South Gloucestershire Council (17 013 122)

Category : Adult care services > Charging

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 14 Sep 2018

Summary

Mrs B complains, on behalf of her parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs C, that the Council failed to properly consider the law and guidance in deciding Mr and Mrs C deliberately deprived themselves of capital to avoid care charges for Mr C.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice. 

Recommendations

To remedy the complaint we recommend the Council:

  • apologises to Mr and Mrs C for its failure to properly consider and evidence why it considered they gifted money with the intention of avoiding care charges;
  • pays Mrs C £250 to recognise the distress caused to her;
  • reviews its decision that Mr and Mrs C deprived themselves of capital to avoid care charges, after first giving Mrs C the opportunity to provide further evidence to support their case;
  • provides Mrs C (and us) with a properly reasoned decision showing what evidence it has considered and the weight given to the evidence, in accordance with the requirements of the statutory guidance;
  • reviews its current procedures and guidance for staff on how to deal with cases where deprivation of capital may have occurred; and
  • ensures its procedures are improved to ensure financial assessments are carried out at the correct time.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 3 September 2019.

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