The post of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is held by Rob Behrens, CBE.
Role of the Ombudsman
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) combines the two statutory roles of Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Parliamentary Ombudsman) and Health Service Commissioner for England (Health Service Ombudsman), whose powers are set out in the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 and the Health Service Commissioners Act 1993 respectively.
The Ombudsman's role is to investigate complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly or have received poor service from government departments and other public organisations and the NHS in England.
The Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath and Director of Operations, Legal and Clinical, Karl Banister, are authorised by the Ombudsman to act as Deputy Ombudsman.
About Rob Behrens
Rob Behrens was appointed as Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and Chair of the organisation on 6 April 2017.
He has considerable experience of investigating allegations of public service failure and, as a result, bringing redress to service users. His previous roles include Complaints Commissioner at the Bar Standards Board and Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (Office of the Independent Adjudicator) in England and Wales.
Rob transformed the Office of the Independent Adjudicator into an outstanding ombudsman service by focusing on promoting best practice and providing a more efficient and effective service to complainants.
Following this he became Visiting Professor at the University College London Institute for Education and also Chair of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education. Rob was made a CBE for ‘services to higher education’ in the New Year’s Honours List, December 2015.
Rob will lead the modernisation and continuous improvement of the organisation as demand for the service increases. This includes preparing for Ombudsman reform, which aims to create a single, more accessible and modern Public Service Ombudsman (PSO), making it easier for people to have their complaints about public services resolved. A Draft Bill for the new Public Service Ombudsman has been published by Government.