As of 31 July 2019, we had 86 unallocated substance and maladministration cases, a decrease of 9 cases since the end of June. Our new assessment process for all new cases is contributing to this reduction but we are fully aware that we still need to do more. There is still a long wait for cases to be allocated to an investigator, currently 16 months. We are taking steps to recruit more staff to reduce the backlog even further but this is taking some time to progress.
The backlog only applies to substance and maladministration cases. We continue to encourage you to make an application to us if you believe there was something wrong with the way one of the Services handled your complaint and/or you believe an incorrect decision was made. All applications we receive will be subject to an initial assessment within 10 working days so we can inform you as quickly as possible whether we will be able to progress your case once an investigator becomes available. If we are not able to accept your case for investigation you will receive a letter explaining the reasons for this. The criteria for the Ombudsman’s decisions on whether to accept a case for investigation can be found here: https://www.scoaf.org.uk/2019/05/30/backlog-update-6/