Disabled man left in ‘limbo’ for two years by Lancashire social workers

Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council
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A young man with special needs has been left in short-stay accommodation for nearly two years because social workers in Lancashire could not decide where he should live, a report has found.

The man was placed in short-stay accommodation by Lancashire County Council after his family told social workers they were struggling to cope with his behaviour.

An investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found the placement in January 2016 was only meant to be temporary, but the man is still living in the accommodation today.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “This man has been left in limbo in this accommodation, which by its very nature was only ever intended to be a short stay. He has missed out on vital support and development opportunities while his life has been on hold for some two years.

“The knock-on effect of this delay is other families have missed out on respite care too, as the facility has been unable to offer the room to others in need.”

The council will now assess what additional support the man, who has not been named, needs in the interim to make the Short Breaks Service, where he is currently living, suitable to meet his needs and put this in place. It will also review his EHC Plan.

The council will also pay the man’s parent £2,500 to use for the man’s benefit to support his needs. It will apologise and pay £500 to acknowledge the distress and time and trouble they were put to.

County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services at Lancashire County Council, said: “We are very sorry for the distress our failings have caused and we have apologised fully to the person involved and their family. We accept the actions recommended by the Ombudsman and have drawn up an action plan to address the shortcomings identified in the report.”