Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Wrexham County Borough Council
Mrs A complained that Wrexham County Borough Council (“the Council”) had not done enough to ensure that her late partner, Mr B’s needs were being met and monitored, particularly when she later raised concerns about his care home placement at a care home in England.
Although the Ombudsman found evidence of good working on the part of the Council, she concluded that the Council should have taken steps to ensure that review arrangements around Mr B’s needs were put in place. The Ombudsman recognised that there were factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which would have affected Mr B’s move to another care home. However, given Mrs A’s increasing concerns about the ability of the Care Home to meet Mr B’s needs, the Ombudsman was clear that the Council’s eventual decision to carry out a telephone review could have been made sooner than in fact occurred. That said, the Ombudsman could not say that Mr B’s delayed move from the Care Home would not have happened, if the administrative shortcomings (around the review) had not occurred. However, she could not exclude the possibility that earlier decision-making by the First Council, especially in relation to the review arrangements, might have led to a different outcome. This uncertainty was the injustice for Mrs A and Mr B and to that extent the Ombudsman upheld Mrs A’s complaint.
The Ombudsman recommended that the Council apologise to Mrs A and change its processes for out of county care home placements to ensure that appropriate review arrangements and/or contingency measures were put in place at the earliest opportunity.