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Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (21 008 214)

Category : Adult care services > Charging

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 29 Mar 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the amount the Council charged the complainant for his care. This is because it is unlikely an investigation would add to the Council’s response or achieve anything more for the complainant.

The complaint

  1. Mrs X has complained on behalf of Mr Y about how much the Council charged for Mr Y’s care and support.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide:
  • we could not add to any previous investigation by the council, or
  • we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mrs X and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. The Council arranged care for Mr Y at home after he was discharged from hospital. Mrs X complained to the Council after receiving an invoice as she had understood they would not be charged for the first six weeks of support. In response to Mrs X’s complaint, the Council agreed it had not properly explained the charging arrangements and waived the care costs for the first six weeks.
  2. The Council said Mr Y still needed to pay for the remaining two weeks of care he received. Mrs X disputed this and said they only needed to pay for one week of care.
  3. The Council has now agreed to waive the remaining outstanding charges. It will write to Mrs X to confirm this and said she will not be sent any further invoices.
  4. As the Council has offered to waive the charges, it is unlikely an investigation by the Ombudsman could add to this or achieve anything more for Mr Y.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr Y’s complaint because it is unlikely an investigation by the Ombudsman could add to the Council’s response or achieve anything more for Mr Y.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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