North Yorkshire County Council (16 006 552)

Category : Adult care services > Charging

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 17 Jan 2018

Summary

Mrs X complains on behalf of her mother, Mrs Y, the Council’s financial assessment is wrong because it should not treat gifted money as deprivation of assets.

The complaint

Mrs X complains that because Council's financial assessment was not correct, it stopped paying for her mother's care when she could no longer afford to do so, and her mother has been left with a growing debt to her care home. 

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, the Council should:

  • apologise to Mrs X for its failure to complete a financial assessment in 2015 and its failure to evidence why it considers the gifted money to have been done with the intention of avoiding care charges;
  • pay Mrs Y £250 to recognise the distress caused;
  • complete a financial assessment for Mrs Y based on her circumstances in January 2015 including whether any deprivation of capital has occurred and repay any monies resulting from this reconsideration;
  • review Mrs Y’s current financial position and look at how Mrs Y’s current debt to the care home can be reduced/settled to avoid her placement being put at risk; and 
  • review its current procedures and guidance for staff on how to deal with cases where deprivation of capital may have occurred.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 3 October 2018

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