Oldham Council: complaint over wife’s care charges upheld by ombudsman

Oldham Council has agreed to pay £500 compensation to a man who complained to the local government ombudsman about proposals to increase charges for care services used by his wife.

Mr Howard (not his real name), was paying £1 for his wife, who has dementia, to use a day centre. Under the new scheme he would have been forced to pay £46.

The ombudsman found that a consultation letter sent to service users on new charges for care services was “extremely difficult to understand, complex and unfocussed”.

It adds that it was hard for people to know what they were being consulted, which was  “exceptionally ill-considered”  because the letter was going to very vulnerable people.

Executive director for adult and community services Veronica Jackson said: “We regret any inconvenience or upset caused to anyone who uses our services.”

She added that the council was consulting service users about changes made in 2005 and also proposed changes to the charging policies for 2007.

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