Decision details

Ombudsman Investigation

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Services and the Monitoring Officer submitted a report giving the Committee notice of a completed investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman into a complaint about the quality of home care that had been provided by the Council’s contractor to the complainant’s late mother, in particular that the carers had failed to call 999 when the subject had been ill.

The report explained that the Ombudsman had found that injustice had been caused by faults on the part of both the care provider and the Council.  The Ombudsman’s report had been made available for public inspection at the Civic Offices and in the Central Library and had been circulated separately to the members of the Committee.

The home care had been commissioned by Adult Social Care and had been provided by Radis Group under contract to the Council.  The Ombudsman investigation had found that Radis care workers had been late in getting medical attention for a vulnerable woman, with faults in the following specific areas:

·         The carers had not encouraged the subject to move around or use her inhaler;

·         The carers had not visited the subject at lunchtime on the day before she had died, or had dealt properly with the morning carer’s concerns about her health;

·         The carers had failed to call 999 on the evening of the same day, or to follow Radis’s own emergency procedures;

·         The recording of the carers’ discussions with the subject with Radis management was not flawed and incomplete;

·         The investigation of the subsequent complaints had been flawed in procedural and safeguarding terms, had failed to establish that the provider had not followed their own emergency procedures and the outcome had not been reported back to the complainant by the Council.

The report set out the response of both the Council and Radis to the Ombudsman’s investigation, and his proposed remedy, which had been fully accepted by the Council.  The action that had been taken by Adult Social Care to implement the Local Ombudsman’s recommendations, and remedy the faults to the complainant and his family, were set out in the report.

At the invitation of the Chair, Paula Hoggarth, Group Operations Director Radis Group, addressed the Committee and answered questions.

Resolved –

(1)     That the Ombudsman’s finding of faults (maladministration) by both the Council and the Council’s home care provider, Radis, be noted;

(2)     That the action being taken to remedy the injustice experienced by the subject’s family as a result of these faults, as recommended by the Local Ombudsman, be endorsed, as follows:

(a)     The Council had:

·         Apologised to the complainant for the distress caused by the faults identified

·         Is discussing with him whether he wishes the Council to provide a lasting tribute (such as planting a tree) in memory of the subject

·         Paid £100 to the complainant to acknowledge the time and trouble he had taken in pursuing this complaint;

(b)     Within three months of the Local Ombudsman’s final report, the Council would have:

o   Ensured the care provider had:

§  Trained all staff on the use of its emergency procedures and the procedures to follow when a service user was ill

§  Trained all carers on accurate and complete record keeping

o   Reviewed its adult social care complaints procedure to clarify how it dealt with complaints against commissioned care providers, and how it would ensure independent investigation of serious complaints

o   Reminded staff involved in adult safeguarding enquiries of the importance of ensuring enquiry reports were factual and accurate

o   Provided the Ombudsman with evidence it had taken these actions.

Publication date: 14/10/2019

Date of decision: 04/04/2019

Decided at meeting: 04/04/2019 - Adult Social Care, Children's Services and Education Committee

Accompanying Documents: