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Local Government Ombudsman (via Public) / LGO report highlights wider impact of financial abuse of vulnerable people

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Date Published: 11/02/16

 

Financial abuse of vulnerable people can have a major impact on whole families if social workers do not treat safeguarding alerts seriously, the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has warned.

 

In a recent case involving an elderly man, Essex County Council social workers delayed acting on a family's concerns when they claimed their relative was being exploited by a younger female friend.

 

This meant significant sums were withdrawn from the man's bank account unchecked, and the family had to go through seven months of court proceedings to gain access to his house and personal affairs after he died.

 

The man was in his 80s and lived alone. In March 2012 he fell ill and was admitted to hospital before being transferred to a care home.

 

 

 

Apparently the family were concerned and alerted Essex County Council - who then took over 4 months to allocate a Social worker ! During that period significant sums were withdrawn from the Elderly man's bank accounts - bills were left unpaid.

 

 

Following a complaint by the man's nephew, Essex council accepted its record keeping was poor and the social worker's performance was below that which it would expect. It also accepted it had responsibility to safeguard the man from abuse. It offered to pay the nephew £250 and reimburse the financial contributions the man had paid for care home charges made between April and August 2012 and to reimburse the sums taken out of his bank account from December 2102. -

 

This was not acceptable to the family who then went on to make a complaint to the Ombudsman.

 

 

The Ombudsman found the council delayed allocating the man a social worker for four months. It also delayed taking action on the social worker's request for a financial assessment for three months. The investigation found the council at fault for failing to take action to safeguard the man and for failing to have regular supervisory sessions with the social worker. -

 

 

See more at: http://www.publicnow.com/view/AD688BB2347CB94F9A16C9D402D3A00A296BDE95?9501xxx1455150724#sthash.ZDHZH0Ju.dpuf

Edited by citizenB

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Omg as if we didn't know this was happening!


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No wander my email to the LA had such a rapid response to a lady in a very similar situation.

 

I had only been discussing this with a good friend I have made on CAG just recently...

Edited by citizenB
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