This was a claim against City of London in failing to pay the agreed funding to a woman for respite care for over four and a half years. The complainant was in her seventies and care for her mother, who had an advanced dementia, for over 13 years. The Council assessed that the woman was eligible for respite payments, and agreed in 2005 to provide direct payment for over 30 hours per week so the complainant would have regular breaks from the demands of caring her mother. The Council took far too long to respond and did not deal with the complain properly. Due to the Council’s failings the daughter, did not receive the services that was entitled and has been put to significant time and trouble and has suffered unnecessary stress and anxiety. The Council apologised and paid the daughter compensation of £50,880-the value of the lost respite payments. The LGO further asked the Council to pay the daughter £500 to recognise the inconvenience and distress caused by the delay in dealing with her complaint. In addition the LGO recommended that the Council’s revised fairer charging policy should stipulate whether respite care at home was a chargeable service or not; social workers include a copy of the agreed care plan with the information given to finance officers responsible for setting up a direct payment; and social workers check current and previous assessments and care plans when conducting a review of care package.
The Council delayed putting in place adequate services to meet Mr C’s adult social care needs. Mr B requested the direct payments in June 2011 but the Council only put the direct payments in place 2 years after Mr B’s request. The Council’s failure had had a significant impact on Mr B. The Council agreed to apologise to Mr B and pay to Mr B the amount of £18,000 to recognise the impact on Mr B of not having direct payments in place for the full period of November 2011 and June 2013. In addition the Council paid a further £3,000 in recognition of the impact of its failures in care planning, arranging the lifting and handling equipment, delay in changing the social worker and delay in this complaint handling. The council had also agreed to take any learning points from this complaint and feedback to relevant staff, to prevent a recurrence of the identified delays and lastly to put in place adequate supervision of Mr C’s case, to restore Mr B’s confidence and to prevent future problems in this individual case.
Complaint No. 14 006 021 joint with PHSO http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/adult-care-services/direct-payments/14-006-021
This was a complaint brought from a woman about the way the Trust and the council dealt with her application for a personal budget (self directed support). The allegation was that the Trust and the Council failed to provide promptly a remedy to the woman after her complaint was upheld in march 2014. As result the woman, a double amputee with significant mental health issues, had not access to appropriate social care support for more than 12 months, and had the stress of continuing to pursue a complaint which should have been resolved sooner. The Council and the Trust agreed the below:
write to the woman, within one month, to apologise for the faults identified, and the distress these faults caused;
reimburse £14,000 to the woman for the costs she incurred in buying support that should properly have come from her SDS budget, covering the period January 2014 to February 2015 inclusive;
agree her monthly SDS as a matter of urgency and ensure that payments were made within three months at the latest and backdated appropriately;
pay her £12,000 to acknowledge the impact on her of not having an adequate SDS budget in place (by considering the woman's vulnerability, the impact on her daily life, and the length of time she has been affected);
pay the women a further £1,000 to acknowledge the avoidable stress and frustration, and her justifiable outrage, from having to pursue her complaint;
disregard these payments when assessing her financial contributions to her SDS budget; and
produce an action plan within three months addressing the faults listed within the report and setting out what action has and will be taken to address them.
This was a complaint brought against Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, which failed to inform Mr C that he would not have to make a third party top up payments toward the cost of his mother’s, Mrs B’s care fees if she had entered into a deferred payment arrangement. The LGO found that due to the Council’s administrative fault, Mr C incurred costs which were unnecessary. The Council agreed to review its information leaflets to include information about the ability for people to pay for their own top-ups using a DPA; remind staff especially those who are responsible for arranging placements and financially assessing residents of how DPA’s can be used; apologise to Mr C for the failures the LGO identified and to make a payment to Mr C for lost interest on the third party contributions that he made; and make a payment of £9121 to Mr C to repay him for the top-up he had paid.
The LGO considered a complain brought by a woman against Central Bedfordshire Council. The complaint was in relation to the Council’s administration regarding her direct payments and when she complained the Council failed to follow its complaints procedure. Due to the council's failures the woman suffered avoidable distress and she had not had as much care as she should have had. The Council agreed the below: • apologise to the woman; • confirm immediately that it will not seek to reclaim any unpaid contributions from her, and write off any debts it is currently seeking to recover; • arrange for an independent social worker to carry out a new care needs assessment and prepare a new support plan, without delay; • set up a clear working agreement for future reviews and monitoring; • reconsider the woman's disability related expenditure and provide a clear explanation of why it does not consider some costs arise from the disability; • pay the woman ◦ £5,000 to acknowledge the impact on her of being without adequate care and support for over two years; and ◦ £2,000 to acknowledge the avoidable distress and frustration the council's faults have caused her.
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