Top-up fees - ombudsman

Discussion in 'Dementia-related news and campaigns' started by nitram, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,021
    Male
    North Manchester
    BBC Breakfast is featuring a report by the LGO criticising LAs for incorrectly charging Top-up fees, it it also reported on the BBC web site

    The Local Government Ombudsman said some people were not offered an affordable care option in their area.
    "Top-up fees", payable for things such as a bigger room, were often being incorrectly charged, it said.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34340875

    This is nothing new, the LGO has warned several LAs with no apparent effect on several occasions in the past e.g. Sept 2013

    Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman, said:

    “I know from the many complaints that we receive that this is not an isolated case. The law is clear: it says that the actions of the care provider in carrying out these arrangements shall be treated as actions of or on behalf of the council.

    “Therefore I hold the council responsible for the actions taken by the care home provider in seeking to extract extra funding from the family.


    http://www.lgo.org.uk/news/2013/sep...-care-home-fees-following-ombudsman-s-report/
     
  2. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    661
    #2 Wirralson, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
    A couple of points. The quality of staff in finance and social services departments in LAs is variable to say the least, and it is increasingly difficult to get them to see reason. (I speak from experience in my mother's case where the Director of Finance claimed s117 of MHA83 didn't exist(!) and from the day job where the LA staff I deal with seem to think making up legal provisions is acceptable(!))

    LAs also don't always grasp that if (as is increasingly the case) there is no care home within their area that has a vacancy that offers affordable care at the time care is required, then (in most such cases)they are stuck with the cost difference. We also (potentially) faced the same issue around top-up fees before my mother was placed on section 3 but the social worker, NHS staff and finance staff didn't make the same mistake as Merton did. That said, local solicitors tend to know this and they relatives can "play" this to try and place the cost difference on the LA when they are trying to choose a more expensive home. The affordable care options are often pretty grim - some of them were in my parents' area, and I don't blame relatives for trying this.

    Finally, LAs tend to push back against the LGO rather more than central government does, and with good reason in some cases, as the LGO's reasoning is sometimes questionable (not, it would appear, in this one).. There is an ongoing tension (dispute is probably too stiong) between the LGO and LAs and the LGA over this. The LGO is also under threat in terms of size and organisation, and looks to me to be trying to demonstrate through such cases that such changes would not be helpful to its role.

    W
     
  3. justiceformum

    justiceformum Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    9
    Ignorance is not bliss

    Hi
    What are LGA's & LGO's?
    Sorry for my ignorance I have only just found this site.
     
  4. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,580
    Female
    Dundee
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,021
    Male
    North Manchester
  6. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    661
    #6 Wirralson, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
    Indeed. LA = Local Authority.
    LGO = Local Government Ombudsman
    LGA = Local Government Association
     

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