North East Wales

Flinstshire man awarded £3,750 after care package stopped

Betsi Cadwaladr sign

A Flintshire man whose care package stopped after care workers complained of his "inappropriate behaviour" has been awarded £3,750 in compensation.

The Public Services Ombusman for Wales ruled "Mr X" was failed by both Flintshire council and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Mr X complained allegations against him were never put to him and he was denied payments to arrange his own care.

The council and health board both admitted failings in the case.

A report found the council was first aware of the allegations made by carers against Mr X in 2011 but had taken no action as it was considered a matter for the health board.

A new private care company began delivering a care package two months later, funded by Betsi Cadwaladr.

Further complaints about Mr X's behaviour were made in November 2013 but Mr X was not made aware of them, and he cancelled the care package two months later because he was dissatisfied with the service, the report said.

'Inadequate'

In 2014, the health board and council made inquiries with the company about the allegations and meetings were held to discuss his case.

An application for direct payments by Mr X was refused in April 2014 and he relied on help from a friend unitl June 2015.

Mr X made complaints to the health board in November 2014 and the council in May 2015, with the council saying the health board had to finish its inquiries into the allegations against him first.

The Ombusdman's investigating officer Steve Brisely found the council had failed to pass on the complaints to the health board in 2011 which would have enabled an investigation to take place then.

The eventual investigation was inadequate, he added.

"It clearly would have been fair to put the allegations to Mr X in order for him to refute them, to provide his account of events or to modify his behaviour," said the report. "I consider the failure to provide him with such an opportunity to be contrary to both natural justice and simple good practice."

In its response to the Ombudsman, the council accepted it had taken too long to respond to the complaint while the health board admitted it had no specific policy on how to deal with allegations where the care package was provided by an external company.

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