Decision : Upheld
Decision date : 24 Oct 2023
The Council has failed to provide the agreed support packages to disabled children and young people in its area.
Fault found causing injustice and recommendations made.
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)
We recommend within three months of the date of this report the Council take the following actions.
The Council should apologise to all the families affected. Apologies should be made to the parent/carer and child/young person affected. Those apologies should not be generic templates. They should acknowledge the individual circumstances of each case; the extent of the lost provision and length of time the required provision has not been in place. In making these apologies the Council should have regard to our guidance Making an effective apology. The letters should also set out the actions the Council is intending to take to address the issues and anticipated timescales for resolution in relation to the specific cases.
We recognise the Council is taking steps to begin to resolve matters and is drafting a commissioning plan and reviewing its short breaks policy. We understand this will take time. But that process should not be allowed to drift. The Council should provide quarterly reports to the relevant committee to ensure democratic oversight of the progress being made. That committee should ensure it holds the Council to account if timescales are missed or actions not completed.
- The Council should also publish quarterly updates of progress against the action plan on its website so those affected can monitor and track this.
The Council has accepted our recommendations to remedy the complaint.