top of page

Care Act contravention

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found that a local authority failed to meet a care home resident’s needs after his capital fell below the capital support threshold.

Merton council had assessed the gentleman and found he had eligible needs after his capital fell below the £23,250 limit but left him funding his own care.

This was deemed to be an injustice to the care resident as the council was under a duty to meet his needs.

The council had been trying to move the gentleman to a cheaper home during the first Covid-19 lockdown, which the ombudsman found there was no case to do. His daughter, who had power of attorney for his finances and welfare, was against the move and in addition the original care home and a council social worker also raised concerns about the impact of moving him. The ombudsman found that Merton did not assess the impact of moving him, meaning the council had not provided evidence of a suitable alternative placement.

The ombudsman also found fault with the council for not pursuing an NHS offer in June 2020 to fund the individual’s care in the nursing unit of the original care home as an interim measure. This would have postponed any decision about moving until he had had an NHS continuing healthcare assessment, which had to be delayed because of the pandemic.

Merton council agreed to the ombudsman’s recommendations to:

  • refund, with interest, the residents care costs from the point his capital fell below the threshold, minus his assessed contribution

  • pay £400 to his daughter for the distress caused to her

  • ensure it does a person-centred risk assessment before deciding a person’s needs can be met in a different care home

A Merton Council spokesperson said: “We accept the findings of the Ombudsman report and have already responded by putting in place the recommended actions. We continue to implement further actions into practice and learning from this ruling.”


Recent Posts

See All

Challenges for the Next Government

The next government should take forward reform of the Mental Health Act 1983 and implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards in its first 100 days in office, said Melanie Williams, President o

Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Financial abuse is where someone in a position of trust interferes in an older person’s ability to acquire, use or maintain their finances. It is always a crime but not always prosecuted. An abuser mi

Call for Cross Party Care Plan

More than 50 organisations and 24,000 people have signed an open letter calling on political parties to do more to support the social care sector following the election. Signatories including Age UK,


bottom of page