Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council (22 014 593)

Category : Adult care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 21 Feb 2023

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s refusal to pay Ms B for care she provided to Mr C. This is because it is unlikely we would find enough evidence of fault with the actions taken by the Council to warrant an ombudsman investigation.

The complaint

  1. Ms B complained she was told by the Mental Health Team discharging Mr C from hospital that he needed 1:1 care and support. Ms B says she arranged for this to be in place for Mr C between 27 June and 10 July 2022 when the Council told her to stop providing this level of support. Ms B says the Council delayed in assessing Mr C’s needs when he was transferred from his previous area to the one he currently lives in, and she has still does not have Mr C’s documents from the hospital she was told she would receive. Ms B wants the Council to pay her for the 1:1 care and support she provided to Mr C between 27 June and 10 July.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse effect on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if the tests set out in our Assessment Code are not met. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

Back to top

My assessment

  1. The Council considered Ms B’s complaints. It said it was informed Mr C had transferred to its county on 6 April, although Mr C had resided with Ms B’s company since 24 February. It contacted Ms B on 3 May who said Mr C required more than the three hours a day support his previous Council had commissioned for him. The Council says it undertook an assessment of Mr C’s care needs on 6 May and arranged for the Moving and Handling Team to assess him. It determined Mr C on occasions needed a 1:1 carer.
  2. The Council says it did not assess Mr C as needing 1:1 care and support on discharge from hospital and found no evidence of any record by the Home Treatment Team (HTT) that Mr C needed 1:1 care and support on a 24-hourly basis following discharge from hospital on 27 June. Mr C was discharged from the HTT on 29 June as he no longer needed a bed or ongoing support.
  3. The Council acknowledged Ms B had contacted the out of hours duty Social Worker on 27 June stating Mr C needed 1:1 support that evening which she had agreed to arrange. The Council said it will pay Ms B for the 1:1 support provided to Mr C on the evening he was discharged from hospital but was unable to confirm anyone had requested ongoing 1:1 care and refused to pay for the period 27 June to 10 July.
  4. If Ms B has a contract with either the Council or the hospital agreeing to pay for Mr C’s 1:1 care and support it would be reasonable for her to ask the court to consider responsibility for payment under the agreement.
  5. Ms B can ask the hospital to provide her with the documentation it said she would receive on discharge from hospital. If it refuses she can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to consider whether she should have the documentation she wants.
  6. The Council has explained it did not agree or assess Mr C as needing 1:1 care and support and says there is no record from the hospital team or Home Treatment Team that he needed this level of support. We could not establish what Ms B was told about Mr C’s ongoing care needs on discharge from hospital. The Council has confirmed it did not agree to fund Mr C’s 1:1 care, and we could not say there is not enough evidence of fault with the Council’s actions to warrant us investigating.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Ms B’s complaint because there is not enough evidence of fault with the actions taken by the Council to warrant an ombudsman investigation.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Privacy settings