The council has been found at fault by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) of causing injustice to a mother and her daughter in the city.
This happened in 2018 and was as a result of the way the council assessed the mother’s needs to remain in a care home when she became eligible for council funding.
The council is extremely sorry for the distress caused and has apologised to the family involved.
A report published by the Ombudsman today (26 November) includes the following recommendations which the council has already fully accepted.
- An apology has been made to the complainant and her daughter
- The complainant’s care home fees will be paid in full between January and May 2018, at a weekly cost of £1,365 minus her assessed client contribution
- The complainant has been paid £804 to reimburse solicitor fees
- The daughter has been paid £200 - an amount recommended by the Ombudsman - to recognise the distress caused by the faults
- The council is embedding the learning from the report with staff in Adult Social Care and Finance teams.
- The council is working on developing some new guidance for staff and putting in place clearer processes around how it manages situations when a resident is living in a care home and their funds fall below threshold and they approach the council for support
Councillor Sue Shanks, Chair of the council’s Health & Wellbeing Board said the council is committed to learning from mistakes made to drive continuous improvement in everything that it does.
She said: “The council fell below expected standards in this particular case and welcomes the report and has acted upon the findings.
"Arrangements for paying for care and support can be difficult to understand and we try to make sure people have access to the information and advice they need to make decisions about their care arrangements. I’m pleased that the Ombudsman has recognised our good practice in this area.
“I look forward to a report coming to the Health & Wellbeing Board in January which will provide further assurance on the actions taken in support of the recommendations and improve future practice.”
Free hard copies of the Ombudsman’s report can be requested by contacting the Customer Feedback team by emailing email@example.com or calling on 01273 291229, for anyone without digital access.