Safeguarding – Ombudsman supports Council

In July the Local Government Ombudsman ruled on a complaint against Islington Council by the mother of a client following the removal of Appointeeship from her.

The ombudsman decided that the authority had acted properly, safeguarding the client’s financial affairs and that there was “no procedural fault by the Council in removing her as an appointee to become Deputy in her place“. It did not uphold the complaint made against them.

It appears that the Council had called numerous meetings following complaints that the client was not receiving adequate funds from his mother for his needs. The mother did not attend a strategy review meeting, giving her apologies. Subsequently she was written to and informed that due to her continual failure to provide sufficient funds the council would apply to “..initiate transfer…Appointeeship and (make an) application for Deputyship

An IMCA carried out an investigation and reported back to the Local Authority that it was in the clients best interests to seek a Deputyship Order.

Following the reports a best interests meeting was held where all parties involved were present and it was decided, including the mother, that Deputyship would be applied for. The Council were appointed Deputy for the individual in November 2017. The mother had been informed of the application in June 2017.

The Ombudsmans findings show that the Council acted appropriately in accordance with the law, that they had an obligation to safeguard a vulnerable adult. The ombudsman found that there was no fault in the application to become Deputy and that “offices acted without procedural fault and made a reasoned decision on the information they had available”.

The last paragraph of the report is somewhat strange as the Council has apologised for not letting the mother know the exact date they took over, however the Court would have made this decision and issued an order on a specific date which is not controlled by any applicant.

This is a very good example of a local authority acting properly and safeguarding a vulnerable adult, it is good to see the Ombudsman recognising this and supporting a Local Authority’s decision.

The full decision can be read by clicking here