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Impact of COVID-19 on statistics

To allow authorities to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, we did not accept new complaints and stopped investigating existing cases between March and June 2020. This reduced the number of complaints we received and decided in the 20-21 year. Please consider this when comparing data from previous years.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

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 eight years, the Ombudsman has published the following public interest reports against London Borough of Tower Hamlets

A young boy with autism, and his family, were denied a parking bay outside their house by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, despite him receiving the highest rate of Disability Living Allowance for his mobility, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

A pregnant woman, who approached Tower Hamlets council for help when she was made homeless, was left in an unfurnished flat, miles from her support network, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

A family and friends foster carer who took on three vulnerable children after their mother was unable to care for them, failed to get council support for the arrangement for six years.

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Public reports for London Borough of Tower Hamlets

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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 Ombudsman investigation. We list up to 10 cases below – click ‘view all’ if there are more.

Case reference: 20 007 009

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • The Council agreed to review its processes to ensure the reason for the delay in dealing with the change of address form is identified and steps are taken to avoid any future possible repetition.
  • The Council agreed to review its processes to ensure applicants are clearly told what is and what is not reviewable and what may come within the complaints procedure instead.
  • The Council agreed to review why the complainant was not told about the non-reviewability of his request for 6 months and make sure it cannot be repeated in the future.

Case reference: 20 002 305

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Safeguarding

  • The Council has agreed to confirm the steps taken to ensure relevant parties have been reminded of the need to inform the Care Quality Commission and the Data Barring Service in appropriate circumstances; to confirm all relevant staff have been reminded of the requirements of the complaints procedure; and to identify and progress any training needs in this regard.

Case reference: 20 002 262

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Refuse and recycling

  • The Council will review how it carries out agreed actions from investigations by the Ombudsman to ensure these are completed on time.

Case reference: 19 020 804

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • The Council has agreed to remind officers that, even in cases where interim accommodation has been provided, they should aim to meet the recommended timescales for reaching decisions on applications; prepare a personal housing plan; and refer to the relief / prevention duties, as appropriate, so that applicants can understand the Council’s duties towards them.

Case reference: 19 016 128

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • The Council will make changes (or advise the Ombudsman of any changes it has already made) to its procedures to ensure delays such as those found here do not occur in future.
  • The Council will offer its staff refresher training so staff can properly consider if interim accommodation is suitable for the individual applicant’s needs and feel confident and supported to make decisions on priority need where this disagrees with the advice of its independent medical adviser;

Case reference: 19 014 085

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • The Council has agreed to remind its staff of the Council’s duty to provide information and advice on the rights of persons who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, and the duties of the authority.

Case reference: 19 013 947

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • The Council will review its assessment processes to ensure: it requests all the information it needs to consider an application at the earliest possible stage to avoid delays in the assessment process; it makes its own decision on medical priority, based on all available evidence, including its medical adviser's views; and it properly explains its reasons for deciding not to award medical priority.

Case reference: 19 012 853

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council should: a) Complete a review of what happened in this case. The Council should address any learning points and provide a copy of the review to the Ombudsman and to Mrs X and Miss T.
  • b) Provide training to the occupational health, CWD and Adult Social Care teams regarding transition between teams and effective coordinated planning for those with complex needs. The Council should provide evidence it has completed all of the above to the Ombudsman.

Case reference: 19 012 831

Category: Environment and regulation

Sub Category: Refuse and recycling

  • The Council will monitor all the waste collections at the complainant's address and keep an accurate record detailing when collections were made, any problems found and the action taken to resolve them including dated timed photographic evidence of any issues that may arise.
  • The Council will review its communications to ensure it is providing consistent information about the collection schedule for the complainant's road.
  • The Council will review whether residents should be able to use the app to report missed waste collections and ensure it provides consistent advice about this in future. If the app can continue to be used, ensure these reports are properly recorded as missed collections and actioned accordingly.

Case reference: 19 010 312

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Allocations

  • The Council agreed to review the way housing allocations and medical priority decision letters are produced to ensure decisions are clearly explained to applicants.

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Service improvements agreed by London Borough of Tower Hamlets

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Last updated: 4 April 2015