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HomeNewsSiblings payout after brother's hospitalisation from 'dirty' social housing in Brent

Siblings payout after brother’s hospitalisation from ‘dirty’ social housing in Brent

A man from Brent with severe mental health issues was left in ‘unsuitable’ social housing without the proper health care and support, an investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has found.

The man’s sister complained that the ‘dirty and unhygienic’ placement and lack of help with basic needs led to him being admitted to hospital.

The subsequent report found that Brent Council and the NHS North West London Integrated Care Board (ICB) were at fault for not acting on the concerns raised about the condition of the placement and the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust for the lack of mental health care and support provided to the patient. The ombudsman recommended the siblings be paid £450 in total for the ‘distress’ caused.

The man’s sister, referred to in the LGO report as ‘Ms Y’ complained that the situation was ‘detrimental to her brother’s health’ and the situation had been ‘distressing and stressful’ for her. Her brother, referred to as ‘Mr X’ had been moved to supported living accommodation after leaving hospital in late 2019.

A visit by the council and NHS Trust in January 2021 noted that Mr X’s health was not improving at the placement and he was not engaging with the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) or the social worker. It also acknowledged Ms Y’s concerns about the suitability of the placement and identified nutrition and cleaning as areas where her brother needed support.

A social care needs assessment was carried out which stated that Mr X had ‘struggled to settle’ and was not engaging with the staff. The council subsequently created a care and support plan for him, which included help with preparing meals, shopping for food, and keeping his room tidy.

A further review in May 2022 stated that the care plan ‘was not effective’ and the placement had broken down. It said Mr X was not being supported with hygiene and cleaning, whilst his mental state had ‘deteriorated’ so badly that he was readmitted to hospital. When he was later discharged, Mr X moved to a new placement.

The Ombudsman made a number of recommendations to the council, NHS Trust, and ICB following the investigation, including reviewing their procedures to prevent the situation happening again and paying the siblings compensation for the ‘avoidable distress caused’. Mr X was awarded £300 and his sister an additional £150.

Cabinet Member for Public Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Neil Nerva, said: “We accept the findings from the Ombudsman report and sincerely apologise to Ms Y and her brother Mr X for our shortcomings in this case.”

He added: “We are implementing the recommendations made by the Ombudsman and will be reviewing our processes and working with NHS partners to ensure that other people do not experience similar issues in the future.”

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