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Kent County Council (19 015 406)

Category : Adult care services > Assessment and care plan

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 14 Jul 2021

Summary: Mr C complained there was fault in Kent County Council’s (the Council’s) decision to place his late partner Ms D in a care home. He complained about: inadequate arrangements in a best interests’ meeting and a lack of consultation before placing Ms D in the care home; the appointment of an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate; a standard authorisation to deprive Ms D of her liberty; and the failure to apply to court. Mr C said the Council’s actions caused him and Ms D distress as it meant they could not live together.

Finding

The Ombudsman up[held the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

The Council should apologise to Mr C and pay him £500 to reflect his avoidable distress. It should also:

  • ensure all current and future requests for standard authorisations are completed within prescribed timescales, including low and medium risk cases currently held as pending;
  • provide us with written evidence showing it has monitored all requests for standard authorisations post-dating our final report and completed them within the legal timeframes described in this report;
  • review its Care Act assessment processes to ensure case managers document consideration of Article 8 rights when making decisions about care placements which separate couples;
  • ensure relevant case managers receive training on the Human Rights Act 1998 and how it may apply to their role;
  • review all cases from January 2019 to date where Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards assessments have not been completed at all or not been completed within the prescribed timescales and consider whether any injustice has arisen because of the delay. If so, the Council should take action to remedy any injustice in line with the principles set out in our published Guidance on Remedies. We can advise the Council on individual cases if needed. Before starting the review, the Council should provide us with an action plan of how it intends to conduct the review. The action plan should set out numbers, methodology and scope and should be agreed with us before the Council starts the review;
  • provide us with a written summary of the cases it has reviewed and what, if any action, it took as a result of the reviews.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 17 November 2021.

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