Services for People with a disability inc DFGs
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Mrs A complained that the Council’s Adult Social Services was unreasonable in refusing to implement a minimum standard of monitoring as recommended in its Stage 2 investigation of her son’s (Mr B) complaint, and that the Council failed to apologise for the failings identified in the Stage 2 investigation.
The Ombudsman found that, whilst the Council failed to review Mr B’s
care plans, its rationale was reasonable, in that implementing a recommendation of a fixed review deadline service-wide would not necessarily be appropriate in every case and could undermine individual planning for individual needs. This aspect of the complaint was therefore not upheld. The Ombudsman was disappointed however that the Council had not issued an apology to Mrs A for the failings it had found as part of its own investigation. This contradicted the Council’s Social Services Complaints Policy and therefore constituted maladministration, as well as causing Mrs A avoidable distress. This part of the complaint was upheld.
The Ombudsman recommended that, within 1 month, the Council should apologise to Mrs A for the failings identified and make a redress payment of £250 in recognition of avoidable time and trouble caused to her by needing to escalate her concerns. The Ombudsman also recommended that, within 3 months, the Council should review the way in which it communicates the outcome of Stage 2 investigations and provide the Ombudsman with the outcomes of this review and any planned improvements as a result.