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Adult social care services drive detailed ombudsman investigations during 2022

Councils’ handling of adult social care services prompted the second highest number of detailed  investigations during 2022-23, the social care ombudsman has revealed.

The Review of Local Government Complaints 2022-23 details that there were 898 detailed investigations into council’s handling of adult social care during the year, behind only education and children’s services, which prompted 1,263 of these investigations.

Some 73 per cent of these investigations were upheld, which is above the average for the eight total activity areas highlighted in the report, including benefits and tax.

The review highlights the case of Leeds City Council, which allowed a private care provider to put a second contract in place with a family whose relative was placed in a care home. The dual contract meant the family were required to pay the difference between the council’s rate for a placement and the provider’s private rate.

The ombudsman felt the arrangements confusing and contrary to Government guidance; service users whose care is arranged by a council should not pay more than the council’s contracted rate for care.

The council repaid the fees and has ended this practice with all care providers in its area.

The report provides links to a range of resources designed to benchmark councils’ performance, to allow comparisons to be made.

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