Council ordered to pay aftercare costs

York Council has been told to reimburse a woman who had to find £37,000 in residential aftercare fees that the local authority should have met, following a period of compulsory treatment.

The local government ombudsman found that the woman’s family were “misled” into waiving her entitlement to free aftercare, under the Mental Health Act 1983, after the council said she would have to wait a year for a funded placement, worth £1,280 a month.

The ombudsman said councils could not lawfully delay care they had a duty to provide on cost grounds and that the 12-month wait was “intrinsically unreasonable”.

The woman had to sell her home in order to fund a placement. The ombudsman said that the council should now provide residential aftercare to the woman and reimburse her.

The council said that it would be making a response in due course.


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