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Barchester Healthcare Homes Limited (19 014 520)

Category : Adult care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 31 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Mr X complains that Barchester Healthcare failed to take responsibility for security lapses at one of its care homes. No further action is needed as the issue is not one the Ombudsman can deal with.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains that Barchester Healthcare failed to take responsibility for security lapses at one of its care homes which he believes contributed to a burglary of his mother’s flat.
  2. Mr X’s mother was present in her home during the burglary in 2019. Mr X subsequently wrote to Barchester Healthcare to question a lack of security. Mr X is disappointed with the response he received from the managing director which he feels absolved Barchester Healthcare of any responsibility for measures that could have prevented the burglary.
  3. Mr X’s mother lost personal belongings during the burglary and was traumatised by the experience.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We investigate complaints about adult social care providers and decide whether their actions have caused an injustice, or could have caused injustice, to the person making the complaint. I have used the term fault to describe such actions. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 34B and 34C)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I reviewed the complaint and considered the Ombudsman’s guidance on jurisdiction. I discussed matters with Mr X by telephone. I sent a draft decision statement to Mr X and Barchester Healthcare and invited the comments of both parties on it.

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What I found

  1. Under part IIIA of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 we can investigate the actions of an 'adult social care provider'.  Here 'adult social care' means social care within the meaning of Part 1 of the Act which is provided to persons aged 18 or over.
  2. Adult social care provider, means a person who carries out an activity which:
    • involves, or is connected with, the provision of adult social care, and
    • is a regulated activity within the meaning of Part I of the 2008 Act.
  3. This complaint is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction because it does not involve a regulated activity of the care home. That is to say it is not a complaint about the care that was provided to Mr X’s mother. Rather it is a complaint about alleged failings in the security provided by the freeholder (Barchester Healthcare).

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Final decision

  1. I discontinued the investigation and closed this complaint because it is not one the Ombudsman can deal with.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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