Nottinghamshire county Council (18 015 558)

Category : Adult care services > Direct payments

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 06 Nov 2019

Summary: Mr X complains the Council reduced his adult son, Mr Y’s, personal budget without full assessment and consideration of his needs. Mr X believes decisions taken to reduce Mr Y’s personal budget were financially motivated. Consequently, Mr Y had to top-up his budget to enable him to continue receiving support from a Care Provider.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found found causing injustice,

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the Council should within four weeks:

  • provide Mr Y and Mr & Mrs X with an apology from the director of adult services for the failures set out in this report;
  • review Mr Y’s assessment and produce a care and support plan which reflects his needs over a seven-day period and explain in detail how these needs will be met, in consultation with Mr Y and Mr & Mrs X;
  • make a symbolic payment of £1,000 to Mr Y to acknowledge his stress, worry and loss of respite service as a result of the Council’s failure to assess his needs and provide adequate support;
  • reimburse Mr & Mrs X all monies they have paid to top-up Mr Y’s care;
  • complete a new financial assessment and consider all relevant Disability Related Expenditure (DRE);
  • make a symbolic payment of £1,000 to Mrs X to acknowledge the Council’s failure to provide allocated respite funds;
  • review Mrs X’s carer’s assessment and produce a support plan setting out how her needs will be met.

Within three months the Council should:

  • consider if other service users may have been affected by the Council’s upper limits on hourly rates and take any necessary action to address this;
  • amend its procedure to ensure the Council does not set arbitrary limits of hourly rates; and
  • take steps to actively publicise its current literature and address our concerns (see paragraph 75) about the previous literature it has issued.

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