The Ribble Valley Borough Council took more than a decade to decide how to coordinate services for people with disabilities, according to a study by the local government and the Social Care Ombudsman.
After lodging a complaint with the Ombudsman in April 2021, Lancashire authorities agreed with the Ombudsman’s recommendation to introduce a reasonable adjustment policy in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. He agreed to do this by the end of July 2021, but the Ombudsman pursued him 16 times for evidence, but was unable to show that he had implemented the policy until May 2022.
The April 2021 complaint came from a man with post-traumatic stress disorder who told the council he was suffering from visits by men in authority. A female police officer was dispatched, or if a male police officer was to visit his property, he requested that he be notified in advance so that assistance could be arranged.
However, without warning, two male police officers visited him. The man complained to the council that he was aware of his condition, but that he had forgotten it.
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The Ombudsman’s investigation found that the Council was in trouble. The Council is responsible for identifying whether people have a disability, indicating how they can accommodate the adjustments necessary to enable people to access services, and maintaining records of those adjustments. A policy needs to be put in place.
In light of the findings, the Ombudsman recommends that the Council implement effective policies to fulfill its obligations to service users with disabilities, keep appropriate records, and inform officials of the Council’s obligations regarding them. recommended.
The council policy was finalized in April 2022 and published on the website the following month. However, the council was unable to provide evidence that the ombudsman now kept adequate records, or that the officers were aware of what was expected of them.
Local government and social services ombudsman Michael King said that during the investigation process, the council advised the ombudsman of its recommendation because of the pandemic, “despite confirming whether this was a factor.” He said he never told him he was having trouble complying.
“But they have now told us that this is the reason for the delay,” he said.
Mr King added: At the end of 2021, the Council still had no policy.
“The council’s lack of urgency may have had grave consequences for some of the most vulnerable residents over the years.
“I now expect the Council to provide us with evidence that it has implemented the agreed remedies without delay.”
The Ribble Valley Borough Council is one of the few local governments that did not follow the Ombudsman’s service improvement recommendations last year. In 2021, the Ombudsman made her 1,848 recommendations across all surveyed organizations, with 99.7% of councils complying.
The Ombudsman is now issuing guidance to the Council on making reasonable adjustments for persons with disabilities.
Marshal Scott, Chief Executive of the Ribble Valley Borough Council, said:
“We have made many reasonable adjustments to our facilities and services for residents with disabilities over the years, and we are disappointed that this time it went wrong. increase.”