Bromsgrove care provider fails to show how it has complied with Ombudsman recommendations

A Bromsgrove care home cannot show it has complied with recommendations from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman – forcing the Ombudsman to publish a rare critical notice.

It follows a complaint a family made about Wayside Care Ltd, that runs the Wayside Nursing Home in New Road, which charged them for 28 days’ care after their father passed away. This is despite the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s guidelines stating providers should only charge families for up to three days.

Following an investigation in 2023, the Ombudsman asked the care home to refund the father’s estate for the extra days charged. It also asked the company to review its contract to ensure it is in line with CMA guidance.

The care provider agreed to the Ombudsman’s recommendations; however, it has failed to provide evidence that it has in fact carried them out, despite the Ombudsman chasing for the information.

The Ombudsman has issued an Adverse Findings Notice against the provider which puts on record their failure to comply. The Ombudsman will share its findings with care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Ms Amerdeep Somal, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman said:

“It is simply not good enough for providers to agree to comply with our recommendations and then fail to produce evidence they have done so. We check to confirm compliance when we find fault.

“I am particularly disappointed that this care provider agreed to refund this family but has then said it will seek to recoup this cost by enforcing late fees it had previously waived.

“I am concerned this provider’s contemptible attitude, both to my office and the family, does not demonstrate a mature and customer-focused approach to improving its services for residents.”

Following the initial complaint, the provider was asked to apologise to the family and refund the man’s estate any money paid towards care costs from three days after his death.

It should also review its current contract to ensure it is in line with the CMA’s guidance on charges after a person has died.

Article date: 21 March 2024

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