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Office of The Ombudsman announces result of direct investigation

4 January 2018

The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, today (January 4) announced the completion of a direct investigation into the support services provided by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) for persons with or suspected to have mental health problems and their families/carers and neighbours.


In this investigation, the Office of The Ombudsman has examined at a macro level whether there are any inadequacies in the SWD’s mechanism for providing services and assistance to those in need through Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness (Wellness Centres) operated by non-governmental organisations in various districts.


In the course of the Office’s investigation, the SWD has adopted some improvement measures.


The Office has further made five recommendations to the SWD, urging the department to clarify the target groups of the Wellness Centres; instruct the Wellness Centres to enhance communication with the neighbours of mental patients, so that more appropriate assistance can be provided to those patients; strengthen its monitoring of the utilisation of the Centres’ services by all the target groups; step up publicity of and disseminate more information about the Wellness Centres; and review its guiding principles and mechanism for handling complaints against the Wellness Centres.


The direct investigation report has been uploaded to the Office of The Ombudsman website at for public viewing.


Office of The Ombudsman
January 4, 2018