May 14, 2022 7.00 am

Council pays out to disabled child’s mum after failing to investigate complaint

The mother wasn’t happy with ‘a lack of social care support’

Lincolnshire County Council has been ordered to pay the mother of a disabled child £150 after it failed to properly investigate a complaint she made.

The Local Government Ombudsman said the council had not handled Mrs X’s complaint correctly which it said “caused Mrs X uncertainty about what the outcome of her complaint would have been had the council considered it properly”.

According to the LGO’s report, the mother complained about her son’s assessment in September 2021 including making reports around “non-delivery of social care support and a delay in decision making and provision of service”.

LCC responded initially, however Mrs X was “dissatisfied” with the response and escalated her complaint.

“It told her she had reached the end of the council’s complaint process and directed her to us if she remained dissatisfied with its response. Mrs X complained to us,” said the LGO report.

It found: “Y is a child in need as a result of his disabilities. Mrs X’s complaint to the council was about matters which the law is clear it should reply to using the statutory children’s complaints procedure.

“Not doing so was fault and meant the council did not handle Mrs X’s complaint correctly.

“This caused Mrs X uncertainty about what the outcome of her complaint would have been had the council considered it properly.”

The inspector told LCC to start a stage two investigation into Mrs X’s complaint, to apologise to the mother and to pay her £150 to “acknowledge the avoidable uncertainty and time and trouble caused to her by failing to investigate her complaint”.

The LGO, however, would not investigate the complaint itself at this stage because the council itself had, at the time of the report, not properly considered them itself.

“If Mrs X remains unhappy at the conclusion of the children’s statutory complaints procedure she can, within 12 months of the council’s final response, complain again to us,” said the inspector.