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Council refused to follow recommendations after cost of care investigation

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A local authority has come in for criticism after “forcing” a resident to pay unlawful top-up fees towards the cost of her care and then refusing to accept the recommendations to remedy the failings.

18 months ago Tameside Council was handed several recommendations, following a probe by the Local Government Ombudsman which uncovered a number of failings.

However, the council has refused to act on three of the four instructions and the watchdog has now ordered them to publish a statement of non-compliance.

The case which prompted the original investigation related to a woman, known as Mrs Y, who had been diagnosed with dementia.

The woman had paid additional costs towards her care home fees after the council altered the arrangements for commissioning care. Her son, who was unhappy with the way that the local authority had handled the matter, lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman.

The regulator found that the council had not followed the correct legal procedure and that Mrs Y and her son had suffered a “significant injustice” as a result.

It was recommended that Tameside reimburse the estate in full, provide a written apology and pay the son £250 for the time and trouble of having to take up a complaint.

The council refused to abide by these recommendations on the grounds that it did not accept that it had failed to follow the appropriate guidance.

The Ombudsman has found that Tameside had no good reason for not taking the appropriate action to address the injustice and has made the council publish the statement of non-compliance in local newspapers.