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Lancashire County Council (18 003 486)

Category : Adult care services > Transition from childrens services

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 18 Sep 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s handling of Mr Q’s transition from Children’s Services to Adult Social Care. This is because the complaint is late.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I have called Mr X, has a disabled son, Mr Q. Mr X complained about the Council’s handling of Mr Q’s transition from Children’s Services to Adult Social Care. He said the transition should have been completed, and accommodation and one-to-one support put in place, by Mr Q’s 18th birthday.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered the information provided by Mr X and the Council. I invited Mr X’s comments on a draft of this decision.

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What I found

  1. Mr X’s son, Mr Q, is disabled.
  2. In February 2016, the Council started the process of transitioning Mr Q from Children’s Services to Adult Social Care. Mr Q moved out of the family home into a flat in May 2016, shortly after his 18th birthday. Mr X and his wife stayed at the flat sharing Mr Q’s support until December 2016. From December 2016 onwards the Council provided Mr Q with one-to-one support.
  3. Mr X said the Council should have completed the transition by Mr Q’s 18th birthday. He said the Council’s failure to recognise Mr Q’s problems and its failure to provide him with accommodation and one-to-one support by then affected the whole family.
  4. Mr X complained to us previously about another matter involving Mr Q. We completed that investigation in February 2018. He complained to us about the transition process in June 2018. He explained that he did not complain about this sooner because he wanted to deal with one complaint at a time and to recover from caring for Mr Q.

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  1. We will not investigate this complaint.
  2. Mr X believes the Council should have completed Mr Q’s transition to Adult Social Care by his 18th birthday in May 2016. He did not complain to us until June 2018. So the complaint is late.
  3. I understand that Mr X wanted to deal with one complaint at a time. I also understand that he wanted to recover from caring for Mr Q at a time when the Council should have been providing one-to-one support. However, Mr Q had one-to-one support in place in December 2016 and we decided Mr X’s previous complaint in February 2018. So Mr X could have complained to us sooner. As I said above, therefore, the complaint is late and there are no good reasons for us to consider it now.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint. This is because it is late.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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