Bill for aftercare refunds to hit £87m

Social services departments in England are likely to pay out
more than £87m to people wrongly charged for aftercare,
according to a report released this week.

In its annual review, the Local Government Ombudsman’s office
said a survey for 2004-5 found 1,263 people or their relatives had
already been reimbursed for care totalling £21.6m. It also
identified a further 3,836 people due compensation.

In July 2002 the House of Lords ruled that local authorities
should pay for the aftercare of psychiatric patients after their
discharge from compulsory detention in hospital.

Last year, compensation totalled £11.6m and the ombudsman
predicted reimbursements would be about £75m.

The review said councils paid out £1.1m, of which 8 per cent
related to social services and 7 per cent to education.

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