Reading Borough Council (18 001 676)

Category : Adult care services > Domiciliary care

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 10 Jan 2019

Summary: Mr F complains about the quality of home care provided by the Council’s care provider, Radis Group, to his late mother, Mrs B. In particular that the carers failed to call 999 when Mrs B was ill.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

When we have evidence of fault causing injustice we will seek a remedy for that injustice which aims to put the complainant back in the position they would have been in if nothing had gone wrong. When this is not possible, we will normally consider asking for a symbolic payment to acknowledge the avoidable distress and uncertainty caused. Mr F said he does not consider a symbolic payment to be appropriate; he wanted an acknowledgement that things had gone wrong and changes to prevent this happening again.

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).

In addition, to remedy the injustice identified, the Council has agreed to:

  • pologise to Mr F for the distress caused by the faults identified;
  • discuss with him whether he wishes the Council to provide a lasting tribute  (such as planting a tree) in memory of Mrs B; and
  • pay him £100 to acknowledge the time and trouble he has had in pursuing his complaint.

Within three months of our final report, the Council has agreed to:

  • ensure the care provider has:
    • trained all staff on the use of its emergency procedures and the procedures to follow when a service user is ill; and
    • trained all carers on accurate and complete record keeping;
    • review its adult social care complaints procedure to clarify how it deals with complaints against commissioned care providers, and how it will ensure independent investigation of serious complaints;
    • remind staff involved in adult safeguarding enquiries of the importance of ensuring enquiry reports are factual and accurate; and
    • provide us with evidence it has taken these actions.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 1 July 2019.

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