Posted: Wed 23rd Aug 2023

Welsh Health Boards received nearly 19,000 complaints last year

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Aug 23rd, 2023

Welsh Health Boards received nearly 19,000 complaints in 2022/23.

This is equivalent to about 6 complaints for every 1,000 residents in Wales.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) uses this method to compare public services in Wales, which vary in size. Records indicate that complaint volumes for health boards remained stable compared to the previous year.

Records show the highest proportion of complaints (28%) Health Boards received related to clinical treatment. Meanwhile, 19% concerned appointments, and 16% centred on communication issues.

Data indicates roughly 75% of complaints were resolved within 30 working days. This figure mirrors last year’s but varies across different Health Boards.

Health Boards saw over 900 complaints referred to PSOW last year.

This amounts to over 5% of all complaints resolved by these bodies during the same period.

PSOW resolved over 900 complaints about Health Boards in the past year.

Some complaints would have come to the office in the previous financial year.

PSOW took action in 30% of these cases, suggesting Early Resolution, Voluntary Settlement, or confirming a complaint after investigating.

This pattern matches previous years.

Complaints handled by Local Authorities

The Ombudsman released information about Local Authority complaints today. Over 15,500 complaints were made to Local Authorities in Wales in the 2022/23 year.

This represents 5 complaints per 1,000 residents. Records indicate a slight rise since the previous year. This figure is notably higher than when the Ombudsman introduced the Complaints Standards initiative in 2019/20.

Like Health Boards, Local Authorities resolved approximately 75% of complaints within their 20-working-day target. This rate aligns with prior years.

Records reveal 30% of complaints to Local Authorities related to waste and refuse, consistent with past trends.

Additionally, 19% pertained to housing (an increase from last year) and 14% to social services.

Local Authorities upheld about 40% of all complaints, roughly the same as last year.

Over 1,000 complaints about Local Authorities were referred to PSOW this year.

This figure represents 7% of all resolved complaints – a proportional decrease from the previous year.

PSOW closed nearly 1,100 complaints about Local Authorities in 2022/23. Some complaints might date back to the prior financial year.

PSOW intervened in 13% of these instances, suggesting Early Resolution, Voluntary Settlement, or upholding a complaint post-investigation.

Michelle Morris, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, commented,

“We’re delighted to continue publishing complaints data for Welsh public services.”

“Our Complaints Standards Authority significantly promotes transparency regarding complaints.”

“Publishing this data aids our goal. When we examine this data and our case information, we better understand public bodies’ complaint management and can fine-tune our enhancement strategies.”

Matthew Harris, PSOW’s Head of Complaints Standards, added,

“Our data publication enters its second year, aiming to be a crucial resource for everyone in Wales.”

“This tool offers insights into local service performance. Since 2019, we’ve collaborated with Welsh public bodies to improve complaint handling, offering over 400 free training sessions.”

“Preliminarily, our efforts seem fruitful – the percentage of Local Authority complaints referred to PSOW has dropped, even though Local Authorities report more complaints. It’s vital for Welsh public services to view complaints as growth opportunities, using their data for continuous enhancement.”

Full data will be live on the PSOW website later today.

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