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Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (21 001 468)

Category : Adult care services > Safeguarding

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 28 Feb 2022

Overview:

Key to names used

  • Miss X The complainant
  • Mrs Y The complainant’s mother and close friend of Mr P
  • Mr P The complainant’s stepfather and friend of Mrs Y

Summary

Miss X and Mrs Y complained the Council: stopped them from seeing, Mr P, who Miss X considers to be her step-father, when he was in hospital and in a care home. They say the Council has not explained why they were not allowed to visit Mr P; stopped them from giving Mr P his personal belongings; and took safeguarding action against them but did not tell them what it was for at the time. Miss X and Mrs Y say the Council’s actions have caused them distress and frustration because they were only allowed to see Mr P for a short time before he died.

Finding

Fault found causing injustice and recommendations made.

Recommendations

 To remedy the injustice caused by the faults identified, the Council has agreed to:

  • apologise to Miss X and Mrs Y for the distress and uncertainty caused by the faults identified;
  •  pay Miss X and Mrs Y £600 each to acknowledge the significant distress and uncertainty caused by the faults identified;
  • remind relevant staff of the importance of ensuring decisions are made in the best interest of the individual, and of keeping clear and accurate records of the process of working out the best interest of the person for each relevant decision. The records should detail the considerations listed within the code of practice. It is open to the Council to decide how to do this. However, we will require evidence of this being done;
  • remind relevant staff of their duties under the Human Rights Act 1998. Again, it is open to the Council to decide how to do this. However, we will require evidence of this being done; and
  • review its safeguarding procedures to ensure:
    • there is a clear process for producing safeguarding plans where appropriate; and
    • the alleged victim is properly involved in the safeguarding process, with an advocate appointed to support them if necessary.

The Council will tell us what action it will take to ensure relevant staff are familiar with any revised policies and procedures. The Council must consider the report and confirm within three months the action it has taken or proposes to take. The Council should consider the report at its full Council, Cabinet or other appropriately delegated committee of elected members and we will require evidence of this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 31(2), as amended)

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 15 June 2022.

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