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Mrs L complained to the Ombudsman about the manner in which Cardiff Council handled a referral made to its social services department under Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) arrangements. The referral, which was raised by hospital staff when Mrs L’s husband was admitted to the hospital related to concerns about the manner in which he had been allowed to develop the most severe grade of pressure sore. Prior to admission Mr L, who suffered from MS and was bed-ridden was being cared for at home by Mrs L and his carers whilst District Nurses managed his pressure sores. Mrs L was concerned that the POVA arrangements had failed to investigate the concerns expressed and failed to investigate discrepancies in the evidence provided by district nurses at POVA meetings. She was also concerned about the manner in which the Council dealt with her complaint about the matter.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint finding that the consideration of the referral by the POVA meetings was inadequate and that their findings were unsustainable and should be set aside. He also upheld Mrs L’s complaint about the manner in which the Council had considered Mrs L’s complaint both in terms of its timeliness and in relation to the substance of its response. The Ombudsman recommended redress to Mrs L in recognition of her time and trouble in pursuing her complaint . He also made a number of further recommendations to the Council; a review to ensure no other service users are at risk; an audit of referrals which accused NHS staff of abuse or neglect to ensure that these have been properly dealt with and; a reconsideration of the original investigation to correct the record and ensure that all relevant lessons have been learned.

The full report can be downloaded below.