- Mr X The complainant
- Mrs Y The complainant’s mother
Mr X complained about the Council’s financial assessment for his mother, Mrs Y’s residential care charges and its decision to treat monetary gifts to her children and grandchildren as notional capital. Mr X says this means Mrs Y was responsible for the full cost of her care for longer than she should have been. It resulted in significant arrears of care fees and a risk to Mrs Y’s place at the care home.
Fault found causing injustice and recommendations made.
The Council must consider the report and confirm within three months the action it has taken or proposes to take. The Council should consider the report at its full Council, Cabinet or other appropriately delegated committee of elected members and we will require evidence of this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 31(2), as amended)
To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend within three months of the date of this report the Council:
Complete a financial assessment for Mrs Y based on her actual capital since 2022 and calculate when her capital would have fallen below the capital limit and what her contribution towards her care should have been from that point onwards.
Reimburse Mrs Y any overpayments the new financial assessment shows she has made to the care home for her care since her capital fell below the capital limit. Any repayment of over £1,000 should include interest. Or, if the fees are still outstanding, the Council should calculate the sum it is responsible for and pay this directly to the care home.
Pay Mr X £350 to recognise the distress and anxiety caused by the inclusion of the notional capital in Mrs Y’s financial assessments.
Review the financial assessments completed for other service users over the last 12 months where gifting was not deemed a deprivation of assets but was included as notional capital. The Council should make appropriate reimbursements to any service users where new financial assessments show they have overpaid for their care.
- Undertake a thorough review of its approach to deprivation of assets, gifting and notional capital, to ensure that its approach is robust and in line with the guidance.
The Council has accepted our recommendations to remedy the complaint.