Audit, Inspection and Safety

23.11.17

Council told to reimburse Suffolk woman charged for care she never received

Suffolk County Council has been hit by criticism from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) after a woman was wrongly charged for care she never received.

Care providers, arranged by the council, incorrectly logged hours of arrival and departure then charged a full price despite not delivering the assessed needs.

The visits should have come three times a day and lasted between 30 and 45 minutes, but records suggest on some occasions agency carers only spent 20 minutes with her.

The council failed to inform the woman about the carers minimum charging policy, which the LGO said was its responsibility, and meaning that they should now reimburse the overpayments and review the situation.

Michael King, an LGO representative, explained: “Had the council managed the woman’s expectations by telling her about the provider’s minimum charge policy, she could have chosen to make alternative arrangements; something which she has since done.

“I would now urge Suffolk County Council to review my report and put in place the recommendations I have made.”

The woman was assessed as needing 12 hours 15 minutes care a week, provided by the agency which the council arranged.

However, within a month, the woman’s representative noticed the carers were entering incorrect times of arrival and departure on the records kept at her home.

The council told the Ombudsman that the care agency had a minimum visit time of 30 minutes, but there is no record of the woman being told this before the care started.

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson commented: “We fully accept the Ombudsman’s recommendations and would like to offer our sincere apology to our customer for not informing her of her care provider’s charging rules and reviewing the case properly.

“We are constantly improving how we support people so will ensure that we learn from this case.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Councillors approve plans for HS2 transformation at Leeds Station

17/10/2018Councillors approve plans for HS2 transformation at Leeds Station

Councillors have endorsed a “milestone” plan to transform Leeds station in preparation for HS2 arriving in the area. The Leeds C... more >
Scandal-hit Conservative council elects Labour leader

16/10/2018Scandal-hit Conservative council elects Labour leader

Labour have managed to take control of a Conservative-led council following an “internal war” among the Tory councillors, with Labour... more >
Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

16/10/2018Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

UK councils detected or prevented a total of £302m in fraud in 2017-18, according to CIPFA. The organisation found that the number of ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

11/10/2018500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

Up to 500 jobs are at risk at Wolverhampton and residents face a council tax rise of 4.99% in what has been described as “the most significant financial challenge the council has ever faced... more >
Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

05/10/2018Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

James Brokenshire has formally ended the government’s intervention in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council following “significant improvements” in a recent review. The Mini... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic shift in how cities evolve into our data-rich future. We’re used to big-screen sci-fi future cities being dystopian monoliths to everything wrong with the worl... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with many organisations both in the public and private sectors now embeddi... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the current health of local government finance, and how a bette... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
The Convention of the North

15/10/2018The Convention of the North

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, discusses the findings of the very first Convention of the North, which was held in Newcastle... more >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News