Single Public Service Ombudsman to simplify complaints process

The government is set to create a single Public Service Ombudsman (PSO) in a bid to simplify the process of making complaints about public services.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) will now come under the remit of the new PSO, with a framework that will allow others to join over time.

The decision was announced in a Cabinet Office consultation paper, which outlined that the PSO is to use its expertise to ‘monitor and champion improvements in complaints handling’.

In response to the announcement, the LGO and PHSO jointly said: “The current complaint system is far too complex and fragmented, leaving people confused as to which ombudsman to turn to if things go wrong or haven’t been resolved locally.

“We’ve long been calling for the creation of a single Public Ombudsman Service to make it easier for people to complain when they have been let down by a public service. We will continue to offer our support to government and Parliament as they make these vital reforms a reality.”