADDRESS2 CARLTON GARDENS, LONDON SW1Y 5AA