Update – Stage 2 Complaint V Gwynedd Council.

Today, the 25th of May, 2018, is the anniversary of our raising a Stage 2 complaint against Cyngor Gwynedd Council, on the advice of the Ombudsman for Wales.

One year in a process that should take 28 days and it is still not completed.

More – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/

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Update #Gwynedd Council Censoring Of Personal Information.

On the 23rd May, 2018, Cyngor Gwynedd Council finally released to us an unredacted copy of an email written by a Gwynedd Council manager containing our personal information.

They had no right to censor our personal information, this was done deliberately, to prevent us from reading unprofessional and disparaging comments made about us by a senior social work manager.

It should have been released to us in October, 2016 in accordance with our Subject Access Request.

An Information Manager dealing with the issue says there was no legitimate reason for it to be redacted or denied us, this was not the only email that was redacted in this same manner, for the same reasons, from the same manager.

19 months to obtain all the information allowed us by Law under the Data Protection Act.
A process that should take a maximim of 40 days.

We now wonder whether or not the Council provided us with all that we were entitled to at that time…..or not…who knows ?

Something is so badly wrong within Gwynedd Council.

More – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/

Maladministration At Gwynedd Council 2018.

On the 16th March, 2018, Gwynedd Council’s Corporate Director and Head of Social Services, Morwena Edwards, finally responded to our Stage 2 Complaint, nearly 5 months after the completed Report was received by the Council.

The entire process has taken over 10 months to conclude – a process that according to Gwynedd’s Statutory Policy should take 28 days.

Our complaint(s) were upheld by the ‘Independent’ Investigator and her Report – twice sanitised by the Council – still makes for some very interesting reading. But that is for another time.

The Data Breach and censoring of our personal information are currently being investigated as a separate complaint by Gwynedd’s Information department. But we have now been told that the Manager is not able to deal with the issue of a senior manager, Melvin Panther, writing disparaging comments about the family to other agencies – so our complaint in this respect is still not concluded.

The official response from the Council is signed off by Morwena Edwards and she attempts to totally whitewash the highly critical Report into her department.

According to the Welsh Government Guidelines on Social Services Complaints, the Council were obliged to offer to meet with us to discuss the report and their response. They have not offered a meeting and as we have yet again been denied the opportunity to discuss the report and their response to it, we wrote in response to the Council.

We pointed out that the Children and Family department attempts to gloss over the systemic failings uncovered by the ‘Independent’ Investigator and still seek to blame anyone but themselves.

Social Workers and other Council Officers admit that the child’s case was allowed ‘to drift’.

Our reply to the Corporate Director(s) was that her response is nonsensical and farcical and disregards the failure of Social Workers and the appalling state of record keeping within the Children’s department.

During this time, the Ombudsman for Wales has also been investigating Gwynedd Council.

Their Report upholds all our complaints and highlights maladministration and service failure by Gwynedd Social Services going as far back as 2010.

Yet this time Gwynedd Council have held up their hands to the Ombudman’s Report and agreed to implement all the recommendations made – including certain officers being retrained in respect of the Council adhering to their Statutory Duties.

The Council would have received the Ombudsman’s Report early last week. They have still not contacted us.

Something is so badly wrong within Gwynedd Council.

More – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Gwynedd Council Complaint – Three Become One.

It is now 12 weeks since Cyngor Gwynedd council received the ‘Independent Report’ into our Stage 2 complaint first raised in May, 2017, as advised by the Ombudsman for Wales.

The council continue to ignore our requests for a copy of the Report and refuse to say whether our 6 points of complaint have been upheld by the Investigator.

The previous posts have given details of two points – of six – of our complaint and may go someway to explain Gwynedd’s Children and Family Support Department’s seeming reluctance to share the report with ourselves.

Due to the limitations I have in publicising this case and the way the Independent Investigator has written the complaint it is easier to discuss the next three points as one.

All three points of complaint reference the input of Senior Social Worker, Delyth Davies, who was assigned to carry out a Core Assessment of Needs on a diagnosed Autistic child with PDA and other complex issues.

The complaint contends that the Core assessment does not reflect the needs of the child and totally ignores the fact the child has needs relating to independence, socialisation and self-care skills, the child also has S.E.N. It states that all the child’s needs are met by parents and education, but with no regard for the future and what the needs and possible limitations may be as the child enters adulthood.

I have been involved in Assessments in the past – assessing the elderly for dementia and related care needs – and in my professional opinion the assessment undertaken by Delyth Davies was ‘inadequate’ to say the least.

Delyth Davies was questioned by the parents why the assessment considered the child to have no ‘disability’, she acted surprised and stated that it was a mistake. When asked if she would then put right her ‘mistake’, she said she could not answer at that time, due to having to speak with her managers first. Those managers are Sharron Carter Williams and Melvin Panther.

Delyth Davies had asked for additional information to be sent electronically to her as she stated she could only add information and amend things on the computer and she couldn’t just ‘dip in and out of it’.

My wife duly scanned and sent copies to Delyth Davies electronically for this purpose, as she was asked. No changes were made.

Information provided by parents and a Tutor were ‘filed’ instead of being included in the Core Assessment as promised, nor was a change made to the Core Assessment to state that the child was considered disabled.

The complaint also asks Delyth Davies, for an explanation of why she thought it appropriate to send an email regarding our complaint to someone not being part of or involved, in any way, with the complaint.

I have sighted the email and I read it as being written for one reason only – to maliciously cause trouble for my wife. Hopefully, the social worker’s explanation when finally released will assure me this is not the case.

More – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/

Gwynedd Council – Malicious Or Incompetent ?

So why is Gwynedd council delaying the release of the Independent Investigators Report into our Stage 2 complaint raised with the council as advised by the Ombudsman for Wales in May, 2017 ?
I understand that this will spoil the council’s data figures and put an end to the boasting by the Head of the Children and Family Department regarding the lack of complaints being escalated to stage 2, but these are small matters when compared to helping a disabled child obtain the help that is due him.
Aren’t they ?
I am also aware that using the web to publicise our story may have entrenched some within the council and social services to deny the child his rights and us the Independent Report.
 But it was the council themselves who first took to the web to whitewash and diss our attempts at obtaining services for the child and this blog was started to tell the very different reality of our situation, as the report gave a very one sided view of things.
 It is becoming increasingly obvious that  Gwynedd Council’s Complaints Department and Procedure is not fit for purpose and that when or if we are finally allowed the ‘Independent Report’ will it be so censored or sanitised that it bears no resemblance to the original ?
Fearing this, I feel it would be useful to have some record of the complaint available on the web and so I am going to go through each point of our complaint – and our desired outcomes – here. There will obviously be redactions to protect not only the identity of the child but, also, those employees of the council who have acted professionally.
                                                    *****************************
One point of our complaint was –
 (Child) was on a Child in Need Plan, and as a result of Jamie Hayden (social worker) not attending the CIN Plan Review Meeting on 25th May 2016, no review was carried out. Complainants wish to know what has happened to (Child’s) Child in Need Plan since the last CIN Meeting held in February 2016, and how are social services evidencing that (Child’s) needs are being met? (Parents) have never received any correspondence or information informing them that the Child in Need Plan had ended or why.
Our desired outcome to this point of complaint was –
 The complainants seek a full and comprehensive explanation from Gwynedd County Council as to why (Child’s) Child in Need Plan was not properly reviewed, updated, and minuted, as Gwynedd Social Services department policy and procedure clearly stated..
                                                       *****************************
Oh dear – now this could be sticky for the council as all Children cases need careful review and updating and accurate records and minutes kept  – not just those on a CIN plan.

Gwynedd’s Social Service’s past mistakes and failings in this child’s case are clearly documented in an Independent Investigators Report from 2010. Nothing appears to have changed.

Yet Gwynedd Council  literature, policies etc on complaints handling and outcomes assure the public that lessons are learnt and changes made.

 Or are they..?
Answers on a postcard postage stamp, please.

Cyngor Gwynedd Council Handling Of Stage 2 Complaints – 2018.

Following on from the post, last year, in which the customer care (!) team at Cyngor Gwynedd council advised contacting the Ombudsman for Wales to discuss our concerns regarding our stage 2 complaint, we did indeed contact the Ombudsman.

Their initial response appeared to imply that we could raise a formal complaint into our formal complaint and so, seeking more clarity we sent the email below –

“We were somewhat confused by your response. We have no in depth knowledge of the statutory policy and procedure in such matters and have sought advice from the Council as to our and the Council’s rights during the process. So far without success….

We do know however that the handling of our complaint and us as complainants by the Senior Management Team and Customer Care is just plain wrong.

Your office has repeatedly stated that the Ombudsman is independent of both complainants and public bodies and from your own email the other day – ‘He is not an advocate for either party and his function is to investigate complaints put to him, reaching a view on the evidence presented, in an impartial manner’.

May we remind you that the Ombudsman has made decisions on our case purely on ‘new information’ – not evidence based – provided to them by the council in the past without allowing us sight of said information or allowing us to comment and rebuff such ‘information’.

We also remind you that the Ombudsman’s office has given us assurances in the past which have transpired to be false and we have challenged the Ombudsman’s past decisions in this case as inadequate and nonsensical.

Indeed we feel that had the Ombudsman’s original decision been adhered to, that the Council were to undertake the Original Stage 2 complaint, then some of the current situation may well have been avoided.

We contend that the Ombudsman’s methods do not allow for fairness and transparency when only one side is allowed free and unfettered access to his office and can present information that the complainant is told nothing about and so cannot counter argue. How on earth is this fair or acting in ‘an impartial manner’ ?

This whole process of dealing with the Ombudsman and the Council is exhausting and is causing considerable upset and anguish. We are reasonably intelligent and due to the life we lead have learnt to be mentally resilient, yet we are suffering – we know that so many others in similar situations give up in despair, worse is the fact that both the Ombudsman and the Council appear to have forgotten completely the needs of the child in all this….”

…We are at present pondering on whether to make another complaint with the Ombudsman or put in a formal complaint with the Council in regard to their handling of our current Stage 2 complaint. But our experiences tells us that this whole process is flawed to the extent of not being fit for purpose.

Please inform us whether submitting another Stage 2 to the Council, or raising a complaint with the Ombudsman’s office will in any way further delay or interfere with our current Stage 2 complaint.”

They replied –

“…If you wish for this matter to be considered by the Ombudsman, you would need to submit a complaint, by completing the online form on our website.  I am unable to speculate whether submitting a complaint to this office would affect the Council’s current Stage 2 investigation. The decision whether or not to approach the Ombudsman at this stage is yours and I am unable to advise you in that regard.  However, please be aware that we normally expect you to exhaust the Council’s complaints procedure before approaching us.”

Now the Ombudsman’s use of the word ‘speculate’ caused my spider senses to tingle.

So we contacted the Gwynedd customer care (!) and asked the question –

“… if we were to raise a formal complaint into how the council and the customer care department have been dealing with our formal complaint would this, in any way, interfere with or cause any further delay to our formal complaint first raised with you on the 25th May, 2017 ?”

Such a convoluted and insane question to ask a county council, but eh.

The council has fallen silent.

More – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/