Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 18 Mar 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs B’s complaints about the actions of her late uncle’s, Mr C’s care provider. This is because sadly Mr C is now deceased so the Ombudsman could not provide him with a remedy to any injustice caused to him by his care provider even if he investigated.
- Mrs B says her uncle’s, Mr C’s, care provider failed to ensure he had access to his call bell resulting in him being left unattended for several hours when he fell and fractured his hip.
- Mrs B says Mr C’s care provider failed to explain the full details of the situation to the emergency services and he would have had to wait a further two hours for an ambulance if a family member had not contacted it to explain in more detail the urgency of Mr C’s presenting situation. Mrs B says she does not want anyone else to have to go through what Mr C and his family went through.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about adult social care providers. 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:
- it is unlikely further investigation will lead to a different outcome, or
- we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants, or
- there is another body better placed to consider this complaint.
(Local Government Act 1974, sections 34B(8) and (9))
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information and documentation Mrs B provided. I sent Mrs B a copy of my draft decision for comment.
What I found
- Mrs B says she had several concerns about Mr C’s care provider, including its lack of care on the day he fell and was hospitalised.
- Mr C told his family he had fallen at 7:20 am but he was not discovered until after 9:05am.
- The care provider says its records show care was given to Mr C at 4:50am but accepts it did not ensure he had access to his call bell. It apologised, explained it had dealt with the carer who delivered the care and has reminded all staff to check residents at the start and end of each shift.
- The care provider has acknowledged it should have made sure Mr C had access to his call bell, it has apologised and has reminded staff of the procedures when starting and ending shifts. It is unlikely the Ombudsman could achieve any more than this even if he investigated. He cannot provide a remedy to Mr C for the injustice caused to him by the care provider’s actions as sadly he is now deceased.
- Mrs B says she does not want other residents and their families to go through this. The Ombudsman cannot achieve this outcome even if he investigated. Mrs B can ask the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who is the regulator of care providers to monitor the home during its routine inspections. Information about the CQC can be found on the website below.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because sadly Mr C is now deceased so the Ombudsman could not provide him with a remedy even if he investigated. He could not achieve the outcome Mrs B wants even if he investigated.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman