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Advice on comparing statistics across years

In the 2020-21 year we received and decided fewer complaints than normal because we stopped accepting new complaints for three months due to Covid-19.

Sheffield City Council

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 Sheffield City Council

A Sheffield boy with special educational needs has missed out on much of his senior schooling because the city council did not provide suitable alternative education for him, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has asked Sheffield City Council to make a public apology to the people of the city after numerous problems were found with the way it removed street trees.

Sheffield City Council incorrectly assessed people for disabled blue badges, says an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

An Ombudsman investigation about a Sheffield schoolboy left without the right Special Educational Needs (SEN) support for 18 months, has highlighted how councils across the country could improve their practice.

The joint investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman found the woman was left without the right care package for more than a year, because of a dispute between Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, a mental health trust.


Public reports for Sheffield City Council

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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: 20 000 246

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Residential care

  • The Council will draw up an action plan to address the faults identified in this statement (or provide evidence its practice development programme does so). That action plan should include: consideration of how to keep the service user/vulnerable adult at the centre of the planning rather than being deflected by what the family's wishes are; carrying out mental capacity assessments where a person's mental capacity is questioned and arranging a best interests meeting as soon as possible following that if the person is assessed as not having capacity; the need to fully complete the record from the best interests meeting to show the options considered and the final decision reached; consideration of the circumstances in which advocacy should be considered and/or some type of mediation where there is a difference of opinion or a person wants to return home and the partner disagrees; and consideration of progressing a safeguarding referral where a family has requested it be put on hold.

Case reference: 19 018 849

Category: Housing

Sub Category: Homelessness

  • The Council has acknowledged that cannot show how it considered all the information it had when it decided the complaint's housing priority. The Council will consider whether there are any lessons to be learned from its review of how it considered the complainant's housing priority. It will write to the Ombudsman and the complainant about this.

Case reference: 19 015 370

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Assessment and care plan

  • The Council should review why it took so long to produce support plans for the care of young adults in their home, and specifically consider the actions of staff on the ‘front line’, along with line management and any other relevant oversight arrangements. The review should attempt to establish whether any shortcomings were specific to this case or evidence of more systemic issues. Finally, the Council should produce an action plan to address any issues its review identifies, with the aim of preventing recurrences.

Case reference: 18 016 351

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Domiciliary care

  • The Council has agreed to work with a Care Provider to ensure: - it has satisfactory procedures in place to ensure the safe administration of medication to users of its services; - it has satisfactory training in place to ensure the safe moving, handling and transfers of users of its services; - it keeps adequate records on its client files of such matters as the user of services’ preference for care workers of a specific gender; how it records concerns or complaints from users of services including those brought to its attention by the Council; - it undertakes prompt investigation into any concerns raised about the practice of individual care workers.
  • The Council has also agreed to take steps to ensure more effective investigation into concerns about care provided on its behalf by domiciliary care providers. This will encompass ensuring that: - its social care staff ensure investigation of concerns raised by users of services which allege serious failings in a Care Provider’s service; - its social care staff maintain oversight where they have asked a Care Provider to look into a user of service’s concern; - officers asked to respond to complaints are reminded of the need to respond to the individual concerns around poor care raised by complainants; as well as considering broader questions of care provider’s policy and practice; • it avoids communication breakdowns between its social care and contracts team.

Case reference: 19 012 436

Category: Transport and highways

Sub Category: Parking and other penalties

  • The Council should take steps, including training for relevant staff, to ensure officers progress representations that have been made on time, in the proper way.

Case reference: 19 009 239

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Assessment and care plan

  • Remind relevant staff that they cannot have an arbitrary ceiling to personal budgets. The £481 is a guide as to what is available within the local market but cannot be the maximum the Council will pay if someone’s needs require a more expensive setting, or a setting within that budget is not available.

Case reference: 19 007 744

Category: Benefits and tax

Sub Category: Housing benefit and council tax benefit

  • The Council will review how it contacts claimants when their correspondence about their housing benefit claim has been by email.
  • The Council's benefit portal wrongly allowed people to sign up for email notifications when the Council had not intended this service to be available. The Council has removed that option and will complete the review of the claimants who have signed up for email notifications and take appropriate action.

Case reference: 19 004 255

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • Consider what information it needs from schools when children stop attending and when it should receive this.
  • Consider how it assesses how much education children can access if they are out of school. Its assessments should clearly show what children are receiving and how much more education can be provided
  • Ensure its complaints handling system is robust enough to keep to its own timescales.

Case reference: 19 002 808

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • Ensure parents are informed of their rights to request a full needs assessment as part of the EHCP process.
  • Work with schools, when EHPs are finalised, to ensure all parts can be implemented immediately.
  • Clarify, with the NHS Trust, whether the form requesting information for professional input to an EHCP does, as it stands, allow a full assessment of the child or young person to be carried out.
  • Develop a means of following-up professionals when they are asked for reports for EHCPs but then do not deliver them and identify actions to take.
  • Explain what action it will take, or has taken, to answer complaints in accordance with its guidance.

Case reference: 19 002 255

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Residential care

  • The Council will remind staff of the importance of keeping accurate and complete records when conducting enquiries under section 24 of the Care Act 2014.


Service improvements agreed by Sheffield City Council

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Last updated: 4 April 2015