The data shows that just under 10,000 complaints were received by Welsh Health Boards and Trusts in the first half of 23/24; this is the equivalent of about 6 complaints for every 1,000 residents of Wales*. These complaint volumes are slightly lower than the first half of last financial year.
Records show that 26% of complaints recorded by Health Boards and Trusts were about Clinical Treatment/Assessment, 21% were about appointments, and 13% were about communication issues.
The data shows that about 70% of complaints were closed within the target of 30 working days – this is lower than the same period last year, meaning complainants seem to be waiting longer for a response from Health Boards and Trusts this year.
483 complaints relating to Health Boards and Trusts were referred to us in the year, which represents about 5% of all complaints closed in the same period – this is almost identical to the same period last year.
The numbers of complaints referred gives context to both Health complaints data and cases about Health Boards and Trusts handled by us.
We closed 500 complaints about Health Boards and Trusts in the first half of 23/24. Some of those complaints would have been referred to the office during the previous financial year.
We intervened in 30% of those cases, by recommending Early Resolution**, Voluntary Settlement, or upholding a complaint after an investigation. This is broadly consistent with previous years.
We are also publishing information about Local Authority complaints today – with more than 9,000 complaints being logged by Local Authorities in Wales during the first half of 23/24, the equivalent of 6 complaints for every 1,000 residents*. This represents an increase of about 1,500 complaints, or 20% based on the same period last year.
About 75% of complaints were handled within the target time – although Local Authorities use a shorter target of 20 working days. This performance is similar to previous years.
Records show that 34% of complaints recorded by Local Authorities were about waste and refuse – a theme continuing from previous years – 17% were about housing, and 11% were about social services. 47% of all complaints were upheld by Local Authorities, which is increased from 40% in the same period last year.
We received 558 complaints about Local Authorities in the first half of 23/24, which represents 6.25% of all complaints closed by Local Authorities in the same period.
We closed 507 complaints about Local Authorities in the first half of 22/23. Some of those complaints would have been referred to the office during the previous financial year.
We intervened in 17% of those cases, by recommending Early Resolution**, Voluntary Settlement, or upholding a complaint after an investigation. The large majority of cases about Local Authorities closed by us in the first half of 23/24 were out of jurisdiction, or closed by early resolution.
“This years’ data shows a continuing theme for some complaints in Wales –where complaints about appointments and the treatment people receive in Health, as well as complaints about waste collections and housing featuring prominently again. My office has seen record levels of complaints this year, and we will continue to provide an independent view of these complaints and, where necessary, make recommendations and work with public bodies across Wales to ensure they use the complaints they receive to improve the services they deliver”.
“Now we’re into the third year of publishing data like this, and I think we’re starting to see some of our Complaints Standards work in action – especially in Local Authorities. Councils in Wales are logging 20% more complaints now than in recent years. The challenge to public services in Wales is to ensure that they log all the complaints they receive, and ensure that they receive complaints from all parts of society – not just those most able to complain”.
*This figure is adjusted to allow comparison with full year figures
** In some cases, we may take the view that there is action that the organisation being complained about could take quickly to resolve a complaint. In these cases, we will contact the organisation involved to explain what we think might be done and seek its agreement to take that forward.
The data for 2023/2024 is presented below.
Our Complaints Standards Data reports show complaints information for public bodies, and PSOW, during the financial year. The reports are updated twice a year. Complaints Standards data is data that can be used and shared by anyone for any purpose. We make this data publicly available under the Open Government Licence to provide transparency about public sector complaints we receive, and those dealt with by public bodies in the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
In publishing this information we have taken steps to ensure that it is not possible to identify any individual.
You can view more data on PSOW cases via our Open Data page – Open Data, and through our annual report.