By James Simons-
The local government watchdog has ordered Bolton Council to compensate a disabled woman £3,300 l for causing “considerable distress and harm” after imposing a 60% cut in her care package carried out by an assessor intent on reducing her hours.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) concluded that the cut by Bolton Council in the case of the care package of a blind woman, whose identity cannot be revealed from 67 to 25 hours leaving her unable to keep herself safe and properly medicated at weekends, harming her health and well being. The failings of Bolton Council is so shocking, heads really should roll for their recklessness with this case. The Eye Of Media.Com had contacted some council members at the time asking them to review their decision which was causing the disabled woman considerable stress.
They arrogantly insisted they knew what they were doing, and that their decision had been considered carefully. Actually, it had been considered foolishly. When a blind woman is denied the appropriate care due to her it raises questions about the kind of people taking important decisions in some local arms of government. A complaint
Bolton Council were ordered to pay her £3,800 in acknowledgement of the “significant and avoidable harm, distress, time and trouble it caused when it failed to provide sufficient support and repeatedly failed to what she said”; and reinstate the 67 hours of care pending reassessment’
arrange for an experienced social worker with knowledge and understanding of sight loss to reassess Ms X’s needs.
After the Council wrote to the disabled woman warning of a cut to her services from 67 to 25 hours, she appealed to the Council but they failed to address her complaint. The complaint response claimed that Ms X was not known to speech and language therapy, and there was no evidence to support her claim that her needs had deteriorated. Following the ombudsman’s investigation they noted that the council records showed that she was known to speech and language therapy and contained evidence that her needs had deteriorated.
The reduction of Ms X’s care package caused her significant problems. She recorded a log of 75 accidents that she had over almost a year from the reduction, including numerous falls, causing ban
She recorded having 75 accidents over the 12 months after her care was cut. The woman known as Ms X, who lives alone, had 75 accidents over the 12 months her care was cut. He was subject to an assessment carried out by a practitioner with no training in visual impairment who intended to reduce her hours before meeting her.
The assessor did not listen to her or consider her fluctuating needs and the cumulative impact of her health conditions. This was despite clear information on this being provided by Ms X and her personal assistant (PA) and in previous assessments by a social worker and OT. The ombudsman also found that the practitioner also used Ms X’s failure to recruit a personal assistant to justify cutting her support.
MISMANAGED PERSONAL BUDGET
In 2015, a personal budget allocated to the disabled woman for the provision of 67 hours of support for which she received a direct payment was mismanaged after the personal budget was used to employ three personal assistants (PA). The woman had been largely dependent on her daughter who lived with her at home for support.
However, when her daughter moved out, efforts by the disabled woman to find another PA to provide weekends and evening support drew a blank. She informed her social worker of this and said agency B, whom the council had contracted to provide this support, had been difficult to contact and identified candidates who were not appropriate. Consequently the woman, Ms X went without the evening and weekend support she had been assessed as needing, and the money that was allocated for this built up in her direct payment account.
The scale of the disabled woman’s trouble began in May 2017, when she was left without evening and weekend support on an occasion when she was admitted to hospital for surgery. She was then readmitted twice after her stitches burst, the second occasion resulting in a spell in intensive care and several weeks in hospital. After her third return home , she was instructed not to lift anything heavier than a mug, but without evening and weekend support she had to make her own meals during this time.
After her time in hospital, a social worker with no training in visual impairment was allocated to the woman. The levels of failings in this one case is so bad that resignations should follow this poor debacle. Council officials and social workers are expected to be much more professional than the shambles they displayed in dealing wit this disabled blind woman.