Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, adult social care case summaries 26 Sept 2019

All cases can be found at this link 

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (18 011 997)
Summary: There was fault in the way the agency, funded by the Council, provided care and support to Mr B. The Ombudsman has recommended the Council apologises to Mr B and waives the outstanding invoice.

London Borough of Haringey (18 013 043)
Summary: Ms B, with the support of a representative, complains the Council failed to consider her complaint under the Children Act 1989 complaints procedure. This caused Ms B injustice because her complaint was not dealt with as it should have been. The Ombudsman finds the Council at fault for failing to follow the statutory complaints procedure. To remedy Ms B’s injustice, the Council have agreed to consider Ms B’s complaint at stage 2 of the procedure.

Staffordshire County Council (18 014 144)
Summary: Mrs X complains the Council has failed to deal properly with the additional (top-up) charges for her mother’s care home placement. The Council’s only fault has been to require top-up payments and assessed charges to be paid directly to care providers. Although this did not cause injustice to Mrs X, the Council needs to bring its practices into line with the Care and Support Statutory Guidance.

Staffordshire County Council (18 014 855)
Summary: Mrs P complains the Council failed to deal properly with the charges for her late mother’s care home. The Council was wrong to get the care home to collect the mother’s assessed weekly charge. This enabled the care home to make additional charges for which there was no justification. The Council needs to pay financial redress for the distress caused and bring its working practices into line with the Care and Support Statutory Guidance.

Poole Borough Council (18 015 283)
Summary: There was fault in the way the Council assessed Mr B’s finances when he went into a care home. The Ombudsman has recommended the Council apologises and re-assesses Mr B’s finances from May 2017.

Wokingham Borough Council (19 000 548)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs A’s complaint that her husband was neglected by his carer in 2016. This is because he could not add to the Council’s responses or make a finding of the kind Mrs A wants even if he investigated.

Mr Paul Bliss aka Optima Care Partnership (19 002 259)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s late complaint about his mother’s, Mrs B’s, care provider charging for her care in 2016. This is because Mr A could have come to the Ombudsman sooner if he was unhappy with the charges and it would be reasonable for him to defend any charges, he believes Mrs B is not responsible for in court. There is no good reason for the Ombudsman to disapply the law in this case.

North Yorkshire County Council (17 015 975)
Summary: The complaint concerns the Council making safeguarding enquiries after Mr B had an injury. We do not find the safeguarding enquiries resulted from any fault by the Council.

Cheshire East Council (17 018 726)
Summary: Mr G complains about the treatment of his mother by a Trust and Council relating to her hospital discharge in July 2017. The Ombudsmen do not uphold the complaint against the Trust as they found no fault in its actions. They found fault with the Council in relation to communication with the family. However, the Council has now provided a suitable response.

The Thorns Retirement Home Limited (18 003 131)
Summary: Mr X and Ms Y complained the care home required their relative, Ms Z, to pay for additional night care support. There is no fault in the way the care home reached the view Ms Z needed additional care or in the way it reached the decision it could not meet her needs and gave notice.

Independent People Homecare Services (18 012 359)
Summary: Mrs X complains that the Care Provider failed to provide a carer to do shopping as agreed. She also says the carer was not adequately trained. This caused Mrs X distress and inconvenience. The Ombudsman finds the Care Provider caused Mrs X injustice and recommends it apologise and refund her £1,500.

Darlington Borough Council (18 013 292)
Summary: Mr and Mrs X complain the Council mishandled a safeguarding concern involving them both. There is no fault in the actions of the Council. We have closed the case.

Leeds City Council (18 014 760)
Summary: Ms B says the Council failed to give information about a financial client contribution for adult social care; she didn’t pay and there is an outstanding debt. I find the debt is rightly due. There was a delay in the Council auditing Ms B’s social care account. The Council wrongly sent an invoice to her father and disclosed her personal data to him. There have been many errors in communication. This has caused shock, frustration, stress and time trying to sort matters. The Council has taken some steps to remedy matters, it has now agreed to also deduct £250 from the outstanding invoice.

Leicester City Council (18 014 859)
Summary: The complainant says the Council has failed to tell him what money he has in the accounts it manages as his financial appointee and properly consider whether he has capacity to manage his finances. The Council says it has reviewed the complainant’s capacity but assessed him as lacking capacity and so continues to pay his bills and manage his accounts. The Ombudsman finds the Council acted without fault but welcomes its review of how it presents information to those on whose behalf it acts as appointee.

Katie Moore (18 016 277)
Summary: Mrs B complains about the way the Care Provider dealt with charges for care for her mother and uncle. The Care Provider was at fault because it has not provided a satisfactory explanation of why it did not refund charges for care that was not delivered. Mrs B paid more for care than she should have. The Care Provider has now agreed to refund £800.16 that was overpaid. This is an adequate remedy.

Porthaven Care Homes No 3 Limited (18 019 785)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the quality of care her father received during a respite stay. This is because it is unlikely the Ombudsman could add to the care home’s response or provide a worthwhile outcome for Mrs X.

Birmingham City Council (19 001 743)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs A’s complaint about the care provided to her sister, Ms B, shortly before her death. This is because he could not add to the care provider’s response or make a finding of the kind Mrs A wants.

West Sussex County Council (17 012 310)
Summary: The Council was not at fault in its responses to Mr X’s requests for carer’s assessments before September 2018. However, after he requested another assessment in September 2018, the Council was at fault for not assessing him for over three months. It was also at fault for failing to set out how it would meet the needs identified in the assessment. It has agreed to apologise to Mr X and to make a payment of £300 to recognise his injustice.

Crosscrown Limited (18 006 873)
Summary: Mr H complains about events in August 2017 after his late father’s admission to hospital, following which the Care Provider refused his return to one of its care homes. We uphold the complaint. We find evidence to support Mr H’s concern that his father did not receive enough hydration before his admission to hospital. We also find the Care Provider victimised Mr H’s father by refusing to accept his return to the care home when Mr H raised his concern about this. The Care Provider has agreed action to remedy the injustice caused to Mr H and his father and to improve procedures to prevent a repeat.

London Borough of Enfield (18 007 704)
Summary: Mr X complained on behalf of his father, Mr A. Mr X complained the Council failed to tell him about Mr A’s discharge from hospital to a care home. Mr X also complained the Council failed to consult with him over the choice of the care home and its fees. The Council was at fault. It failed to inform Mr X about Mr A’s discharge and failed to adequately consult with him about the choice of care home or explain the cost implications. The Council had already apologised for its poor communication and had waived Mr A’s first week’s care home fees of £750. The Council agreed to pay Mr X £100 to recognise the distress and uncertainty caused by its faults around Mr A’s hospital discharge.

Cambridgeshire County Council (18 009 290)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s response to safeguarding concerns raised by the complainant. This is because there is nothing we could add to the previous investigation by the Council.

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council (18 009 778)
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council delayed and refused a second exit when he applied for a disabled facilities grant, despite two OT’s recommendations. When he appealed this, his bathroom and other works were put on hold and his needs were not met in the best way. The Ombudsman finds the Council did not need to provide the exit but was at fault in the confusing recommendations, delays and failure to clearly explain why it was not responsible. The Council will arrange for the remaining work to be completed urgently.

The Orders Of St. John Care Trust (18 011 896)
Summary: Mr X complains on behalf of his late grandmother (Mrs Y) about poor care and treatment in a residential home. He says this ultimately contributed towards her death. There was fault in the care provider’s actions. It did not always reposition Mrs Y in line with her care plan. It also failed to keep accurate records. This has left Mr X with a sense of uncertainty over whether Mrs Y was cared for properly. However, we cannot say the care provider’s actions contributed towards her death. The care provider has agreed to apologise to Mr X and pay him £150 to acknowledge the uncertainty caused to him. It will remind its staff of the need to adhere to care plans and to keep accurate and regular records. It will also review its policy on the completion of daily continence charts.

Devon County Council (18 013 061)
Summary: Mrs D complains about the quality of care her late father received in a nursing home. I have discontinued my investigation as this care was funded by the NHS and is therefore outside the Ombudsman’s remit.

North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council (18 015 746)
Summary: Mrs X complains about the Council’s handling of her care charges and financial assessment. Mrs X also complains the Council told her preferred care home there were issues with her behaviour. The Ombudsman does not find fault with the Council for sharing information about her behaviour with the care home. The Ombudsman does find fault with the Council for the delay in completing Mrs X’s financial assessment. The Council has agreed to reduce Mrs X’s care charges by £500.

Cornwall Council (18 017 085)
Summary: Mrs X complains about the Council’s handling of her financial assessment and its decision she had deprived herself of assets. The Ombudsman finds fault with the Council for the time it took to complete the financial assessment. We do not find fault with the Council’s decision Mrs X had deprived herself of assets. We have recommended the Council apologise for the delays.

Essex County Council (19 002 437)
Summary: Mr B’s daughter, Ms Q, complains about the Council’s decision not to waive care home costs Mr B incurred between 2008 and 2014 despite having suffered abuse during his residency at the home. The Ombudsman will not investigate the complaint because it falls outside our jurisdiction having happened too far in the past to be investigated now.

Portsmouth City Council (19 000 621)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint that the Council has increased his mother’s care costs by adding a £10 weekly arrangement fee. This is because there is no evidence of fault in the way the Council reached its decision.

Surrey County Council (19 001 583)
Summary: Mrs X complains the Council failed to consult with her about changes to her mother’s adult social care. The Ombudsman will not investigate her complaint. This is because there is not enough evidence of fault to warrant an investigation by the Ombudsman.

London Borough of Lewisham (17 009 673)
Summary: A man complained that a council and clinical commissioning group took too long to assess his father’s home for adaptations and did not consider his religious need to access a shower. The Ombudsmen find fault with communication about the assessments, which caused some frustration. The Ombudsmen find that the council was at fault for not considering religious needs but this did not cause injustice. The Council will apologise for the impact of the lack of updates about the assessments.

London Borough of Lewisham (18 001 147)
Summary: The Council is at fault as it delayed in carrying out a care needs assessment for Ms X, did not properly consider the significance of Ms X’s pending assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder when assessing her care needs, did not review if it needed to reassess Ms X’s care needs, did not clearly communicate with Ms X about her care plan, did not retain Ms X’s advocate to assist her in challenging the personal budget and delayed in dealing with her complaint. The Council has agreed to remedy Ms X’s injustice by apologising, making a payment and reassessing her care needs.

North Yorkshire County Council (18 008 846)
Summary: Mr and Mrs X have complained on behalf of Mrs Y about the Council’s decision to treat Mrs Y as having notional capital when it carried out a financial assessment in relation to social care funding. There is no evidence of fault with how the Council assessed Mrs Y’s finances. There is some fault with how it dealt with the complaint.

Kingston upon Hull City Council (18 016 089)
Summary: Mrs C says care commissioned by the Council was not adequate for her mother, the care provider failed to follow procedures when terminating her mother’s care and misled her about a top up fee. There is no fault in how the Council or care provider dealt with the top up fee. The care provider’s documentary records are inadequate and it therefore seems likely there were failings in care. The care provider failed to follow the procedures when terminating care and failed to properly explain its reasons. That led to Mrs C having to go to time and trouble to pursue her complaint and caused her distress. An apology and payment to Mrs C is satisfactory remedy for the injustice caused.

London Borough of Camden (18 019 682)
Summary: The Ombudsmen will not investigate Miss T’s complaint about the Council’s decision not to investigate her complaint about entitlement to aftercare under s117 of the Mental Health Act 1983. This is because the Council has now agreed to investigate Miss T’s complaint. This remedies the injustice caused to Miss T by the Council’s decision not to investigate these matters.

St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council (19 000 135)
Summary: Mr C complains that the Council delayed in informing him that his mother’s care home placement had been made permanent. The Council has accepted fault and agreed to a further financial remedy. The Ombudsman has discontinued his investigation on this basis.

Broxbourne Borough Council (17 004 197)
Summary: Mrs X complains the Council delayed determining a disabled facilities grant application. She made the application in May 2017 and there is nothing to suggest the Council ever made a decision, which is fault. However, Mrs X has not been significantly affected by this as she wanted adaptations she had never been assessed as requiring.

Norfolk County Council (17 019 357)
Summary: Mr C has complained about the care and treatment of his late wife by a care home, GP practice and a trust. The Ombudsmen do not uphold the complaint with the care home or Trust, but have found fault with the Practice in relation to medication.

Worcestershire County Council (18 002 336)
Summary: Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s community mental health team took too long to rearrange a cancelled appointment. Also, it did not return Mrs A’s call after she raised concerns about her son’s mental health. This caused Mrs A distress. The Ombudsmen consider Worcestershire County Council and the community mental health team’s lack of communication after April 2015 was fault. However, there was no impact on Mr B.

Hertfordshire County Council (18 007 183)
Summary: Mrs X complains the occupational therapist failed to carry out an assessment which stalled her application for a disabled facilities grant. The information provided shows the Council was prepared to carry out an assessment but Mrs X declined. While the County Council should have passed on information about Mrs X declining an assessment to the Borough Council, it was her refusal of an assessment that caused her injustice.

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (18 011 713)
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council refused to assess him and directed him to mental health services which does not provide the support he needs. Mr X says he is in despair without the support the Council agreed to provide. The Ombudsman finds the Council was not at fault in the way it dealt with Mr X.

Derbyshire County Council (18 019 585)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr & Mrs A’s complaint about the Council failing to offer a home care package for Mrs A. Mr & Mrs A have withdrawn their complaint because it is resolved.

Nottinghamshire County Council (18 014 798)
Summary: The Ombudsmen will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about a best interest decision to discharge his wife to a residential home. The Ombudsmen are unlikely to be able to add to previous investigations by Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

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