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Latest News

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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Ombudsman Association 2018 Conference – 25 years: Setting the standard

On the 24th May, one of our investigators helped to deliver a session as part of the annual Ombudsman Association (OA) conference on assessing and reporting performance against the OA Service Standards Framework.

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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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Inaugural OSCO Stakeholder Symposium

  The Ombudsman hosted the inaugural stakeholder symposium for the OSCO today at the Royal College of Defence Studies. The event, which was attended by representatives from a number of civilian organisations and Service charities, aimed to raise awareness of the role of the Ombudsman and the work of her office. In addition to presentations […]

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Ombudsman signs Time to Change pledge

In a demonstration of her commitment to making the OSCO a supportive work environment, Nicola Williams, the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces signed the Time to Change pledge this afternoon. In doing so, the OSCO has joined the ranks of over 700 employers in England who have signed the pledge.

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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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Ombudsman publishes second Annual Report

The 2017 Annual Report for the Service Complaints Ombudsman was laid in Parliament today. This is the Ombudsman’s second report to cover the work of her office and the reformed Service complaints process.

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Forces TV – Armed Forces Complaints System Is Not “Effective, Efficient Or Fair”

The Ombudsmen for Service Complaints has said that good progress has been made in the complaints system for members of the Armed Forces, but it is still not efficient, effective or fair.

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