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Blog

Information v Advice: What’s the difference?

When we ask people how we can improve our service, they often say by providing advice. However, this is something that we cannot do – we can only provide information. Read on to find out why……. If you look at the list of things we do at the office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, you […]

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Anti-Bullying Week

November 12th-16th is National Anti-Bullying Week. It is a week dedicated to talking about the effects of bullying and strategies to stop it. As the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces, many of the complaints dealt with by my office concern allegations of bullying.

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Black History Month – A Look Back

The end of October brings Black History Month to a close for another year. What began in 1987 as a niche interest in direct response to the climate at the time is now a nationally recognised event, celebrated and endorsed across the political divide and by the Royal Navy, British Army and RAF.

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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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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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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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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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9ICOAF – DCAF Annual Report

9ICOAF took place in London in 2017 and was co-hosted by the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces of the UK. It focused on how ombuds institutions can act as a moral compass of the armed forces and engender positive change.

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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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