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Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council (21 010 143)

Category : Adult care services > Residential care

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 08 Dec 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint about the way she was treated by her Care Provider. This is because we are satisfied with the remedy provided.

The complaint

  1. Mrs B complained about the way she was treated and spoken to by a carer when she rang her call bell asking for assistance. Mrs B says she was verbally threatened by a member of staff and says the carer should be dismissed. Mrs B says she should be financially compensated for the distress caused to her.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We cannot investigate a complaint if it is about a personnel issue. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5a, paragraph 4, as amended)
  2. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide:
  • there is not enough evidence of fault to justify investigating, or
  • any fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained, or
  • any injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement, or
  • we could not add to any previous investigation by the organisation, or
  • further investigation would not lead to a different outcome, or
  • we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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How I considered this complaint

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

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My assessment

  1. Mrs B was unhappy with the way she was treated by her carer. The Care Provider investigated her concerns and found there was an altercation where Mrs B and a member of staff were observed shouting at each other. The Care Provider advised Mrs B staff are trained to remove themselves from such situations before altercations escalate to shouting and said it will arrange refresher training for the individual.
  2. We cannot tell a Care Provider to dismiss or reprimand staff. This is a personnel matter. We could not add to the Care Provider’s response or make a different finding even if we investigated. It has apologised to Mrs B for the distress caused, advised it has arranged refresher training for the staff member and will carry out spot checks and observations. We are satisfied with the actions taken by the Care Provider.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint because we are satisfied with the remedy provided.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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