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Councils reminded of their obligations under the Care Act

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A regulator has urged local authorities to ensure that families are furnished with all relevant details about a care home’s costs,

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman issued the reminder after being tasked with looking into a complaint lodged against Lincolnshire County Council.

The watchdog’s investigation found that a family had not been properly informed of the various options available when their father, who was suffering from dementia and physical disabilities, was brought to a care home in an emergency situation.

The Ombudsman found that the council should have offered the man’s relatives a choice of home, having instead taken him to premises where “top-up fees” were compulsory.

As a result, the family had got into difficulties paying the supplementary amount and the man was ultimately threatened with eviction.

Lincolnshire has now been asked to review its procedures to ensure that the same situation does not arise again.

“Councils have a duty to provide accurate information to families about care home placements,” said Ombudsman Michael King.

“This is particularly important at times such as this where families do not have the luxury of being able to plan for their relative’s care.

“We issued a focus report on this subject in 2015 and I would encourage anyone working in the field to have a look at the good practice guidance it contains, and check their own policies and procedures to ensure they comply with the Care Act.”

For further advice on care home fees please do not hesitate to contact Amanda Piper on 01905 610410.