Manchester

Bolton Council apologises over cuts to woman's care

Bolton Town Hall Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The council said it reinstated the care package at the "earliest opportunity"

A disabled woman has received an apology from Bolton Council after a flawed assessment led to her care package being cut by more than half.

The Local Government Ombudsman found the assessment was "highly inaccurate". It led to her package being reduced from 67 hours-a-week to 25.

The woman, who is registered blind and has a number of health conditions, said she had had 75 accidents in 12 months.

The council said it was reviewing other social care assessments.

'Significant distress'

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman report found the flawed assessment, which took nearly a year, was carried out after the woman had a number of stays in hospital when she was seriously ill.

The reduction of her package caused significant problems for carrying out basic activities, including communication, taking medication and preparing food.

The ombudsman found the council was at fault for an assessment that did not consider "the woman's fluctuating needs or the cumulative impact of her health conditions, despite clear evidence provided", and included basic errors about her religion and preferred language.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King said: "While I appreciate the pressures councils are under, the amount of support and budget given to someone should not be based on financial matters, but on a person's needs."

He said the council caused the woman "significant distress".

"I am concerned the council has used the same approach with other people in its area, so I welcome its commitment to review other cases to see if they comply with the Care Act," he added.

A Bolton Council statement said: "We have contacted the individual to apologise for our handling of this case and continue to work with her to ensure her needs are met.

"The care package was reinstated at the earliest opportunity."

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