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Council under fire for failing to review care concerns for dementia sufferer

PUBLISHED: 14:22 05 July 2011 | UPDATED: 15:21 05 July 2011

Jane Martin

Jane Martin

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»A health campaigner said a report criticising Bromley Council's over "inexcusable delays" in reviewing the care of an elderly person with dementia, showed the council refused to accept its duty of care.

The comments by Sue Sulis, 65, secretary of Bromley’s Community Care Protection Group, comes after the Government Ombudsman slam-
med the council for delaying the review of care of an elderly man calling it “extraordinary and inexcusable” after the care home it chose received a number of unsatisfactory inspection reports.

It found the council failed to review the care placement and provision of the resident known as Mr B, for 20 months, delayed in properly investigating the complaint of his son and refused to accept that it should be responsible for any shortfall in care standards.

‘Frustrating’

Ms Sulis said: “Bromley has always been reluctant to accept it has any responsibility for its duty of care for residents it places in nursing homes, as demonstrated in this case.

“When our group has helped relatives use the council’s complaint service, it has always been an extremely frustrating process and very stressful.

“It is disappointing to hear from this Ombudsman case that little has changed.”

The report, published on June 17 and written by Dr Jane Martin, found that the elderly man was living in unsatisfactory conditions at a care home out of the borough arranged by the council and receiving an inadequate standard of care for a considerable period of time, perhaps as long as 18 months.

But when his son complained about the conditions, the council only looked at fees and finance and not the level of care.

The council has now been ordered to pay £1,000 each to the father and son and has been forced to agree to write off £2,000 it was owed for his care.

Monitoring

A council spokesman said: “Recommendations relating to the council’s complaints procedures have been implemented and the monitoring processes of care placements revised.

“The council will now consider the additional recommendations and will report to the Ombudsman within three months of any further action to be taken.”

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