William Eichler 01 December 2016

Council urged to accept Ombudsman's decision on care contribution

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has urged a council to reconsider its refusal to fund a disabled man’s care.

St Helens Council refused to provide or fund home care services for a man who suffered a road traffic accident, despite an assessment concluding he had ‘critical needs’.

Social workers delayed completing a care plan for him and failed to complete a financial assessment to determine what contribution the man should pay towards his care.

The council argued the man should have used his substantial damages claim of £2,850,000 to fund his care, and stated funding the care would amount to ‘double recovery’.

An LGO investigation concluded the man should not have to use a personal injury settlement to fund litigation against a public authority.

It also found the council at fault for not completing a care plan or financial assessment after the initial assessment was carried out, and for failing to pass on a copy of the care plan completed following the second assessment.

St Helens Council has considered the Ombudsman’s findings and decided not to accept them.

LGO Dr Jane Martin said: ‘My report in July stated the legal position in this case was clear, and my position has not changed since then.

‘I would not expect this vulnerable man to have to use his personal injury award to take legal proceedings against St Helens Council.

‘I would urge the council to reconsider its response to my report and provide the remedy I have recommended.’

A St Helens Council spokesman said: ‘The council has previously given serious consideration to the points made by the Local Government Ombudsman in this sensitive matter.

‘In particular, the council has considered the relevant case law, but has found itself in disagreement with the conclusions which the Ombudsman has reached in applying relevant case law to the facts of the complaint.’

The spokesperson said the council had a duty to use its ‘scarce resources’ carefully and is of the view that ‘Mr A’s personal injury award of £2,850,000 is sufficient to fund his care.’

The council spokesman did note they would consider the LGO’s report in a ‘fair and balanced way’ before responding.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Service – Adults Services South, Safeguarding & DoLS

Bolton Council
It is an exciting time to join us as Head of Service for Safeguarding, DoLS and South District. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council


Royal Borough of Greenwich
£28,470 - £44,628
Kick-start your career with an apprenticeship based in Royal Borough of Greenwich. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Social Worker – Enhanced Social Care Support In Reach

Essex County Council
£32,787 to £44,826
We currently have an opportunity for a Social Worker to join our Countywide Enhanced Support In Reach Team. Essex / Countywide
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Procurement Assistant Manager x 3

Essex County Council
We are looking for an experienced procurement professional to fulfil this truly wide ranging role. Chelmsford, Essex / Anywhere Worker
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Group Accountant-Business Services

City of Bradford MDC
£42,614 to £47,665
Bradford is currently on a journey of change delivering the ambitious outcomes of our Council Plan. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.