Decision : Upheld
Decision date : 12 Apr 2018
Mrs N cares for Mr P, her son. She complains the Council has wrongly cut the respite care provided for her son and has wrongly asked her to pay towards the cost of her son’s transport between home and day care.
Mrs N complains that, following a reassessment, the Council left her with a reduced number of nights respite for her son, who has disabilities, and that this reduction was done immediately rather than gradually as promised. She also complains the cuts to transport provision were introduced immediately.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
To remedy the injustice caused, the council has agreed to:
- Apologise to Mrs N;
- Restore the previous level of respite care pending a re-assessment compliant with the Care Act 2014;
- Confirm it will offer her 24 days respite care to be taken at a time of her choosing in recognition of the respite care wrongly withdrawn;
- Pay Mrs N £747.50 in recognition of money she paid the Council for transport;
- Pay Mrs N £500 in recognition of distress and time and trouble;
- Review its policy and procedure on respite care to reflect the requirements of the Care Act 2014;
- Review other files for evidence of use of the Matrix Assessment Tool (MAT). It should write promptly to anyone similarly affected and review their cases;
- Review the files of anyone whose transport was cut to ensure these cuts were compliant with the Care Act;
- Inform the Ombudsman of the numbers of people involved and undertake to review all cases within a further three months;
- Ensure all staff receive training in the requirements of the Care Act and the relevant guidance; and
- Review all relevant documents to ensure they reflect the current law.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 25 February 2019.