How not to respond to an Ombudsman investigation

30 January 2019 – Care Provider bulletin – edition 7

A care provider recently demonstrated the wrong way to approach an Ombudsman investigation, forcing the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) to publish an Adverse Findings Notice (AFN) in January about Corden Assist Ltd, trading as Bluebird Care (Wandsworth).

The care provider refused to comply with recommendations to apologise to a family and pay them £200 to put right failings found with the homecare it provided to their elderly relative.

Cases of non-compliance happen rarely, but it does highlight the importance of taking a mature attitude to resolving disputes.

The family asked LGO to investigate after they said the company charged them for care their relative did not receive for three days in September 2016.

According to the family, the carer was not able to cope with the alleged behaviour of the relative, who has dementia, and asked one of the relatives to help.

The company was not able to show adequate records that the care it charged for was provided. It also failed to record concerns expressed by the carer about his ability to deal with the relative, and family members’ concerns about the level of care provided.

Following the initial investigation in July, the Ombudsman also asked the company to waive 50% of the fees for the three-day period.

It failed to carry out any of the recommendations, and decided to pursue the family through the courts for unpaid care fees.

In order to hold the provider to account, LGO issued a press release, which was covered in local media, and also published a public notice in the press. LGO is also working with the CQC to ensure cases of non-compliance with our recommendations are published on its website in future.


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