Warwickshire council has been found to be in breach of the Care Act after it failed to offer a man a nursing home place within his personal budget.
This action resulted in his family wrongly having to top up the remainder of the cost.
The Care Act statutory guidance requires a Local Authority to offer at least one accommodation option that is available and affordable within the person’s personal budget. A person can choose alternative options, including a more expensive setting, where a third party is willing and able to pay the extra cost as a top-up.
Residential care home costs were £899 per week. The council’s rate was £491.54, meaning a third-party contribution of £407.46 was required.
The Ombudsman said it therefore seemed that at an early stage, the council knew the estimated personal budget was not sufficient for the individual’s need for a residential care home suitable for those with dementia.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman look at individual complaints about councils, adult social care providers, including care homes and home care agencies, and some other organisations providing local public services. They offer a free service to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way. Their published findings offer a useful reference point on many of the day-to-day issues of social care.