Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, adult social care case summaries 08 January 2020

All cases can be found at this link 

Newcastle upon Tyne City Council (18 013 072)
Summary: The Council was at fault because there were failings in the quality of care Mr Y received while he was a resident in a care home. The Council is accountable for this fault because it arranged the placement for Mr Y. I found no fault in the Council’s handling of the safeguarding investigation. As Mr Y has since passed away, the Council has agreed to provide a suitable remedy for the distress caused to his daughter, Mrs X.

Somerset County Council (18 014 979)
Summary: Mrs X complained the Council did not explain the costs involved when it arranged for her mother to move into residential care. She also complained about the care provided. The Council was at fault for not providing adequate cost information and for the delay in carrying out a financial assessment. It should pay Mrs X £250 to acknowledge the worry and stress caused by receiving a large, unexpected bill for care. There is no fault with the care provided.

Care UK Community Partnerships Limited (18 016 750)
Summary: Mr X complained on behalf of his mother in law, Mrs Y, about care provided during a respite stay at a care home. There were faults in the care provider’s record keeping and care planning. These caused uncertainty to Mrs Y and Mr X about the adequacy of care provided. The care provider agrees to apologise to Mrs Y and Mr X, make a token payment of £250 to Mrs Y acknowledging distress caused to her, and review its practice to prevent reoccurrence.

North East Lincolnshire Council (19 000 027)
Summary: We do not uphold Mr A’s complaints about his late sister’s end of life care in a care home.

North Yorkshire County Council (19 000 947)
Summary: Mr X complained the Council failed to tell him that his son would need to contribute to the cost of his day-care. He also complains about errors in the financial assessment and delays in sending invoices. He says the late receipt of a large bill for services caused worry and distress. The Council was at fault for not telling Mr X about the day care charges, errors in its financial assessment and a delay in invoicing him for those charges. It should pay him £500 for the injustice caused.

Kent County Council (19 006 650)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms A’s complaint about the way the Council has handled her complaints. This is because there is no ongoing injustice to either Ms A or Mr B warranting an Ombudsman investigation. Where the substantive matters do not themselves warrant investigation; the Ombudsman will not normally consider how the Council has responded to a complaint about them. That is the case here.

London Borough of Camden (19 007 700)
Summary: Ms B complains about the Council’s decision that she is not eligible for support from its Community Learning Disabilities Service. The Ombudsman will not investigate the complaint because it is unlikely we can add to the investigation already carried out by the Council and it is unlikely an investigation will lead to a different outcome.

Hampshire County Council (18 003 977)
Summary: Mr F complains about the Council’s billing for care services it provided his mother. The Council has now agreed to write off the charges. As the Ombudsman cannot achieve anything more for Mr F, we have discontinued our investigation.

Sunderland City Council (18 007 253)
Summary: The complaint is about the late Mr C’s care in a council-funded care home. We uphold the complaint. There were failings in Mr C’s care including poor record keeping, a failure to follow NHS advice and a failure to address poor food and fluid intake. The Council gave no written feedback on the safeguarding enquiry and there was also a failure to address all Miss A’s complaints. The Council will apologise and pay £1000 to reflect Miss A’s avoidable distress.

T M Kelly (18 013 744)
Summary: Miss X complained about the Care Provider that runs a care home her father stayed in for four months. She raised concerns about standards at the Care Home which she says caused issues with her father’s behaviour, and believes the home wrongly gave him notice to leave based on incorrect information. The Care Provider was not at fault.

Herefordshire Council (18 015 004)
Summary: The Council cannot show it discussed the funding for domiciliary care with Mr X before he was discharged from hospital. It now offers to reimburse the charges incurred, which will remedy any injustice caused.

London Borough of Redbridge (18 015 695)
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council suspended his carer’s direct payment wrongly, intimidated him and did not respond to his complaints about this. The Ombudsman finds the Council was at fault in charging Mr X and this caused Mr X’s payment to be zero. It also caused him distress and a loss of service. The Council has agreed to reverse its charging decision so Mr X will now continue to receive his regular payment. It will pay him £800 to recognise the service he lost.

Nottingham City Council (19 000 121)
Summary: Mr and Mrs X have complained about the Council’s decision to charge a third party top up fee towards the cost of Ms Y’s care. They are also unhappy with how the Council has dealt with their complaint. There is some fault by the Council.

London Borough of Ealing (19 006 908)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms A’s complaint about the Council acting in the role of deputy for her brother’s, Mr B’s finances. This is because it would be reasonable for Ms A to ask the court to consider whether the Council is liable for the theft of Mr B’s money and the Information Commissioner’s Office to consider whether she can have access to information she wants.

Essex County Council (19 007 586)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint. This is because we cannot investigate complaints about what happens in schools and colleges. The complaint is therefore outside our jurisdiction with no discretion to investigate.

London Borough of Hillingdon (19 007 413)
Summary: Mr B complains about the Council’s handling of matters relating to a relative who has been living in his house. The Ombudsman will not investigate the complaint because there are insufficient grounds to warrant an investigation.

Lovett Care Limited (18 014 847)
Summary: Mrs C complains about the care provided to her mother, who developed a pressure sore while in residential care. The Ombudsman finds the actions of the provider fell short of what was required and that this caused injustice, for which a remedy has been agreed.

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council (18 018 548)
Summary: The Ombudsmen have upheld Mrs G’s complaint about the way her carer’s assessments were carried out. We have not found fault with the way the Trust, Council and CCG arranged Mr H’s accommodation under s117 of the Mental Health Act or how the Trust communicated with Mrs G and Mr H about this.

London Borough of Wandsworth (19 001 042)
Summary: Ms X complained the Council charged her for additional care following an accident and about the way it assessed how much she should contribute to the cost of care and support. The Council was at fault for charging for the additional care that was needed after an accident for which it accepted liability. It should waive those charges. There was no fault in the way it calculated Ms X’s contribution to her care.

Cornwall Council (19 006 457)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the way the Council responded to a safeguarding concern made by the complainant about his tenant. This is because the Council has provided a satisfactory remedy.

North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council (18 015 796)
Summary: Ms C complains it took the Council an unreasonable amount of time to complete a needs and carer assessment, and the Council failed to subsequently provide the support it promised. The Ombudsman found the Council already acknowledged there had been a delay, for which it had already apologised. This was an appropriate remedy.

Northumberland County Council (18 018 034)
Summary: Mrs B says the Council delayed completing adaptation works at her property and failed to offer compensation to reflect damage and stress during the building works. The Council’s target for the works was unrealistic and further delays meant Mrs B and her family had to live in unsuitable circumstances and have one family member living elsewhere for longer than they should have. An apology and payment to Mrs B is satisfactory remedy for the injustice caused.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (19 002 160)
Summary: We uphold this complaint. Miss A’s supported housing met the definition of aftercare for the purposes of section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Council was at fault in declining to fund it on the basis that Miss A chose to move to supported housing and could have a different care provider from her landlord. Those were not the correct legal tests to determine aftercare. Miss A has suffered a financial loss. The Council will refund the payments she has made to date and make arrangements to fund future housing costs. It will also apologise and pay Miss A £500 to reflect her avoidable distress.

Essex County Council (19 006 754)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint disagreeing with the Council’s decision the complainant is not in need of social care and support.

Epping Forest District Council (19 007 057)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the cost of calls associated with a careline alarm system. This is because there is insufficient evidence of injustice.

East Sussex County Council (19 004 755)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s involvement in his mother’s care and welfare from late 2016 to early 2017. The complaint lies outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction because it is late. I see no good reason to exercise discretion to consider this late complaint now. If Mr X remains dissatisfied with the Council’s final response it remains open to him to complain to the Information Commissioner as signposted by the Council.

Staffordshire County Council (19 007 167)
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint that the Council agreed to commission a placement for her father which proved not to be appropriate and he received poor care. This is because the Council has considered the matters we would expect it to consider in the decision-making process, we cannot now recommend a remedy for Mr C for any injustice he may have suffered as a result of fault by the Council and we normally expect people to complain to the Care Quality Commission about possible breaches of standards.

Cheshire West & Chester Council (19 007 274)
Summary: Mr X complained, via his representative Mr Y, about the Council changing its position about his “best interests” during court proceedings. We will not investigate this complaint. We cannot investigate what happened in court, and any outstanding disagreements about Mr X’s best interests would best be considered by the Court of Protection.

Northamptonshire County Council (19 003 693)
Summary: Ms C complains the Council failed to tell her, in a timely manner, that there would be an increase in the cost of her mother’s homecare package, and how much this increase would be. The Ombudsman decided to uphold Ms C’s complaint. The Council has agreed to adjust the outstanding invoice.

William Wilberforce Care Home (18 002 657)
Summary: Mrs C complains about the care Mrs D received while in a Care Home. The poor care led to pressure sores, dehydration and weight loss. The Ombudsmen uphold the complaint. We find fault from both the Care Home and a District Nurses Team in the advice and care around pressure damage. We also find other instances of poor care and record keeping by the Care Home. We have made recommendations.

William Wilberforce (18 002 657a)
Summary: Mrs C complains about the care Mrs D received while in a Care Home. The poor care led to pressure sores, dehydration and weight loss. The Ombudsmen uphold the complaint. We find fault from both the Care Home and a District Nurses Team in the advice and care around pressure damage. We also find other instances of poor care and record keeping by the Care Home. We have made recommendations.

Kent County Council (18 016 867)
Summary: The Council failed to carry out a social care assessment and draw up a care and support plan before Mr F was discharged from a rehabilitation unit. This was not in line with Sections 9, 24 and 25 of the Care Act 2014 and was fault which caused avoidable distress. The Council will apologise and pay Mr F and his mother Mrs E £250 each to reflect their avoidable distress.

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