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Category : Adult care services > Charging

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 20 Jul 2017

Summary

A woman complains the council refused to fund her late mother's care.

The complaint

The woman complains about the council's refusal to fund her late mother's residential care from 28 September 2014. She says the council should have reassessed her mother’s needs as she had been seeking an assessment before her mother went into the care home.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, the council has agreed to:

  • settles the invoice with the care home based on its assessed weekly contribution between 26 November 2014 and 20 October 2015. This is £19,898. As the woman has already made some payments to the care home which are more than her mother's assessed weekly contribution, the care home has agreed to reimburse those payments to the mother's estate on receipt of the council’s payment.
  • We do not always recommend reimbursement of legal fees but in this case we consider it appropriate to recommend the council pays the woman's reasonable legal costs. This is in line with our published Guidance on Remedies. It was reasonable for the woman to engage legal help in what was a complex matter, where she was dealing with a public body that failed to act for a lengthy period. The woman or her solicitor should provide the council with evidence of payments made so the council can check these are at a reasonable rate and proportionate to the advice provided.

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