Public awareness of the service provided by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales has increased to its highest ever level, a new national survey has revealed.

Public awareness rose by 13% to 48%, compared to 35% in 2012, according to research conducted by Beaufort Research. In North Wales, awareness was even higher at 50%.

The Ombudsman, Nick Bennett, said that high visibility was crucial to ensure Welsh public service users knew how and where to complain, and to make sure that lessons were learnt when things went wrong.

He said that he has made it a key priority of his term since he was appointed in 2014 to raise the profile of his office and share good practice.

The survey also revealed:

  • 91% of respondents found it easy to contact PSOW. This score was higher for those who were satisfied with the outcome of their complaint. (98%)
  • 68% of respondents agreed that they were given clear information about the Ombudsman’s process for handling complaints – 91% among those satisfied with the outcome of their complaint.
  • Overall 57% of all respondents agreed that they were very or fairly satisfied with the level of customer service that they have received from PSOW. This score was much higher for those who were satisfied with the outcome (98%).

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett said:  ‘At a time when people are more reliant on public services, especially the NHS, it’s important that service users know their rights and understand where they can make a complaint if they feel they have suffered an injustice.

“I’m delighted awareness has increased and this in some part explains the higher number of complaints received by my office over the past few years.

“I am committed to continue raising awareness of my office especially with the introduction of new own initiative powers and improved standardised data.”

For more information on the customer satisfaction research, click here.