Summary: Mr X complains on behalf of his late parents. He says the Council did not properly consider the risks of separating them after 59 years of marriage or of Mr Y living on his own. He complains about the quality of care it provided to them both and says it did not deal adequately with his concerns and complaints. He also complained that the safeguarding process was flawed, and the Council would not give him a copy of Mr Y’s assessment.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the Council:
- apologise to Mr X and Ms Z setting out the faults identified in this report and the action the Council will take, or has taken, to put this right;
- pay Mr X and Ms Z £750 each to recognise the distress it caused in failing to properly consider the risks of separating Mr and Mrs Y;
- pay Mr X a further £500 for the time and trouble and distress he was caused in bringing his complaint;
- review any cases where couples are separated by their care needs, to ensure the risks and human rights were fully considered for both parties. Also, that adequate contact is included on the care and support plans;
- review assessment practice across the Council to ensure it is consistent and Care Act compliant. It should do this using the quality measures and reporting processes it has implemented since these events;
- ensure it has an effective mechanism for following up where complaints about poor practice have been received and to check that improvements are made and sustained;
- put in measures to ensure complaints about several agencies receive a coordinated response; and
- review its commissioning practice when services are rated “Requires improvement” to ensure it considers any increased risk to people.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 25 November 2020.