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Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (12 021 104)

Category : Adult care services > Disabled facilities grants

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 30 Jan 2014

Summary

Complaint from a man that the council delayed in dealing with an application for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to provide accessible bathing facilities for his mother.

The complaint

Complaint from a man that the council delayed in dealing with an application for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to provide accessible bathing facilities for his mother. He first contacted the council in late 2007 but the council did not start assessing his mother's needs until January 2010. The council did not complete the assessment until August 2011. Because of the delay, the man carried out his own work to build an extension. In 2012 the council refused to help him further.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused the council has agreed to:

  • help the man make the necessary building regulations application for the shower room at no cost to him;
  • assess whether the shower room meets his mother's needs. If not, it will help him complete a DFG application for any modification work;
  • pay the man £7,000: equivalent to the cost of the lift it originally recommended and £1,000 to recognise the distress and frustration he has been caused; and
  • pay £2,000 to the mother for the distress and inconvenience caused by the delay in providing accessible showering facilities.

Ombudsman satisfied with the counci's response: 11 July 2014

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