Ombudsman criticises inadequate arrangements for disabled woman

Stoke on Trent Council failed to make adequate arrangements for
a disabled woman’s access into and inside her home after she was
discharged from hospital, local government ombudsman Patricia
Thomas ruled this week.

Thomas found that a cross-department approach from the council
at the outset would have resulted in the option of rehousing the
family being identified earlier.

In addition, timing of adaptations made to the existing house
meant access was “very restricted” in a short period following
hospital discharge after the woman had an operation to amputate
part of one leg.

Arrangements for bathing and use of toilet facilities were also

“I believe that a more consultative, corporate approach would
have avoided some frustration and anxiety for [the complainant] in
what was clearly a difficult time for her and her family,” Thomas
said. “It might also have avoided some delay in whatever provision
is eventually made.”

Thomas found that the “limited failings” by the council amounted
to maladministration causing some injustice and recommended the
council should pay the complainant £350.

However, she generally commended the council’s overall approach
in trying to meet the complex needs of the complainant and her

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