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Cambridgeshire County Council (12 015 730)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 12 Nov 2013

Summary

Complaint from a father that the council delayed in assessing their son's needs and there were faults in the assessment process.

The complaint

Complaint from a father that the council delayed in assessing their son's needs and there were faults in the assessment process. The council also failed to progress the complaint to the second stage of the statutory complaints process. This meant that the son's needs were not fully met for 17 months.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice, the council has agreed to:

  • apologise to the father for the faults identified
  • pay £800 to reflect the period of nearly three months when the family didn't receive a payment to meet the son's needs (based on the sum of £3,200 assessed at the end of June 2012)
  • review the son's needs and provide the necessary resources to meet them. If the review concludes the son's needs are greater than £3,200 a year, they should pay the difference between the amount assessed and the payments already received - allowing for the £800 already paid. This payment and the £800 is not subject to being spent on items agreed by the council
  • pay the father £250 for his time and trouble in having to approach the Ombudsman rather than progressing his complaint to the second stage of the statutory process, and
  • ensure complaints involving children are dealt with in accordance with statutory guidance and without delay.

The council has already carried out the review referred to above. It has concluded that the son's needs equate to £6,539.90 a year.

Ombudsman satisfied with the council's response: 18 March 2014

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