Ombudsman says local authorities are liable for poor service from care homes
The Local Authority Ombudsman has decided that councils are to be held responsible when care homes fail to act appropriately if the care home is supplying services on behalf of the council.
The role of the Ombudsman is to investigate cases of maladministration and poor service by local authorities and some other bodies. In cases where a supplier, such as a care home provides services on behalf of a local authority the Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the service provider.
The Ombudsman upheld a complaint recently made against Essex County Council who had arranged respite care for an elderly resident with challenging behaviour.
The care home arranged for the resident to be taken to hospital for tests following a fall and then refused to allow him back to the home when he was ready to leave the hospital. The local council had refused to accept responsibility when the man's daughter complained but the Ombudsman's decision in favour of the complainant means councils in future will have to carry the can for a supplier's failings.