Services for vulnerable adults (eg with learning difficulties. or with mental health issues)
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Ms B complained that Cardiff Council (“the Council”) did not appropriately handle her complaint and failed to follow the statutory adult safeguarding procedure and appropriately deal with the safeguarding concerns she raised for her friend, Mr C.
The Ombudsman’s investigation found that in the handling of Ms B’s complaint, the Council failed to appropriately communicate with her, provide updates or respond to the questions she raised. The Council did not acknowledge Ms B’s complaint and she experienced a significant delay in the Council providing her with a response. The Ombudsman found that the Council’s complaints handling was out of step with its complaints policy and amounted to maladministration. Ms B was not adequately informed or updated and experienced significant delays in the handling of her complaint which was an injustice to her. As a result, the Ombudsman upheld this element of Ms B’s complaint.
The Ombudsman found that the Council’s decision to pause the investigation of her complaint, as a result of ongoing court proceedings, was in line with its policies and the Council had now resumed its investigation. As a result, this element of Ms B’s complaint was not upheld. In relation to Ms B’s complaint that the Council failed to follow the statutory adult safeguarding procedure and appropriately deal with the safeguarding concerns she raised for her friend, Mr C, the Ombudsman was unable to reach a finding as the Council’s complaints investigation into these matters was ongoing.
The Ombudsman recommended that within one month the Council apologise to Ms B for the failings in communication.
The Ombudsman recommended that within two months, the Council should remind its complaint handling staff of the importance of communicating frequently with complainants, keeping complainants updated on the handling of their complaint and the timely handling of complaints and responding to correspondence received from complainants in a timely manner.