Agenda item

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Investigation

An update on the delivery of actions proposed by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman following an investigation into a complaint against the council.


The committee received an update from the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health on the investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) into a complaint against the County Council, as reported to the committee at its meeting on 9 November 2022.


It was confirmed that a report had been presented to Cabinet by the Council’s Monitoring Officer and the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health at the cabinet meeting on 10 November 2021. The purpose of the report was to advise Cabinet of a finding of maladministration and injustice by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and to recommend appropriate actions to take in response.


In considering the report, Cabinet had resolved to:


1)    Accept in full the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) recommendations, as set out in sections 13 and 14 of the report;


2)    Support and endorse the actions identified by the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health, as set out in paragraphs 15 to 23 of the report, and


3)    Meet the LGSCO’s requirement of sending a copy of the cabinet report and the minutes of the cabinet meeting to all County Councillors.


At the committee meeting on 9 November 2021, it was suggested that a key function of the committee would be to monitor the delivery of the agreed actions by the Adult Social Care Team.


To view the detailed report on the circumstances relating to the complaint and the outcomes of the cabinet decision, please refer to the link here


Members noted the report, including the update on the progress of the actions set out in the Adult Social Care Operations Action Plan. It was confirmed that as of 5 January 2022, 6 of the 14 actions had been completed, with the remaining 8 underway/in progress. The latest timeframes for completion of the actions was March 2022.


It was announced that a ‘Make the Difference’ review workshop, involving ASC Operation Service Managers, Principle Social Worker and Head of Operations would be held the day after the meeting, on 10 January 2022.


Responding to questions, Keith Vardy, Head of Adult Social Care Operations for the County Council and Moira Wood, Principal Social Worker, accepted that, in retrospect, the working practices by some members of the team should have been better. In addressing the challenges to the team at the time, it was with regret that senior officers had lost sight of the actions taken by an individual member of the team and this was not acceptable.


Thanking officers for their honesty, members were reassured that robust measures had been put in place to ensure the close supervision of employees and that the rigorous testing of current systems provided the necessary assurances to avoid a similar lapse in good practice occurring in the future.


It was agreed that a further review of the action plan would be presented to the committee later in the year. Action by – Executive Director of ASC and Public Health

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