The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mrs X and Mrs Z complain that the Care Provider gave 12 days’ notice and would not refund fees paid in advance. It also would not deal with their complaint about this. The Ombudsman has discontinued his investigation as the Care Provider has ceased trading and we cannot achieve the outcome Mrs X and Mrs Z want.
- The complainants, whom I shall refer to as Mrs X and Mrs Z, complain that Sentimental Care (Asher) Limited (the Care Provider) gave only 12 days notice to Mrs Y to leave Asher House care home.
- Sentimental Care Limited has refused to issue a refund for 10 days for which Mrs Y had paid in advance but was not resident. This amounted to £750. It also refused to take Mrs X and Mrs Z’s complaint about this.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants.
(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information from the Complainant and from the Care Provider.
- I sent both parties a copy of my draft decision for comment and took account of the comments I received in response.
What I found
- Sentimental Care (Asher) Limited went into administration and the administrators decided to close the home giving notice to all residents including Mrs Y.
- The administrators advised Mrs X and Mrs Z that there were insufficient funds to refund the money due.
- The Care Provider is no longer trading and therefore we cannot achieve the outcome Mrs X and Mrs Z would like.
- I have discontinued my investigation because we can achieve no worthwhile outcome.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman