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Cornwall Council (20 008 432)

Category : Adult care services > Charging

Decision : Not upheld

Decision date : 28 May 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Mrs X complained about how the Council decided her neighbour had deprived herself of assets. She said this meant her neighbour unnecessarily paid for her care fees. We have discontinued this complaint as we have insufficient information to proceed.

The complaint

  1. On the information available to me, I believe Mrs X complained about how the Council decided her neighbour, Mrs Y, deprived herself of assets when she gave Mrs X a large sum of money. Mrs X says this meant Mrs Y paid for her care fees when she should not have.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
  2. We can decide whether to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered:
    • all the information Mrs X provided and tried to discuss the complaint with her; and
    • documents the Council provided.
  2. Mrs X and the Council had an opportunity to comment on my draft decision. I considered any comments received before making a final decision.

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What I found

  1. Mrs X complained to the Ombudsman in November 2020. We have been unsuccessful in contacting her to obtain enough information to continue the investigation.

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Final decision

  1. I have discontinued this complaint. We have insufficient information to proceed.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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