Monday, 5 December 2011

Response to Ombudsman report (STRICTLY EMBARGOED)

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 HRS 6 DECEMBER 2011

Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust deeply regret the distress caused to Ms B.

Both organisations acted swiftly to take action to address the issues raised by this case, where practice failed and led to the chain of events described in the Ombudsman’s report.

The council and the trust have issued a joint apology to Ms B, offered a sum in compensation and also offered to pay for a memorial seat in commemoration of Ms B’s mother’s life, to be placed at a location of her choice.

We welcome the Ombudsman’s recognition of the constructive steps taken since the mistakes occurred between December 2008 and February 2009.

Sandie Keene, director of adult social services added:
“The Ombudsman’s report describes a standard that, on this occasion, fell well below what the council expects when dealing with such a sensitive situation. On behalf of Leeds City Council, I extend deepest apologies for the distress Ms B has experienced.

“Immediately after the events, we commissioned an independent review of our safeguarding practice. This discovered that this was an isolated series of errors and misjudgements, which I am relieved to say was not the result of fundamentally flawed policy within our joint care services.

“We have learned a number of important lessons in communication, training and management. Together with colleagues in the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, we will continue to ensure that these lessons are used to strengthen the quality of our services.”

Rob Webster, chief executive of the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust added:
"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused to Ms B and send our sincere condolences for her loss.

"We accept the findings in the report and its recommendations in full.

“I am reassured that the Ombudsman recognises that we acted quickly to make improvements and deal with the issues raised. Cases like this are a reminder that we must work tirelessly to ensure we provide the highest quality care.

“We are committed to working jointly with our colleagues in Leeds City Council to improve the delivery of health and social care for families across the city.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Ms B’s mother’s placement in the nursing home, where she died in 2009, was arranged and managed by a Joint Care Management Team staffed by social and health-care professionals from Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk