People in Wales who fund their own social care or receive palliative care will be able to make complaints about those services to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) under a change to the law which came into force Saturday 1 November.
The change is being introduced as a result of the Welsh Government’s Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. Provision in that Act, among other things, amends the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005.
The PSOW has legal powers to look into complaints about public services in Wales. Until now, the Ombudsman has only been able to investigate complaints relating to health and social care regarding services provided or commissioned by a local authority or Local Health Board.
These new powers for the PSOW complement new regulations which came into force on 1 August 2014 and introduced a new two stage social services complaints procedure.
For NHS services, a patient or family can complain to the NHS organisation about palliative care and have the matter investigated; if they remain unhappy they can approach the Ombudsman. Throughout this process, patients can ask to be supported by an advocate who will assist them to take forward their concern.
The end-of-life care annual report, published earlier this week, showed the average feedback score for specialist palliative care services, according to the results of the iWantGreatCare survey was 9.56 out of 10.
From Welsh Government Press release