Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Ombudsman issues warning over care payment cuts

  • 1 Comment

The local government ombudsman has warned councils against cutting their financial contributions towards care for existing care home residents. 

The ombudsman found Tameside MBC had acted wrongly in changing care commissioning arrangements, after the son of an 80-year-old woman with dementia complained about additional charges being imposed.

An investigation by the ombudsman found another 160 older people in Tameside and their families could be similarly affected.

Local government ombudsman Dr Jane Martin said: “Councils are entitled to take into account their resources when planning how they commission services, and many are experiencing particular pressure in adult care, but they must properly assess the impact of any changes on existing users and act in accordance with the law.  

“I urge all authorities to look very closely at their plans, if they are changing care commissioning in their area, to ensure that no vulnerable residents are placed in a similar position.

“In this particular case, our complainant was in a very difficult situation. He could not move his mother and risk her health deteriorating, and he could not afford to pay the extra money the council demanded.”

Tameside MBC insisted it acted legally and correctly. 

A council spokeswoman said: “While the council respects the independent role of the local government ombudsman, on this occasion the council strongly disputes the findings of the report that has been issued. The council categorically denies that it has not acted in accordance with the law. 

“Unfortunately, the premature publication of the report by the ombudsman has prejudiced the council from challenging the report in the high court in the interests of residents. The report is fundamentally flawed in a number of respects, and there are question marks around whether the ombudsman has unlawfully exceeded her powers in issuing the report.”

A spokesman for the ombudsman declined to comment further on Tameside’s response.

           

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • If that is what Tameside believes it is surprising that there is no legal remedy available. Whether the council were legally correct or not there is the little matter of doing what proper and decent when dealing with vulnerable people and their relatives.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.