City of York Council has apologised after being found at fault by the local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) for not providing appropriate supervision for the parents of a child in its care in hospital and for not responding to their complaint quickly enough.
The council has already fully accepted all the recommendations made by the Ombudsman.
Maxine Squire, Interim Corporate Director for Children, Education and Communities, City of York Council, said: “We are extremely sorry for the distress caused and have apologised unreservedly to the family.
“We fully accept the Ombudsman’s findings and recommendations. We have already taken action to ensure that lessons are learnt from this case and that our procedures are improved.”
The council will make a formal response to the Ombudsman on actions that have been taken after considering a report from the LGSCO at a meeting on 29 November.
The council has already carried out the following recommendations from the Ombudsman:
- An apology has been made to the complainants for the failure to review supervision arrangements for their child and for the delays in dealing with their complaint.
- The complainants have been paid £2000 for the distress caused.
- The council has reviewed its policies to ensure that supervision arrangements can be made available for relatives visiting looked after children in hospital.
- The council has contacted the out-of-area hospital and council involved in the case to develop closer working relationships for when looked after children receive treatment outside York.
The authority is currently reviewing the training needs of council officers at all levels in relation to the statutory complaints process and the handling of statutory children’s complaints to ensure that they are being dealt with in line with statutory timescales, as per the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
Copies of the Ombudsman’s report are available from West Offices, Station Rise, YO1 6GA for three weeks from 9 November until 30 November 2018 or from www.lgo.org.uk