Mr R complained against Royal Borough of Greenwich, that it delayed in carrying out an aged assessment and failed to make adequate enquiries to ascertain the authenticity of his birth certificate. The Council assessed R’s age as three years older than he really was. Further Mr R complained that the Council delayed in reassessing his age. He also says it failed to make adequate enquiries and failed to take into account relevant matters in reaching its decision. As a result Mr R was prevented from engaging in appropriate education was placed in inappropriate accommodation. The Council agreed to apologise to Mr R and pay Mr R £500 in recognition of the distress, uncertainty and anxiety he suffered as a result of the Council’s failure to consider all relevant factors. The Council also agreed to pay Mr R £6,000in recognition of the loss of four years education and further pay Mr R £3,000 in recognition of the fact that he did not receive age appropriate services for three years.
The LGO considered a complaint against Swindon Borough Council. Mr and Mrs C complained that the stage 2 adjudication did not properly remedy fault causing injustice to them and their daughter, D. The Council agreed to pay Mrs C £2000 as acknowledgment of distress to feelings caused by failure in April 2014 to contact and consult with them about D’s circumstances and pay D £1000 for delay in carrying out direct work and organising contact sessions with Mr and Mrs C.
Mr B complained about the way Sunderland City Council considered his complaint about its involvement in his son’s life. Mr B complained that the social worker failed in her duty to his son and to him, that the Council was complicit in parental alienation and then failed to give him evidence-based decisions, even where it upheld his complaints. The LGO found that the Council took too long to complete notwithstanding the technical difficulties encountered in sending and receiving information electronically. This undoubtedly caused additional distress to Mr B at a time which was already stressful for him. The Council took too long to investigate Mr B’s complaint and it apologised. The Council agreed to make a payment of £1,500 to Mr B in recognition of the distress caused to him by its failures of communication with him and the failure to involve him in what was happening in his son’s life. The Council also agreed to make a payment to Mr B of £250 in recognition of the delay in completing the complaints process.
Ms X complained that London Borough of Lambeth delayed in responding to a statutory children’s services complaint investigation. The LGO found that the Council failed to respond to the findings of the stage two statutory children’s complaint investigation. Even though the Council was aware if the findings of the independent investigator, it failed to complete the process despite the appeals made by Ms X’s solicitor. The LGO found fault by the Council because it omitted to respond to the statutory complaint investigation. There was also unreasonable delay in completing care assessments of Ms X and her children. The Council agreed to pay £1,350 to Ms X as a compensation and to expedite its care assessments of Ms X, her disabled daughter and her other daughter who acted as occasional carer for her sibling.
The LGO considered a claim against Devon County Council brought against by Mr B and Company F, his former employer. The LGO found that that the Council should have shared what information it could with Company F during its investigation into allegations against Mr B. There was no fault in the Council’s decision to issue an advisory notice as it had concerns about Company F, but there were some problems with its handling of this matter. The Council agreed to apologise, pay a financial remedy of £1000 and refund £600 to Company F’s being its legal costs for advice on its suggested management arrangements.
Liverpool City Council was discovered to have been miscalculating the appropriate level of Special Guardianship Allowance in the course of a LGO investigation. In addition to providing a remedy to the complainant, the LGO recommended that back payments be awarded to 146 other people in receipt of Special Guardianship Allowance and appropriate levels of Fostering Allowance in a further 194 cases.
This was a joint investigation by the LGO and the PHSO into Warrington Borough Council and NHS Warrington. The original complaint concerned a boy with autistic spectrum disorder, who had not been provided with speech and language therapy as specified in his statement of special educational needs over a period of three years. In the course of the investigation, the LGO identified a further 15 secondary school pupils who had been affected by the Council’s failure to fulfil its statutory duty and recommended that the Council apply the remedy in this case to any other child who had been affected.
The LGO considered a claim against Halton Borough Council. Ms X complained on behalf of her sister, Miss Y who had disabilities. The LGO found that for at least seven years and possibly longer, the Council failed to effectively manage Miss Y’s money while it was responsible, as appointee, for her financial affairs. The Council also charged her for doing this. The overpayments of benefits and confusion about household bills resulted from the mismanagement of her money. Further the LGO found that even though Ms X made some serious allegations yet the Council delayed and avoided dealing with them; instead the Council gave only superficial responses. Ms X was not satisfied with the responses to her questions and complaints. Ms X had to pursue the Council relentlessly and ultimately took on the responsibility of appointee because the Council failed to respond adequately. This caused Ms X significant and avoidable distress, time and trouble. The LGO stated that the Council should have considered the issues Ms X raised under its safeguarding procedures. Due to the Council’s serious failings that continued unchecked, Miss Y was at more risk of harm and distress through lost opportunities and uncertainty. This also caused Ms X more time, trouble and distress. The Council agreed the below:
- apologise to Ms X for the failures identified which affected both her and Miss Y;
repay £11,700 to Miss Y to put her back in the position she was in before it miscalculated her housing benefit overpayment.
refund to Miss Y the appointee charges applied from January 2006 until it stopped being her appointee, in recognition of its failure to manage her money properly;
• reimburse Miss Y the £400 she overpaid for her bills; • reimburse Ms X for the £292.75 which she spent on clothes for Miss Y; • pay £500 to Ms X for the avoidable distress, time and trouble caused to her; • arrange an independent, external process to review its practices.
Mr X complained that Leeds City Council failed to act on a referral for his son Mr Y, made by the Independent Living Team. Mr X alleged that had the Council had it done so, Mr Y would have received treatment earlier for his mental heath difficulties and subsequently would not have been evicted. However the LGO found that the injustice caused to Mr Y cannot be directly attributed to the Council’s fault. The Council accepted fault in failing to accept a referral and carry out an assessment. The Council offered Mr Y £1000 and in addition compensated Mr Y for storage costs incurred following his eviction. The Council also offered Mr X £250 for his time and trouble in pursuing the complaint on Mr Y’s behalf.
The LGO considered a claim brought against Devon County Council by Mr B. Mr B was disabled, and had cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic. He had partial sight and was registered blind. Mr B needed support with aspects of day living including personal care, transfers and mobilising. The LGO found that the Council was at fault for not adequately reviewing Mr B’s care package after he moved to supported living accommodation. Due to the uncertainty in not knowing if Mr B received adequate care package to meet all his needs, Mr B suffered distress. Particularly the LGO stated that Mr B did not receive enough support to access the community. Further the Council delayed in helping Mr B to move to alternative accommodation. The Council agreed to apologise to Mr B; pay him £700 in recognition of his injustice (£500 of this reflects the distress he suffered); refund Mr B money spent on a sling while he lived in supported accommodation; provide Mr B with a named point of contact so as to contact him weekly to ensure better communications with the Council.
The LGO considered a claim against Lancashire County Council brought against Mr E. The LGO found that the Council was at fault for not reviewing Mr E’s needs more thoroughly around March 2013 following a decline in his health. By not reviewing Mr B’s care needs more thoroughly earlier, the Council missed the opportunity to find out changes in his needs and arrange extra services sooner. Inevitably Mr E could have benefited from the increase in his care around five months sooner. The LGO found that an earlier review would have resulted in Mr B having more opportunity for social activity which the Council arranged in October 2013. The Council agreed to apologise to Mr E and pay Mr E £500 in recognition of the injustice, reflecting in particular the distress caused by the lack of access to more social activities between April and October 2013.
Mr H complained that London Borough of Enfield failed to deal with his complaint made about its Drop-In Service. The Council accepted that it did not deal properly with Mr H’s complaint. The Council did not respond properly to Mr H until after the LGO wrote to it. The Council offered to pay Mr H £450 as a remedy for the injustice caused to him.
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