Council compensates family after watchdog finds failing with man's care

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published a report into the failings of an Essex man.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published a report into the failings of an end of life patient. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An elderly man was injured by a care worker while receiving end of life care, a watchdog report has found.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) looked into reports made by the man's daughter, referred to as Miss X, that her father had experienced “unnecessary roughness causing an injury" by a care worker. 

The report investigated Essex County Council's handling of the concerns in 2019 and found it at fault for "significant delay" through the safeguarding process. 

The ombudsman found a care worker from a home agency had injured the man, known as Mr Y, by using his bed sheets to turn him. 

The report said his arm had become trapped and swelled to twice its normal size, causing the man to cry out in pain. 

The report said one the care workers dropped Mr Y’s catheter bag, causing him pain, then picked it up and completed his mouth care wearing the same gloves.

He died two days later.

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Mr Y had been receiving end of life care at home from specialist nursing services arranged by a care agency.

Essex County Council has accepted the report's findings and paid £350 in compensation to Miss X.

A spokesperson for Essex County Council said in a statement: “We have acknowledged and accepted the findings of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the recommendations contained in its report.

“We remain dedicated to ensuring all our residents receive the highest quality of care and are committed to learning to improve.”

According to the report, the county council initially opened a concern after Miss X complained, but later closed it without proceeding to an enquiry and without informing Miss X.

The care agency also conducted its own report, which resulted in the care worker in question resigning.

However, the care agency gave little response when contacted by the council.

The Ombudsman noted that the safeguarding officer visited Miss X in December to inform her of the findings of a safeguarding enquiry, but did not send her a written copy of the report.

In addition to apologising and paying compensation, the LGSCO has recommended the council should remind officers all safeguarding concerns should be dealt with in a suitable time scale and ensure all safeguard enquiries are quality assured by team managers before they are closed.