The ombudsman found that Mr B, whose name cannot be revealed for legal reasons, was in a sub-standard care home for up to 18 months while the council delayed reviewing his care package.
Jane Martin, local government ombudsman, found the council guilty of maladministration. She said the council should “review its complaints procedures so that the extraordinary and inexcusable delays seen in this case are avoided in future”.
The home where Mr B was placed between February 2006 and December 2008 had received two poor ratings from the regulator and the standard of care prompted Mr B’s son, Mr A, to complain to Bromley Council. The council reviewed his care in April 2006 and December 2007 but did not move him. It then failed to review his care again until it moved him to another home in December 2008, despite a long-running complaint from Mr A, which started in February 2008.
Martin said: “There would appear to be no doubt that care standards at D House were unsatisfactory. If, as the council says, it did not have the resources to carry out reviews of care provision out of its own area, then it could have asked Kent Council to assist with information or a visit at the appropriate time, and not leave the matter until over a year later. Failure to follow either of these courses of action amounts to maladministration.”
The council has apologised to Mr B and Mr A for its handling of the case. Bromley Council will write off Mr B’s care home fee debt of £2,000, while the ombudsman has also asked it to pay Mr A and Mr B £1,000 each in compensation.
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