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North Yorkshire County Council (21 000 837)

Category : Adult care services > Other

Decision : Not upheld

Decision date : 05 Dec 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Miss X complains about the care provided to Mr Y on a residential respite stay. She says Mr Y was injured and the Care Provider failed to explain how this happened and did not tell family. It also failed to provide appropriate care to Mr Y. We find no fault in the care provided to Mr Y.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall refer to as Miss X, complains on behalf of her father, Mr Y, about the emergency residential respite care provided to him over a six day stay. Miss X says the Care Provider:
    • Failed to explain how injuries to Mr Y occurred;
    • Failed to inform Mr X’s family that he had fallen and been injured;
    • Failed to provide appropriate care to Mr X.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. If we are satisfied with a council’s actions or proposed actions, we can complete our investigation and issue a decision statement. (Local Government Act 1974, section 30(1B) and 34H(i), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information from the Complainant and from the Council.
  2. I sent both parties a copy of my draft decision for comment and took account of the comments I received in response.

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What I found

  1. For reasons of confidentiality, I have not detailed all the relevant information in this statement.

What happened

  1. Mr Y went to an emergency residential respite placement for six days in September 2020.
  2. Four days after Mr Y was admitted, the Care Provider found bruises on his body, one of which was significant. It made a safeguarding referral but Mr Y said the bruise did not hurt and he did not want to pursue this. He demonstrated that he had no reduced movement due to the injury. The GP visited the following day and estimated the bruise had occurred within the previous seven days. Mr Y took medication which caused him to bruise easily. It is not known how soon after the injury, the bruise appeared.
  3. The Council assessed Mr Y’s mental capacity three times around this time and found he had capacity. The mental health team also spoke to Mr Y at home and, following a discussion with Miss X, he agreed to the safeguarding. Mr Y said he had fallen at home. Miss X said Mr Y did not have any bruises when he left home.
  4. There is no indication of poor care in the Care Provider’s records and Mr Y was only there for six days.

Was there fault which caused injustice?

  1. I cannot find fault. The injury could have happened at Mr Y’s own home or at the respite care home. Mr Y did not tell anyone though he was able to do this and repeatedly chose not to pursue the safeguarding. It is possible it happened at the care home, but staff were not aware until they saw the bruise. This would not be fault. If the injury occurred at Mr Y’s own home, it was not the Council’s fault. Further investigation is unlikely to uncover any significant information that I have not already seen.

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Final decision

  1. I have completed my investigation and do not uphold Miss X’s complaint that the Care Provider:
    • Failed to explain how injuries to Mr Y occurred;
    • Failed to inform Mr X’s family that he had fallen and been injured;
    • Failed to provide appropriate care to Mr X.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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