Decision : Upheld
Decision date : 18 Feb 2019
Summary: The complainant, who we will call Ms B, says the Council failed to reassess her social care needs, and provide appropriate support, when her circumstances changed. Ms B says the Council failed to properly complete her July 2016 needs assessment and financial assessment. Ms B says the Council has unfairly removed her direct payments. Ms B complains that the Council will not consider other options to get her son to school, which she says are more reliable than a care agency.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found found causing injustice.
To remedy the injustice caused we recommend the Council:
- honour the agreement to pay transport and assistance to get C to school. The Council should pay the difference between the amount it paid into Ms B’s direct payment account for this element of her support package, and the amount she paid out. This should cover September 2015 to December 2016, when the agreement ended. The Council has calculated this as nearly £12,000. This will be paid to the care agency to settle part of the debt that arose because of this error;
- apologise to Ms B for its failure to plan and provide assistance for contingencies, its failure to review her care and support needs in 2015, and its refusal of mediation. Pay her £2,000 for her distress, time, trouble and uncertainty; and
- review the collaborative working between Adults and Children’s Social Services, and implement any identified improvements.
The Council has agreed to our recommendations to honour the agreement and to review the collaborative working, but not to the recommendation to apologise and to make the time and trouble payment. The Council feels the breakdown in service is because of a lack of co-operation from Ms B.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 17 May 2019.