Audit, Inspection and Safety

05.03.18

Yorkshire county council panned for ‘confusing and conflicting’ care errors

North Yorkshire County Council has been criticised by the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) for communication failures which led to two families being given “confusing and conflicting” information on the care of their relative.

The ombudsman received two complaints about the council related to the amount residents were asked to pay for care at a time described as “one of the most stressful life events.”

The authority had given both families inaccurate information, leaving them with much higher fees than would normally have been charged for services.

In one case council officials had provided “confused” information to a family, leaving them to pay significantly over the odds for their mother’s care. In the other situation, the family was not provided with an affordable option and left paying a high weekly cost on top of what the council initially offered.

In both cases, authority officials told the families they would have to make arrangements to pay the additional ‘top-up fees’ directly with the care home rather than with the council, contrary to statutory guidelines.

LGO Michael King said the reports represented a clear example to the rest of the country of the right way to deal with social care costs.

“These two cases highlight exactly why councils need to give families clear and accurate information upfront about the financial arrangements, the care available and its cost when placing relatives in care settings,” King explained.

“Just this week the Care Quality Commission published details of its survey, which found that choosing care for loved ones is one of the most stressful life events for people. This stress can only be compounded when councils offer confusing and conflicting information at crucial times in the process.

“There is much that other councils can learn from our investigation findings that could help clear up the fog of confusion around top-up fees.”

King went on to urge councils’ adult social care teams to review their own policies and ensure they meet the demands of the Care Act.

North Yorkshire County Council has agreed deals with both families to make the situation right, including two apologies and a refund for the top-up payments made, with one complainant receiving £500 for the trouble of bringing a complaint.

In addition, the council has agreed to review a number of its processes and ensure care and support plans are up-to-date with statutory requirements.

PSE contacted North Yorkshire and is awaiting a response.

Last month, the LGO was forced to take out a second report on the Council of the Isles of Scilly, for failing to react to an initial review of social care failings.

The ombudsman had originally chosen not to publish the complaint but was prompted to pursue the issue further when the council failed to react to recommendations.

Top image: RomanBabakin

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

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Cabinet member resigns over Birmingham council’s ‘declaration of war’ against staff unions in long-running bins dispute

18/01/2019Cabinet member resigns over Birmingham council’s ‘declaration of war’ against staff unions in long-running bins dispute

Birmingham City Council is seeking a court injunction against refuse workers striking against fortnightly rubbish collections, sparking the cabin... more >
Liverpool City Region mayor proposes ‘metro mayor tax’ to deliver priorities, one year after ruling it out

18/01/2019Liverpool City Region mayor proposes ‘metro mayor tax’ to deliver priorities, one year after ruling it out

Liverpool City Region (LCR) mayor Steve Rotheram has proposed a new ‘metro mayor tax’ a year after ruling out such a move as he unvei... more >
Deal struck in historic 12-year equal pay dispute with Glasgow City Council

18/01/2019Deal struck in historic 12-year equal pay dispute with Glasgow City Council

An agreement has been reached over the long-running and bitter dispute over equal pay at Glasgow City Council, which will see thousands of female... 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 >
Statutory directions lifted as council’s children’s services ‘vastly improved’

09/01/2019Statutory directions lifted as council’s children’s services ‘vastly improved’

Bromley LBC’s children’s services has had its statutory direction lifted by Ofsted in an “absolutely remarkable” turnaround just two years after inspectors slammed “... more >
Corby council calls for delay to Northamptonshire unitary plans

08/01/2019Corby council calls for delay to Northamptonshire unitary plans

Corby Borough Council has asked for the proposed creation of two new unitary authorities in Northamptonshire to be delayed after the local authority pointed to time constraints, staffing pressure... more >

the raven's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

17/01/2019Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

Ahead of next month’s EvoNorth event we caught up with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership. Dr Tracy Vell MBE shares her thoughts on the Northern Powerhouse, what it means to her and why she thinks it’s important to attend EvoNorth.  W... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Government accountability: A year in crises

15/01/2019Government accountability: A year in crises

From Windrush to Univerisal Credit: the Institute for Government’s (IfG’s) accountability lead Benoit Guerin discusses how we can ave... more >
Rethinking public-private partnerships

15/01/2019Rethinking public-private partnerships

Trinley Walker, senior policy researcher at the New Local Government Network (NLGN) considers some different ways of approaching the relationship... more >
Fracking: divest to invest

07/01/2019Fracking: divest to invest

Deirdre Duff, divestment campaigner at Friends of the Earth, takes a look at local authorities’ role in fracking. The fossil fuel indu... more >
Building credit with the public sector

07/01/2019Building credit with the public sector

Mark Morrin, localism lead and principal research consultant at ResPublica, makes the case for salary-deducted lending to sit alongside a broader... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... 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 >

public sector focus

View all News