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Ms A had complained to Hywel Dda University Health Board in June 2014 concerning her son’s opthalmic care, but had not received a response to the complaint. She complained to the Ombudsman in January 2016, asking him to investigate the Health Board’s handling of her complaint and secure a response. In accordance with his powers, the Ombudsman resolved the complaint (as an alternative to investigation) on the basis of the Health Board’s agreement to a number of actions, including an apology, financial redress for the complaint handling delays, and confirmation as to when the written response would be sent. These actions were to be completed by 15 March 2016.

Being dissatisfied that the Health Board had not complied with the earlier recommendations, the Ombudsman invoked his powers to issue a special report. This was critical of the Health Board’s actions in the meantime and its failure to implement the recommendations it had previously agreed to. Therefore, the Ombudsman made further recommendations:

(a) Issue the complaint response to Ms A without further delay.

(b) Issue an additional written apology to her for the continued delay.

(c) Offer Ms A further financial redress of £100 for that delay.

(d) Provide copies of the letters to the Ombudsman.

(e) The Chief Executive should personally respond to the Ombudsman after undertaking a review of the resources within the Concerns Team and its capacity to deal with the number of complaints received in a timely way.

A full copy of the report is available below.