West Sussex County Council (21 017 690)

Category : Other Categories > COVID-19

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 31 Mar 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the distance the complainant had to travel to receive his COVID-19 booster vaccination. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. There is not enough evidence of significant personal injustice to the complainant.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall refer to as Mr X, complained about the distance he had to travel to receive his COVID-19 booster vaccination. Mr X complained the Council’s Director of Public Health had neglected various broad responsibilities linked to the pandemic.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse effect on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if the tests set out in our Assessment Code are not met. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. We will not start an investigation into Mr X’s complaint. It is clear he is concerned about the distance he had to travel to secure a COVID-19 booster vaccination. But the personal injustice is not significant enough to warrant an investigation. Mr X's broader concerns about the Director of Public Health all flow from this issue and have also not caused a significant personal injustice An investigation is not therefore warranted.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because there is not enough evidence of significant personal injustice.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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