Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Staffordshire County Council (21 010 785)

Category : Adult care services > Charging

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 10 Apr 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about care fees. There is insufficient evidence of fault with how the Council calculated the fees originally. The Council’s mistake to correctly apply the increased fees benefitted Mr X for 4 years. The Council is no longer pursuing the backdated fees. Any fault by the Council has not caused an injustice to the person complaining.

The complaint

  1. Mrs X complains on behalf of her husband, Mr X. She says the Council has increased Mr X’s care fees by without justification. She says this has caused him financial pressure and stress. She wants the Council to reduce the costs and be clear and transparent with the information it provides in the future.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

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 any fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

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

Back to top

My assessment

  1. Mrs X complained the Council incorrectly increased her husband’s care fees. The Council said the increase was in accordance with the Care Act 2014 and based on Mr X’s financial assessment. There is insufficient evidence of fault with how the Council reached its decision to increase Mr X’s fees to justify an investigation.
  2. In response to Mrs X’s complaint, the Council acknowledged it made a mistake by not applying the increased rates in 2017 when Mr X’s financial assessment was completed. The Council’s mistake meant that Mr X benefitted to the value of £12,816 for the period of January 2017 to September 2021. The Council accepted that it should not have backdated Mr X’s increased fees and incorrectly invoiced Mr X in 2020. The Council is no longer pursuing the backdated fees. Therefore, the Council’s fault has not caused Mr X a significant injustice.
  3. The Council carried out a new financial assessment in 2020. This was conducted in line with the Care Act 2014. There is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council to justify our involvement.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint because any fault by the Council has not caused an injustice to the person complaining.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page