Telford council moved mother into care without notifying son and didn’t tell him when she died - ombudsman
Telford and Wrekin Council moved a mother into residential care without notifying her son and didn’t tell him when she died, a ombudsman’s report says.
The local authority apologised for not contacting the family, but the home made unsuccessful attempts to contact and visit them after her death.
But, in an anonymised report published this week, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman says it will not investigate the case as Mrs C was moved into the home in 2015 and died in 2017, and Mr A complained this year after the 12-month permitted period had expired.
The England-wide watchdog adds Mr A “says he is offended by the council’s comments and inference about his and his wife’s integrity, honesty and culture”, but says it can’t rule on perceptions of public bodies’ behaviour.
The LGO report says: “Mr A complained to the ombudsman in January 2019 about the actions of the council regarding removing his mother, Mrs C, from her home in 2015 and the way it treated him and his wife.”
Mr A was unhappy with the response and asked the LGO to investigate further.
“The council explained the reasons why it moved Mrs C to a care home and why it had asked the police to carry out a ‘safe and well’ check,” the report adds.
“It was also satisfied Mr A knew where Mrs C was living at the time, as this was discussed in meetings and Mr A had referred to it in a letter in 2016 regarding charging for Mrs C’s care.”
The report says the LGO investigates ‘administrative fault’ and usually applies a one-year deadline.
“If Mr A was concerned about Mrs C’s move and did not know where she was living, he could have come to the ombudsman sooner,” it says.
“The council apologised that it did not contact Mr A when Mrs C died. It explained the home tried to contact Mr A, but visits were unsuccessful.”
The investigator says that the council committed to change its policy to include written and telephone contact with next of kin.
The report adds that Mr A complained “he did not have any bin collections in 2016”.
The council, in response, said it had no record of missed collections but “there were five occurrences in 2016 when Mr A did not present any recycling/bin containers for collection”.
The LGO report says: “Mr A could have come to the ombudsman in 2016 if he was concerned about missed bin collections.”