The Ombudsman will be taking full account of the current context in assessing and investigating complaints and would ask complainants to consider this when using our service.

For local authority code of conduct complaints, we wish to remind all that a vexatious complaint is a breach of the code in itself and will certainly be treated as such during the current crisis.

Operational Arrangements

In line with all public services in Wales, we are monitoring the ongoing situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and managing the possible impact on the organisation.

Our service users

We are currently responding to emails as normal, and we would encourage you to contact us by email whenever possible, or by submitting a complaint form through our website.

As of Monday 23rd March, we are no longer able to accept incoming post – any items sent to PSOW during this time will be kept at the Post Office. There are no staff present to send out mail by post from PSOW.

 Our telephone service has been suspended, but if you leave a voice message we will try to call you back although there is likely to be some delay. In line with the UK Government advice, we are making alternative arrangements to enable our staff to work from home.

We are working to maintain a good service and to try to remain accessible to all people who need us.  However, we may not be able to meet our usual target dates, and those using our service may experience slower than usual response times.

Service providers

Where your ability to supply information to us is compromised due to reduced capacity, we encourage you to liaise with us directly to discuss. Many complaints arise from, or are made worse by, misaligned expectations. With capacity within services likely to be stretched, we encourage you to set realistic timescales with complainants regarding your ability to respond. Timescales can be extended in exceptional circumstances.

Where possible, you may wish to add automatic responses to email inboxes (reducing the demand for you to reply manually) and explain when complainants can realistically expect a response. Further information will be given as the situation develops.