Mr M complained that the Council had allocated him a property in 2008 which it subsequently stated could not be adapted to meet his needs. Mr M is disabled and the Council had been fully aware of his needs prior to allocating the property to him. The Council advised Mr M to apply for a transfer to a more suitable property, but Mr M did not wish to move again as he and his family had become settled there.
Mr M had requested internal adaptations to the property (the fitting of a stairlift and a walk-in shower), and work to improve the external access. The Council stated that the external adaptations were not feasible and would not meet Mr M’s needs. It therefore carried out no adaptations to the property for over three years until it reassessed Mr M’s needs following Mr M’s complaint to the Ombudsman’s office in 2011. It then agreed to carry out all the adaptations requested.
The Ombudsman found maladministration in the allocation process and throughout Mr M’s request for adaptations at the property. There had been no occupational therapy assessment of the property prior to allocation to Mr M, nor was there a full assessment of Mr M’s needs for adaptations by either an occupational therapist or social services for over three years after he had moved into the property. The Council did not appear to recognise its statutory social care duties to Mr M, or that his human rights may have been engaged. The Ombudsman upheld Mr M’s complaint and made a number of recommendations including an apology to Mr M and a payment of £3000.
The full report can be downloaded below.