Cardiff Council has been criticised by the Ombudsman after it failed to honour its promise to undertake an independent assessment for a vulnerable person.

Mr A (anonymised) originally complained to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, via his MP who had been supporting Mr A. The MP complained that having agreed to complete an independent assessment of his needs in early 2019, Cardiff Council failed to do so.

Mr A, who has a personality disorder and a visual impairment, is housed in accommodation provided by the Council, and is supported by the Council’s Adult Social Services Team.

In accordance with his powers, the Ombudsman resolved the complaint (as an alternative to investigation) on the basis of the Council’s agreement to conduct the assessment of Mr A’s needs. This action was to be completed by 27 September 2020 but the Ombudsman has seen no evidence that an attempt to make the assessment had taken place.

Due to the council’s failure to honour its promise, the Ombudsman has issued a ‘special report’ and made further recommendations which the Council has agreed to.

The council will:

a) Complete an independent assessment (undertaken by someone who is not an employee of the Council) of Mr A’s needs by 31 January 2021.

b) Provide a weekly update to his office about the progression of the independent assessment.

c) Provide a copy of the independent assessment to his office once completed.

d) Issue an apology to Mr A in writing (within 1 month), with a copy to the MP, for the delay in completing the independent assessment. It also agreed to provide a copy of the letter to the Ombudsman’s office.

Commenting on the report, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, said:

“I consider it unacceptable for a major public body to fail to take prompt and effective action to ensure that agreed recommendations are properly implemented. This is particularly so when it involves the need to support a vulnerable person. Cardiff council failed to fulfil what are, in effect, binding promises to me as Ombudsman.

“This particular vulnerable person has been let down by the council and I fully expect the assessment of his needs to take place as soon as is practically possible.”


For further information please contact Matt Aplin, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, at or call 07957 440846.

To read the report, click here.