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Brent resident awarded £8k payout after council fail to cover care home costs

A North London man has been awarded a pay-out of more than £8,000 after his nursing home costs weren’t covered following a stroke. An investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) found the error placed ‘additional stress’ on the family after they were forced to pay the fees.

The man, referred to in the report as ‘Mr Y’, was admitted to hospital in July 2021 after suffering a stroke. After being discharged from hospital, Mr Y wasn’t able to receive the right treatment at home. He lived in a top-floor flat with a curved staircase which, due to his mobility issues, meant that he would not be able to leave in the case of an emergency.

It meant Mr Y had to stay at a care home, however, his family lodged a complaint after they were forced to pay for the after-care despite him being entitled to 12-week funding. The LGO concluded that Brent Council should pay the man a total of £8,177, with the NHS Trust made to pay an additional £125.

Mr Y had £16,000 in savings, which falls below the £23,250 threshold, meaning he should not have been required to pay for the first 12 weeks of care. The family was also entitled to place him in their preferred care home.

However, the council rejected the family’s care home choice as the costs were deemed to be too high. Investigators found it “at fault” as, while the council may not meet the whole cost, the preferred care home could still have been selected with the family simply paying a ‘top-up’.

The report recommended that the council pay “an amount equivalent to the care fees the council would have paid for Mr Y for the first 12 weeks of his residence in a care home”, which totalled £8,052. It was also agreed that the council and the NHS Trust should both pay a further £125 each to reflect the “difficulties and additional stress” it placed on the family.

This was deemed necessary due to a lack of communication between the council, NHS Trust, and rehabilitation facility regarding when the Mr Y would be discharged from hospital.  The report found that the hospital “did not follow the correct process” and the council didn’t maintain contact to ensure it was involved.

Cabinet Member for Public Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Neil Nerva, said: “The council sincerely apologises to Mr Y and his family for our shortcomings in this case.”

He added: “We are implementing the recommendations made by the Ombudsman, including a retrospective payment of £8,052 to Mr Y to cover the amount of money he had to pay for his care and a further £125 for the difficulty and stress this case placed on Mr Y’s family.”