Providers Fault

When a Council commissions another organisation to provide services on its behalf, it remains responsible for those services and for the actions of the organisation providing them. A Care Home can be well within its rights to terminate a contract, but only in a way consistent with the terms of that contract. All providers to publicly funded clientele in the social care world owe human rights, directly, to the customers, under the Care Act (as to providers to CCGs for continuing NHS health care, but not under the Care Act; simply through the NHS Act).

If the person spends their own money, or has a council funded direct payment instead of a care package of services, the system is that they contract privately with a provider, and are responsible for sorting out their own issues with the standards of service. But in either case they can go to the Ombudsman about a complaint if it is not properly dealt with to a person’s satisfaction.

Generally, if the care is council commissioned, the council is primarily liable for sorting out complaints of inadequacy after one has raised them with the provider, informally; if the council doesn’t do a good job there, one can take it further to the Ombudsman later.

Reports make it clear that issues are not always just the fault of the provider. The LGO has found the Council at fault in cases concerning: providers who provide inadequate care, where often the care does not match up with the care outlined in a person’s care plan or the plan doesn’t match the assessment in the first place; the care provider terminates a person’s contract without sufficient notice but the council does nothing about it; providers fail to provide an adequate response to concerns or complaints and the council does nothing about that either; the provider fails to investigate safeguarding concerns sufficiently and the council does nothing about that, despite being responsible for a proper s42 enquiry; or they charge incorrectly, raising issues surrounding contracts between service users and providers, and who is whose customer at the relevant point in time. The LGO has been seen to refer care homes to the CQC, recommend compensation in cases that involve harm/potential harm, and often provides recommendations for Councils and providers to improve their practice.

Name of CouncilTitle of ReportNumber
Gold Hill/Blossom House (Worcestershire)Worcestershire County Council at fault for inadequately dealing with complaints about the quality of care in a care home it commissioned18 018 809
Hestoncourt LtdHestoncourt Limited at fault for providing inadequate care, and referred to the CQC for potentially falsifying records19 001 354
Cheshire East CouncilCheshire East Council at fault for not having a process for reviewing Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) documents in place19 018 012
Country Court Care Homes 2 LTDCare home at fault for terminating residence without notice, and charging incorrectly, the ombudsman finds. 17 015 611
Countrywide Care homes (2) LTDCountrywide Care Home at fault for causing injury, failing to protect dignity and for failing to meet personal care needs 18 019 078
Creative Support LTDCreative Support Limited care provider found at fault for poor quality of care18 016 768
Pendene House Residential Home LimitedPendene House Residential Home Limited caused an injustice after failing to give a proper 28-day eviction notice 18 000 516
The Elms Care Centre, Ibstock
(Leicestershire County Council commissioned care home)
Leicestershire County Council for the quality of care at a home it commissioned and for failing to respond adequately to concerns19 001 489
Careline (Tameside)Tameside Council at fault for failing to carry out a carer’s assessment, and for an inadequate investigation leading to inadequate care 18 011 449
Locala Care (Kirklees)Kirklees Council at fault for the poor quality of care and record keeping evident at an agency it commissioned (Locala HomeCare Limited)18 002 031
Surrey County Commissioned Care HomeSurrey Council at fault in handling of safeguarding procedure and failing to intervene when a care home refused a patient’s return 18 012 625
Surrey County Commissioned Care HomeCherrytrees Care Provider, Surrey County Council and CCG at fault for failing to provide care in line with a young man’s s.117 aftercare plan18 007 431
Sandwell Council Commissioned Care HomeSandwell Council at fault for allowing a person to be charged under a private ongoing contract, entered into wrongfully, without involving the council who had paid the home for respite 19 005 086
Sandwell Council Commissioned Care Homes A and BSandwell Borough Council at fault for placing a person in a care home which could not meet their needs, twice. 19 000 504
South TynesideSouth Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council at fault for failing to follow assessment guidelines in regards to deafblind clients, failing to backdate direct payments, and failing to investigate restriction of contact imposed by its commissioned care provider15 016 702
TimRowlandJones Commissioned by Bristol CouncilProvider (commissioned by Bristol County Council) at fault for not following emergency procedure and failing to provide care for one night 18 019 660
Inspiration Care LTDInspiration Care Limited at fault for ending its service inconsistently with its service agreement 18 011 402
WakefieldWakefield City Council at fault poor care provided by contractor19 004 546