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The PPO publishes results of its 'Bereaved Families' survey

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) today, launched the results of a recent survey conducted with families who have been involved in PPO investigations, following a death in custody. The survey sought to gauge families' opinions on the family liaison service offered by the PPO, and their thoughts on the subsequent PPO investigation. Stephen Shaw, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said:  "Having never asked families for formal feedback before, we had no idea what level of response we would get. The challenges in setting up a telephone and postal survey speak for themselves. It was likely that some families would find the whole idea of answering questions about the investigation upsetting. And there were practical questions to answer: how many families could we successfully trace and who should conduct the interviews with them? In fact, we have achieved a response rate of over 40 per cent – which I believe to be very creditable. Indeed, others who provide services to bereaved people may be able to learn from our experience. So far as the results are concerned, I was delighted – although not surprised – that the work of our family liaison officers (FLOs) is so appreciated. The FLOs have to manage large caseloads, and are asked to support families in very sad and stressful circumstances. I am pleased to share this recognition of their kindness and professionalism with a wider audience. But not all the feedback was so positive and there are a number of learning points for the fatal incidents investigations team to consider. There was concern about the time taken to complete investigations, and families would have liked more information about timescales. They would also have liked more contact from the PPO between our issuing the final report and the Coroner’s inquest.” The survey was part of a wider project to collect feedback from all our stakeholders and the PPO will be publishing a summary report in spring 2010 which will include stakeholders’ views about all aspects of the PPO’s work. You can access the results of the survey by visiting the PPO website below: http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/Bereaved_families_report_2009.pdf

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