Case study

  • Date:
    February 2020
  • Category:
    Decision making with limited information


Mr C applied for a community care grant for a number of household items. He had previously been living in homeless accommodation and had been allocated a new tenancy. 

The council awarded some of the items requested but declined a number of other items on the basis that they did not meet the necessary priority level. This decision was upheld at first tier.

Mr C's representative, Ms B, then approached SPSO for an independent review of the council's decision. 

We considered the facts and circumstances of the case and spoke with Ms B for further information. Ms B provided medical correspondence and Mr C gave permission for us to contact his doctor. On the basis of the new information, we determined that a double bed was required over a single bed as despite Mr C being a single person, he had paralysis down one side of his body. His GP advised that a double bed would be medically beneficial in terms of getting out of bed. We also determined that a sofa met the necessary priority level. We awarded the items on the basis of the new information, as we noted that the council had requested medical evidence as part of their review but did not receive it.

We provided feedback to the council that their decision letters could have provided more detailed information about their priority assessment to help Mr C's understanding of the decision.

Updated: February 19, 2020