A Leeds care home has agreed to improve its contracting arrangements with the local council after it implemented a subsidiary contract with a resident.
Paisley Lodge Home has been fined £400 for after charging a resident to top up council funding and for poor care, and has been ordered to refund the resident £33 per week for a period of around five months.
Leeds City Council has also been fined £500, and will refund the resident £173 per week for the same period.
Charging the family of a resident to make up the difference between what the provider charged the council for the woman’s care, and its private rate was contrary to statutory guidance, said Michael King, Local Government and Social Care ombudsman. He added: “The woman’s family were given no choice but to sign the second contract with the home as a condition of acceptance of the care home placement, with the council’s full knowledge this was taking place. At the time, it was the council’s responsibility – not the family’s – to arrange their mother’s care, so they should not have been asked to do this.”
The woman’s family also complained to the Ombudsman that their mother looked unkempt during one visit, that items of clothing and other possessions had gone missing, that they were only allowed ‘window visits’ at certain times during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the care home delayed registering the resident with a GP.
The ombudsman upheld all complaints against the care home, except for visiting arrangements during the pandemic. .
The care home will now review its contract’s standard terms and conditions around notice periods, and remove or revise any clause that refers to shortfalls between the rate paid by the local authority and its ‘full amount charges.