Council told to pay for service delays

A council must pay £500 compensation after service delays for
a woman who suddenly became blind.

A local government ombudsman found Stockport Council guilty of
maladministration causing injustice.

The woman was referred to the council’s sensory disability team on
11 September 2000 but was not visited for a needs assessment until
18 October.

The report criticises the team for failing to consider the woman a
high priority. But it states the council had a three-month waiting
list and no measures for prioritising referrals.

The ombudsman considered it unlikely the woman would have been
assessed until December had it not been for the intervention of
advocates and NHS staff and called for the council to review its
procedures for recording contact with service users.

The report adds that an officer of the sensory disability team was
brusque, unsympathetic and rude.

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