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Suffolk County Council (17 018 391)

Category : Adult care services > Direct payments

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 08 Apr 2019

Summary: Mr & Mrs J complain the Council was wrong to reduce their support hours in 2016, has failed to rectify the error during subsequent reviews and was wrong to exclude Mrs K from meetings as their chosen communicator guide.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

We recommend the Council:

  • writes to Mr & Mrs J apologising for its failings;
  • pays them £500 for the distress they have been caused;
  • writes to Mrs K apologising for the trouble she has been caused;
  • pays Mrs K £250 for the trouble she has been put to in pursuing the complaint;
  • reassess Mr & Mrs J’s needs and updates their care and support plans;
  • ensures Mr & Mrs J are supported by Mrs K, if that is what they want, through the assessment and planning process; and
  • considers what action it needs to take to make sure:
    • assessments are complete and accurate;
    • care and support plans comply with the statutory guidance;
    • people are supported through the assessment and planning processes by anyone they want;
    • it does not allow disputes over personal budgets, and how care needs should be met, prevent it from completing care and support plans; and
    • mental capacity assessments comply with the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.

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