Bolton fined over treatment of youth

A council has been fined £30,000 for failing to find
suitable accommodation for a teenager with learning difficulties,
which forced him to spend 18 months on an adult psychiatric

Hospital staff were unable to care for the 18-year-old autistic
boy who was constantly sedated and denied his liberty, his mother
told a local government ombudsman.

Bolton Council said it made mistakes and that it had changed its
procedures for dealing with people with complex needs.

Ombudsman Patricia Thomas found the council guilty of
maladministration causing injustice.

The teenager, who needed constant support, was sectioned within
days of leaving a residential school in January 2002. The next
month a mental health tribunal recommended the teenager be
transferred from the hospital to an appropriate home as soon as

But the council took more than a year to deal with the
recommendation and failed to answer an official complaint by the
boy’s mother within time limits.

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