Community care: help with Ombudsman complaint
We helped a client make a complaint to the Ombudsman about her elderly aunt’s assessment of needs for care on discharge from hospital and her subsequent care plan. Her aunt passed away prior to the complaint being lodged but the process continued and the complaint was upheld.
Before discharge, her aunt had been assessed as being at risk and requiring a 24 hour care package. The trust’s preferred option was to place her into nursing care. The aunt and her immediate family were opposed to this and she was discharged home. The care package provided did not meet the aunt’s needs and she was forced to buy in private care, using up her total savings of £65,000.
The Ombudsman found that the trust had failed to properly apply procedures in relation to providing a comprehensive care package and this constituted maladministration. The Ombudsman recommended that the trust apologise for its failure to:
- properly assess her aunt in line with procedures;
- inform the family of what was expected of them in respect of their aunt returning to live at home;
- document assessments;
- inform on and produce a comprehensive care package to ensure her needs were met;
- document the risks involved in facilitating her to live at home;
- follow relevant guidelines and procedures in relation to care planning; and
- carry out and adequately record reviews of the care plan subsequent to her discharge from hospital.
Our client was awarded compensation of £15,000 and the trust agreed to review and change its procedures.