London Borough of Croydon

Annual statistics ?Find out more about annual statistics

Annual letters

We write to councils each year to give a summary of the complaint statistics we record about them,
and their performance in responding to our investigations.

Annual letter archive

Public reports ?Find out more about public reports

In the last five years, the Ombudsman has published the following public interest reports against London Borough of Croydon

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is urging councils to place children at the centre of decision making in cross border child protection cases, after a suicidal teenager was left without appropriate support when she reported serious sexual abuse.

Croydon council failed to take into account a man’s life-threatening health conditions – despite receiving letters from his specialists – when it decided the type of homes he could apply for, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

A young woman with life-limiting conditions has been unable to take part in some of her favourite activities for more than a year because London Borough of Croydon failed to support her and her father properly, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

A grandmother who was ‘stretched beyond maximum capacity’ after Croydon Children’s Services left her to look after her disabled grandson for two years without any respite, has had her complaints upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

4

Public reports for London Borough of Croydon

View all

Service improvements ?Find out more about service improvements

Since April 2018, the Council has agreed to make the following improvements to its services following an investigation by the Ombudsman:

Case reference: 20 002 682

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council will review its policy and procedure to ensure it finishes amended Education Health and Care Plans in a timely manner, and within eight weeks of sending out the amendment notice.
  • The Council will ensure it has a plan to chase parties when they do not provide or delay in providing information for Annual Reviews of Education Health and Care Plans in a timely manner.

Case reference: 20 001 050

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council agreed to research parents rights of appeal against an EHC Plan issued on the directions of the SEND Tribunal and to update its advice to parents to reflect the current law.

Case reference: 19 016 048

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Other

  • Ensure there are risk assessments in place for others who may be at risk from using the hot water tap.
  • Remind staff about the importance of carrying out risk assessments when installing equipment which has the potential of causing injury such as hot water taps.

Case reference: 19 012 605

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • The Council will look at what actions it can take to ensure there is no delay between receiving an housing application and assessing any medical evidence.
  • The Council agreed to review its housing allocation policy to include a section about sheltered accommodation and the exercise of discretion. .
  • The Council also agreed to take steps to ensure information about eligibility for sheltered accommodation on its website, and that given by officers, is clear and consistent
  • The Council agreed to consider whether it needs to issue guidance to officers about the exercising of discretion on sheltered accommodation applications.

Case reference: 19 012 131

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council agreed to review its procedures in how it identifies and deals with preparing young people with EHC Plans for transition to post-16 education to ensure they are dealt with in line with the relevant law and statutory guidance.

Case reference: 19 008 497

Category: Children's care services

Sub Category: Fostering

  • Within one month of my decision the Council should: send a memo to officers reminding them of the need to confirm in writing if it considers care arrangements for a child are a private family arrangement/private fostering agreement, outlining the financial implications of that.
  • Within one month of my decision the Council should provide the Ombudsman with a copy of the refreshed statement of purpose it has introduced to ensure private fostering arrangements receive robust scrutiny and review.

Case reference: 18 018 825

Category: Benefits and tax

Sub Category: Council tax

  • The Council has agreed to review the procedure it follows for deciding when it will seek to apply for an attachment of benefit to recover debt as opposed to use of enforcement agents. It should ensure relevant officers have clear advice on its expectations in this area and that it keeps records to explain why officers have decided to use a particular recovery approach if this is not consistent with its policy.
  • The Council has agreed to complete a review of its practice of passing different council tax debts to different enforcement agents to recover for the same individual in debt.

Case reference: 19 005 474

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Private housing

  • The Council will review its procedure to ensure adequate records of visits and assessments are maintained.
  • The Council will issue a reminder to officers of the need to ensure accuracy when drafting Improvement Notices.

Case reference: 19 003 120

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Noise

  • The Council will review its procedures to ensure reports of noise that are referred to its ASB team are actioned and the complainant contacted in a timely way.

Case reference: 19 002 947

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • Remind staff of the importance of keeping accurate and contemporaneous records of contacts with those approaching as homeless or threatened with homelessness. The Council should be able to show what advice it has given, and how it has complied with the law and national guidance.

Case reference: 19 000 972

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Refuse and recycling

  • The Council will advise its contractors they should retain records of monitoring and consider taking photographs as evidence that collections have been completed.

Case reference: 19 000 603

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • The Council will review its contracts and monitoring arrangements with providers of interim and temporary accommodation to ensure the properties are fit for purpose and of an appropriate standard. The Council should explain to the Ombudsman the action taken to improve its performance in this area.

Case reference: 18 016 757

Category: Benefits and tax

Sub Category: Council tax

  • The Council has agreed to review relevant procedures to ensure so far as possible that failings in the council tax recovery process, which led to a debt not being recalled form bailiffs when it should have been, do not recur, and to demonstrate to the Ombudsman what action has been taken in this regard. The Council has also agreed to review its complaint handling to ensure that where there are delays, updates are provided, and where there is fault this is clearly acknowledged with remedy offered where appropriate.

Case reference: 18 016 105

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Assessment and care plan

  • The Council has agreed to undertake a full review of its handling of this case, to identify where it made errors, and explain the outcome of the review to the Ombudsman when it is complete.

Case reference: 18 015 792

Category: Benefits and tax

Sub Category: Council tax

  • The Council will take action to ensure Revenues officers recognise an appeal about council tax liability. It should also tell the Ombudsman how in future it will tell those who dispute liability about the Valuation Tribunal.

Case reference: 18 015 014

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Transition from childrens services

  • Carries out a review of its transition assessments to ensure officers actively consider and evidence their decision on when they consider it is of benefit to the young person to start the transition assessment. It should also include clear timelines for the transition assessment and care and support planning to ensure the delays experienced in this case do not recur.
  • Reviews its EHC plan procedures to ensure it starts transition planning in year 9 for children with assessed care needs and includes a timescale for issuing final EHC plans to ensure the delays experienced in this case do not recur. The reviews should be a joint review with Social Care and SEN departments.

Case reference: 18 014 896

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Refuse and recycling

  • The Council will remind staff and its contractor that it should return to collect bins within one working day of a missed collection report, in accordance with the Council's policy.

Case reference: 18 013 019

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Antisocial behaviour

  • Within one month of my decision the Council will: carry out a training session for antisocial behaviour and noise nuisance officers to cover communicating with complainants during an investigation and when a decision is reached not to pursue matters further.

Case reference: 18 012 270

Category: Planning

Sub Category: Planning applications

  • The Council should confirm it has considered the Ombudsman’s guidance for planning practitioners ‘Recording Planning Decisions’ (September 2018), available on the Ombudsman’s website, during its recent review of ways of working. The Council should provide evidence of its review and any resultant actions regarding planning application reports to the Ombudsman.

Case reference: 18 010 646

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Other

  • The Council will produce and share an action plan to show what actions it has taken as a result of the faults identified with a failed carer visit. This should evidence what steps have been/will be taken to prevent the faults from happening again. Actions should address record keeping for any contacts with other agencies and procedures to follow if there is no response on carer visits. This action plan will be shared with the Ombudsmen and the complainant.

Case reference: 18 009 643

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Other

  • The Council will ensure discharge procedures are robust and emphasise the importance of holistic multidisciplinary assessment prior to discharge for patient's with complex needs, in accordance with Department of Health guidelines. The Council will also explain what they will do to monitor and audit these procedures on an ongoing basis.
  • The Council will ensure they have appropriate procedures in place for undertaking mental capacity assessments that reflect the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the accompanying Code of Practice.
  • The Council will ensure their complaints procedures reflect the complaint regulations, with specific regard to the duty to cooperate when handling complaints that are relevant to both organisations.

Case reference: 18 005 311

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Assessment and care plan

  • The Council will write to the Ombudsmen to: - Explain what action it will take to ensure there is a robust process in place for assessing the suitability of accommodation for service users with specific health needs; and - Explain what action it will take to ensure there is a robust process on place that allows for timely assessment and review of service users' needs in the community.

Case reference: 17 002 640

Category: Children's care services

Sub Category: Other

  • Within three months of the final decision the Council and an NHS Trust should both review their own handling of this complex complaint. As part of this, the Council and Trust should review their existing policies and procedures and check they are in keeping with the relevant legislation about childrens and health and social care complaints, including the consideration of joint working.
  • Within three months of the final decision the Council and an NHS Trust should work together to review this case to learn lessons their individual and joint case management of complex cases such as Miss A’s. As part of this work it should review relevant legislation and guidelines. The Council and Trust should seek to develop workable and realistic ways of establishing clearer lines of communication and clearer responsibilities for case management in joint cases. The review should also consider matters dispute resolution and escalation. In undertaking this work the Council and Trust may wish to consider approaching the local CCG (and other local CCGs) and NHS England to ensure its policies properly account for relevant funding processes and any wider case management and escalation processes.
  • Within three months of the final decision the Council should review this case and any processes or procedures it has for keeping track of delays in assessments and care planning. The Council should ensure that its processes include suitable and practical ways of highlighting, escalating and addressing any obstacles to the timely and adequate completion of assessments and care plans. The Council should also take steps to ensure its procedures are properly embedded and that relevant staff are aware of them.
  • Within three months of the final decision the Council should consider its policies and practices for choosing placements for young people eligible for its support. Specifically, the Council should consider whether its procedures are appropriately flexible and realistic to be able to handle complex cases such as this one, where suitable placements are in short supply. The Council should also ensure its policy is clear and that relevant staff are aware of it.
  • Within three months of the final decision the Council should review this case and consider the issues it highlights around respective duties for Children in Need and/or Looked After Children who are also under s117 and have EHCPs. It should clearly establish its position on its duties and develop clear policies and procedures to guide staff in complex cases with overlapping duties. This might involve clarifying the options the Council has for meeting its various duties and setting out what steps should be taken to meet them. The Council should also take steps to ensure its procedures are properly embedded and that relevant staff are aware of them.

Case reference: 18 011 782

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • Council should review its procedures in connection with the HRA prevention duty and ensure staff send letters at appropriate times.

Case reference: 18 008 873

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Antisocial behaviour

  • The Council will review how it proceeds in cases where a person complaining of or causing antisocial behaviour is vulnerable due to their mental health.
  • The Council will review how it proceeds when a person does not agree to enter into an Acceptable Behaviour Contract

Case reference: 18 001 450

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Disabled facilities grants

  • The Council will outline the changes it has made to its procedures to prevent delays in the future allocation of cases to the occupational therapy waiting list.

Case reference: 17 020 259

Category: Benefits and tax

Sub Category: Council tax

  • Reviews its procedures for contacting Council Tax payers when their account is in credit to ensure it contacts them at least annually to remind them of the credit in the event the payer does not respond to the Council’s initial notification of the credit.
  • Reviews its recovery procedures to ensure the Council properly considers if it should offer a repayment plan when it has obtained a liability order and before taking recovery action.
  • Reviews its procedures to ensure enforcement agents are aware a complaint has been made so they can consider if it appropriate to contact the payer or hold enforcement action pending consideration of the complaint. The Council should complete all of these actions within two months of the final decision

Case reference: 17 019 097

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • The Council will remind officers in the housing allocations team to reply to enquiries and complaints from solicitors and comply with the Council’s own customer service standards;

Case reference: 17 017 097

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council needs to review its processes and procedures to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. This should be in the form of a formal review with the outcomes reported to the Ombudsman within three months of the date of our final decision.

Case reference: 17 016 287

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • The Council has agreed to task a senior manager to review whether it could have done more in advance to prevent Miss X taking on the unsuitable Dartford property in the condition it was. The review should consider whether any lessons can be learned and applied going forward.

Case reference: 17 015 164

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Refuse and recycling

  • The Council agreed to issue a staff reminder to ensure officers in its environmental services team are aware of the need to log formal complaints on its complaints system, and to log reports about refuse collections if they receive them directly via email.

Case reference: 17 014 979

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Residential care

  • The Council has agreed to review the handling of Mr and Mrs X’s complaints by both the Care Provider and the Council. It will develop an action plan to address the shortfalls.

Case reference: 17 014 614

Category: Benefits and tax

Sub Category: Council tax

  • The Council will review its procedures and provide additional training to its council tax and enforcement officers. This it to ensure officers properly check that the correct reminders have been sent out and that they provide customers with details of the process for challenging a decision when requested.
  • The Council will provide the Ombudsman with evidence that it: • has fed back to each of the officers involved in this case and has made them aware of the mistakes made and the action which should have been taken; and • now ensures its officers sign replies with their own names so that customers know who dealt with their correspondence.

Case reference: 17 007 366

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • The Council has agreed to review its policy and procedures for allocating temporary accommodation. Its revised policy will clearly show how the Council prioritises homeless households living in unsuitable accommodation. The Council will also keep records to show that it has properly prioritised the allocation of temporary accommodation in accordance with its revised policy.

Case reference: 17 006 328

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Assessment and care plan

  • The Council will review any other supported accommodation placements it has commissioned from Company A to ensure residents with eligible social care needs have appropriate care and support plans in place and the agreed support is being delivered.

Case reference: 17 001 754

Category: Children's care services

Sub Category: Friends and family carers

  • Council to carry out a second stage investigation under childrens complaint procedures.

36

Service improvements agreed by London Borough of Croydon

View all

Last updated: 4 April 2015

Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.