Council must pay back nursing care fees after wrong assessment of needs

Wandsworth Council should pay £27,000 to a woman who paid the sum in “unnecessary” nursing care fees for her mother, the local government ombudsman said today.

Jerry White found that Wandsworth had wrongly assessed the mother’s care needs and said the council should also add interest to the £27,000.

The woman’s mother, Mrs Baker (not her real name), suffered a fall in May 2003 and had been admitted to hospital.

Mrs Baker was to be discharged to the residential home where she had lived for several years but Wandsworth decided the home was not registered to provide continuing nursing care and said Mrs Baker could not return there.

She remained in hospital until her daughter agreed to pay for 24-hour private nursing care and Mrs Baker was able to return to the home in October 2003.

In December 2003, Mrs Baker’s daughter told the home’s management company that she could no longer afford to pay for her mother’s nursing care.

But the company decided the care could be made available from another care provider in the same building, meaning Mrs Baker was able to stay in the home, without any further payments, until she died in December 2005.

Her daughter had also sought a judicial review of Wandsworth’s decision that Mrs Baker should not return to the home, and in July 2004 the Court of Appeal ruled the council’s decision had been defective

The ombudsman said Wandsworth’s assessments of Mrs Baker’s needs between July and December 2003 were “flawed by maladministration”.



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