Adult Social Services
Neath Port Talbot Council
Mr A complained about Neath Port Talbot Council’s decision not to undertake an investigation of concerns he had shared about his son. Mr A also complained about complaints handling, as the Council had failed to escalate his complaint to Stage 2 of the social services complaints process. Mr A said that the Council had wrongly interpreted the law.
The Ombudsman found that there was some delay in the Council dealing with the complaint. Prior to the Stage 1 complaint response being issued, Mr A requested matters be escalated to Stage 2 and for there to be an independent investigation of his complaint. This was not actioned by the Council and Mr A was not provided with a substantive response to those requests. The Council provided a final response in April 2023, which appeared conflicting and confusing. It was unclear on what basis the Council had refused to undertake the requested Stage 2 independent investigation. The Ombudsman decided to settle the complaint without an investigation.
The Ombudsman sought and gained the Council’s agreement to, within 20 working days, liaise with Mr A to establish what matters remain outstanding, provide him with a further response to those matters and/or an explanation as to why they cannot be considered and provide an apology for the failure to respond to the substantive matters contained in emails sent to the Council in December 2022. The Ombudsman’s view was that the above action was reasonable to settle Mr A’s complaint.