Care Plans and Cuts

A popular problem in the category is when a Council may reduce a person’s care package without review. The LGO always states that this is fault from the council. It results in unmet needs, which causes injustice to the person. Before anything in your care plan is changed, you must have an assessment or review.

Care being delivered not in line with someone’s care plan is always fault. It is a breach of statutory duty if a council does not deliver what is set out in a care plan. A care plan cannot be changed unless or until a lawful reassessment (and now a revision process under s27) has been carried out. A revision proposal cannot take effect unless or until the new plan is signed off. The plan must derive rationally and coherently from the assessment

Again, the LGO will highlight that it is the process followed during/after the assessment which will find the Council at fault, rather than the outcome necessarily. Poor communication between Councils and families will often lead to confusion and delay, resulting in needs being unmet, insufficient support, or financial burdens. Issues also arise when the person is not sufficiently involved in the assessment process. The LGO will usually recommend a subsequent assessment take place to clear up any ambiguities or shortcomings. Clarity is key.

Name of CouncilSubject MatterTitle of ReportNumber
SheffieldAssessments, Care Plans, Direct Payment, Sheffield City Council at fault for multiple errors in a care assessment and incorrectly commissioning care with a provider previously complained about19 019 521
BradfordCare Plans and CutsBradford Council not at fault for reducing a care package20 001 351
HertfordshireChoice and top ups, CommunicationHertfordshire County Council at fault for its poor communication surrounding third-party top-up arrangements19 011 176
HaringeyArbitrarinessHaringey Council at fault for avoidable delays in assessing needs for an elderly woman waiting to be discharged from hospital17 016 601
StaffordshireArbitrarinessStaffordshire County Council at fault for delay in reassessment and not meeting an assessed eligible need19 011 306
WiltshereArbitrariness, Use of non-compliant toolWiltshire County Council at fault for using the Matrix Assessment Tool to reduce the of level respite care and transport provisions16 015 946
Hammersmith and FulhamArbitrariness, Care not in line with plan, Delay, CommunicationLondon Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham found at fault for delays in completing a sensory assessment and in implementing reablement support18 019 465
KirkleesArbitrariness, inadequate planKirklees Council at fault for removing respite care and setting arbitrary limit to funding19 008 980
StaffordshireCare not in line with planStaffordshire County Council at fault for stopping respite care funding, and not sufficiently involving the person and their family in assessments and reviews19 003 615
GloucestershireCare not in line with planGloucestershire County Council at fault for discontinuing an autistic man’s support and for the delays in reassessing him19 005 899
SurreyCare not in line with planCherrytrees Care Provider, Surrey County Council and CCG at fault for failing to provide care in line with a young man’s s.117 aftercare plan18 007 431
CalderdaleArbitrariness, delaysCalderdale Council at fault for poor communication, failing to involve a person in decisions surrounding their care, wrongly stopping direct payments and severe delays in carrying out an assessment19 004 821
Creative Support LTD Care not in line with planCreative Support Limited care provider found at fault for poor quality of care18 016 768
Cheshire West and ChesterCare not in line with planCheshire West and Chester Council found not at fault for recovering direct payments, but found at fault in delivering care not in line with the care plan 18 005 390
Cornwall Care not in line with planCornwall County Council at fault for forcing a carer to carry on meeting needs by stopping direct payments and leaving any alternative source of care undelivered19 004 581
WandsworthCare not in line with planLondon Borough of Wandsworth at fault in charging for care outside of care plan, and delay in invoicing estate18 018 409
WarwickshireCare not in line with planWarwickshire County Council at fault for the quality of care it commissioned18 014 148
Bradford CityCare not in line with plan, DelayCity of Bradford Metropolitan District Council to pay £60,000 in restitution for failing to provide care or support for over 5 years, despite agreeing a support plan17 016 346
Kent CountyCare not in line with plan, DelayKent County Council at fault for failing to update care plan and provide the support outlined in care plan 19 000 949
Stockport MetropolitanCare not in line with planStockport Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for providing care contrary to contents of current care plan 18 010 209
Milton KeynesCare not in line with plan, inadequate PlanMilton Keynes Council at fault for needs assessment flawed by a ‘last resort’ policy, for leaving a paid personal assistant working without pay – and for providing a care package clearly insufficient to meet needs 18 003 035
Norfolk CountyCare not in line with plan Norfolk County Council found at fault for failing to meet assessed eligible needs with a care plan that allowed for a refusal of a carer (both paid and unpaid) to do any more – and now making restitution for that wrongdoing 19 002 258
Sheffield CityCare not in line with plan Sheffield City Council at fault for failing to meet night time needs 18 018 362
KirkleesCare not in line with planKirklees Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for withdrawing vital services and failing to recognise its responsibility to respond to a subsequent crisis.19 009 200
Readingcare not in line with plan, communication, inadequate plansReading Borough Council at fault for causing care plan confusion as it failed to record changes to care plan, to meet needs over seven days as assessed, and changed its mind on its own findings on the complaint made19 005 250
BuryChoice and top upsBury MBC at fault in relation to information provided about the costs of a care home18 002 874
CalderdaleChoice and top upsCalderdale Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for arbitrary top up policies, for instructing service users to enter into top up agreement contracts with care homes directly, for failing to identify a suitable care home and for failing to undertake a needs assessment19 009 079
LeicestershireChoice and top upsLeicestershire Council at fault for failing to arrange home care within a reasonable timescale, and failing to provide information about direct payments18 017 173
LincolnshireChoice and top upsLincolnshire County Council at fault for the way it pursued outstanding care payments19 001 789
SheffieldChoice and top upsSheffield City Council at fault for wrongly charging top-up fees and having an arbitrary ceiling to personal budgets19 009 239
London Borough of BromleyCommunication, Inadequate PlanLondon Borough of Bromley at fault for failing properly to consider a request for extra support 18 016 782
London Borough of BromleyArbitrary Limit on Personal BudgetLondon Borough of Bromley at fault for setting an arbitrary limit on a personal budget and failing to show how assessed needs could be met within the final sum offered19 007 855
Essex County and Hertfordshire CountyCommunication Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council at fault for failing to follow proper decision making processes when returning a person home from residential care 18 018 838

18 016 276
Kent CountyCommunication Kent County Council at fault for lack of clarity in its Panel procedure 18 017 980
Lancashire CountyCommunication Lancashire County Council found at fault over its assessment process, provision of information, recovery of direct payments and refusing to accept the necessity for a close relative to be paid to provide support 18 012 204
Norfolk CountyCommunication, Inadequate Plan Norfolk Council at fault for reducing personal budget without properly involving the recipient or complying with the Care Act 18 012 892
Kensington & ChelseaCommunication, Inadequate PlanRoyal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at fault due to poor communication, delay in assessments and delay in care and support.19 008 936
Bradford Metropolitan District Communication, Delay City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council at fault for serious delays in decision-making and failing to communicate properly 19 000 350
Waltham ForestCommunication, DelayWaltham Forest Council found at fault by ombudsman after delaying a Carer’s Assessment for two years from the date requested and even then failing to provide the outcome of the assessment to the carer 18 004 436
HaveringDelay, Inadequate Plan, ArbitrarinessLondon Borough of Havering Council fails to ensure a sufficient personal budget to cover care and support needs, and offers an arbitrary ‘standard’ amount 18 018 467
Nottignhamshire CountyDelayNottinghamshire at fault, for reducing a man’s care package because of financial pressures and leaving parents to pay 18 015 558
WarwickshireDelayWarwickshire Council at fault regarding mental capacity assessments and failure to provide an advocate18 017 301
HaringeyInadequate CommissioningLondon Borough of Haringey at fault for poor communication surrounding placement options and severe delay in authorising a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards application19 003 309
LincolnshireInadequate Commissioning, CommunicationLincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire East CCG found jointly at fault for failing to work together properly with regard to s117 aftercare18 012 682
Bath and North East SomersetInadequate PlanBath and North Somerset Council at fault for failing to address the shortfall in a personal budget 19 000 003
SuffolkInadequate PlanSuffolk County Council at fault for carrying out flawed assessments and care plans and preventing a chosen representative from providing support during reviews17 018 391
Leeds CityInadequate PlanLeeds Council at fault for its approach to cultural norms and quality of care provided through its commissioning 18 016 024
Leicester CityInadequate PlanLeicester Council at fault for prematurely reducing support hours resulting in unmet eligible needs 18 016 053
HillingdonInadequate PlanHillingdon Council at fault for failing to produce any care and support plan, for delays in payments and for failing to provide any adequate interim arrangements 17 016 412
WorcestershireInadequate PlanWorcestershire Council at fault for delay in providing care and accommodation, for failure to assess capacity to make decisions, for failure regarding consideration of the need for advocacy, and failure to assess a carer 18 007 624
RedbridgeInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Redbridge Council at fault for incorrectly charging a carer the full amount of his support costs, after wrongly requesting financial assessment 18 015 695
IslingtonInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Islington at fault for a delay in completing a needs assessment, and insufficient integration between Adult and Children’s services regarding documentation19 004 087
Windsor & MaidenheadInadequate planRoyal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead at fault for failing to properly consider the risks when separating a married couple of 59 years, failing to provide adequate care and failing to provide appropriate complaint responses18 015 872
HertfordshireInadequate plan, ArbitrarinessHertfordshire County Council at fault for its policy which states it does not meet identified needs for support to maintain a habitable environment19 000 200
Leedsinadequate PlanLeeds City Council at fault for providing poor quality of care and for failing to assess a carer19 011 131
WirralCommunication with Education team
Wirral Council at fault for delay in sharing Tribunal outcome with the Adult Social Care Team19 004 800
Bexley Inadequate PlanBexley at fault for saying it ‘does not fund’ 24-hour care at home but found to be ‘within its discretion’ in limiting its funding for care at home+22 002 184
CornwallInadequate PlanCornwall Council at fault for failing to properly plan transitional care between agencies20 001 282
LincolnshireInadequate PlanLincolnshire County Council reduces a care package on the basis that the staff and carer’s evaluation of the young woman’s abilities was very different – without any fault in approach – but WAS found at fault for failure in putting part of the continuing reduced care package in place21 014 797
WiltshireInadequate PlanWiltshire County Council at fault for failing to provide respite support agreed to be the complainant’s entitlement20 005 582
EssexInadequate Plan, DelayEssex County Council found to be at fault for delays in reviewing a care and support plan and putting in place care to meet needs21 008 070
North SomersetInadequate PlanNorth Somerset was not criticised for refusing to fund more than the cost of an available care home after the client’s welfare attorney rejected the offer. But the council paid 30 weeks’ home care over before finishing a financial assessment concluding she was a full cost payer, such that repayment in full, was expected. 21 018 856
NorfolkInadequate PlanNorfolk County Council at fault for agreeing an increase in care hours without formal authorisation, and then going back on it22 005 573
WirralInadequate PlanWirral Council at fault for failing to complete a timely assessment of care needs, when a person arrived from another council’s area, resulting in a direct loss and breach of the Continuity provisions in ss37-38 of the Care Act22 005 781
HillingdonInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Hillingdon at fault for failing to ensure the only suitable care home had necessary equipment in place and failing to provide timely access to an advocate21 017 949
CroydonInadequate PlanCroydon Council at fault for appearing to place financial considerations before wellbeing22 000 071
SurreyInadequate PlanSurrey County Council found at fault for changing care plan arrangements, without prior discussion with the family, causing distress22 005 425
RedbridgeInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Redbridge is found to be at fault for unjustified delays in reviewing care packages21 003 768
LambethInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Lambeth at fault for failing to carry out a Mental Capacity Assessment, consider alternative accommodation, provide a care plan and for delays to transport provision20 000 794
WestminsterInadequate PlanWestminster City Council at fault for failing to meet a blind person’s eligible need for support to access the community19 007 605
MedwayInadequate PlanMedway Council delay in providing an assessment of needs, care and support, and a carer’s assessment22 002 267
NewhamInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Newham at fault for failing to provide a personal budget, failing to explain its reasons for rejecting a placement it had identified, and failing to consider a family’s opinion as to why other placement suggestions were not suitable20 001 102
Bury MetropolitanInadequate PlanBury Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for setting arbitrary upper limits to a care plan and not undertaking a financial assessment when requested to do so22 005 797
Bournemouth, Christchurch and PooleInadequate PlanBournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council chose to stop funding a package over a dispute as to the proper legal basis for it without communication21 016 607
StockportInadequate PlanStockport MBC at fault for failing to provide adequate support in line with a care and support plan22 009 307
PortsmouthInadequate PlanPortsmouth City Council at fault for failing to address potential wishes o needs for family involvement in processes 22 007 125
North YorkshireInadequate PlanNorth Yorkshire County Council at fault for an ineffectual safeguarding investigation and the lack of a care plan 22 011 460
CroydonInadequate PlanLondon Borough of Croydon at fault for reduction in care package22 002 217

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