We can launch an investigation into any matter even without receiving a complaint. We can do this if we decide that something may have gone wrong with public services; the issue could have negative impact on a wide group of citizens (particularly if they may be vulnerable or disadvantaged); and it would be in the public interest to investigate it.

The proposed investigation would aim to find out if carers face any barriers when seeking to have their needs assessed by local authorities. It would also consider if complaints processes of health services and local authorities are accessible and effective for carers and those being cared for.

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

A carer is someone who provides, or intends to provide, unpaid care for an adult or disabled child. The cared for person may be a family member or a friend, who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

Twelve percent of the Welsh population are carers.  It is reasonable to assume that they, and those they care for, are especially reliant on public services.  Yet, we receive very few complaints from carers and those receiving care.

Through this investigation, we hope to identify any barriers that carers may be facing when seeking to have their needs assessed or to complain to health bodies and local authorities. It is crucial that voices of carers, and those they care for, are heard, and that public bodies adequately meet their needs and resolve any concerns they raise effectively and in a timely manner. We warmly encourage anyone who is interested or has experience in this subject to respond to our consultation.

To find further details of this consultation, go here.

The consultation will close on 6 February at midnight.