Wakefield Council told to pay family £200 in compensation over care complaint 'delay'

Wakefield Council has been told to pay compensation to a family who complained about their daughter's treatment while she was in care.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 9:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 9:08 am
Wakefield County Hall

The local authority will pay the couple £200 after the Local Government Ombudsman ruled it had failed to escalate their complaint properly.

The Ombudsman said that the error had cost the couple, who were anonymously referred to as Mr and Mrs F in their report on the matter, "time and trouble".

The council has apologised over the matter.

In its report, the Ombudsman said that Mr and Mrs F first lodged their grievance with the council in August 2019, adding that, "Specifically, they wanted to understand why she was moved so many times and failed to be given either therapy or education."

Although the couple were unhappy with the council's original response, the council did not escalate their complaint to a second stage as they are legally required to do.

The Ombudsman did not make a judgment on the specifics of the original complaint, but concluded that the council was at fault for the way it had handled the grievance.

In its ruling, the Ombudsman said that within two months, "The council will make a payment of £200 to acknowledge the time and trouble Mr and Mrs F have been put to in trying to get the council to consider their complaints.

"There is evidence of fault leading to injustice and actions have been agreed to remedy that injustice."

In response to the report, the council's chief executive, Andrew Balchin, said: “We are very sorry for any inconvenience or distress caused to the family, by the delay in responding to their complaint.

"We are fully committed to ensuring that any complaints that we receive are dealt with in a timely manner, in line with our policies and with national guidance.

"On this occasion we recognise there was a delay in responding to a complaint. We will implement the advice from the Ombudsman, and learn from this experience."

Local Democracy Reporting Service