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As Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW), we do three things:
- We investigate complaints made by members of the public who believe they have suffered hardship or injustice because a public service provider got things wrong. We can look into complaints about most public sector bodies in Wales. These include local government (both county and community councils), the National Health Service (including GPs and dentists), registered social landlords (housing associations), and the Welsh Government, together with its sponsored bodies. We can also consider complaints about privately arranged or funded social care and palliative care services and, in certain specific circumstances, aspects of privately funded healthcare.
- We investigate complaints that local councillors have breached their authority’s Codes of Conduct, which set out the recognised principles of behaviour that councillors should follow in public life.
- We drive systemic improvement of public services and standards of conduct in local government in Wales. We have two specific powers that help us improve public services. We can launch an investigation even without receiving a complaint (on ‘own initiative’). As the Complaints Standards Authority (CSA), we can also promote good complaint handling by bodies in our jurisdiction through setting model complaints procedures, providing training, and monitoring how these bodies handle complaints.