William Eichler 31 May 2018

Ombudsman criticises council for cutting disabled man’s support

A London council has been fined nearly £3,000 for cutting support for a disabled man.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) has criticised the London Borough of Bromley after the council ‘significantly’ cut the support package of a man with special needs.

The man, who has autism and other needs, and his mother had been in receipt of support which included one-to-one care, transport costs and a placement in a care centre.

However, Bromley reduced the level of support at short notice, without reassessing the family’s needs, leaving the man’s mother to support her son during the holidays.

‘Families with significant care needs like this rely on the right support being provided in the right way, and at the right time,’ LGO Michael King said.

‘Councils cannot change care packages at short notice and without making the proper assessments.

‘I am pleased Bromley council has agreed to my recommendations to improve its services and welcome the changes it will now put in place.’

The council has been asked to pay the family £2,865 to reflect the time, trouble and distress it caused.

A council spokesperson said: 'We acknowledge there was an administrative error in this case and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are currently reviewing the whole area of care charges and the information supplied to service users and their families.

'In addition, there have been significant improvements to the complaints handling process, including a major upgrade to the bespoke IT system used, which means that the Council is confident that such a situation is highly unlikely to recur.'

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