Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Scottish Welfare Fund Independent Review

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Ms C, a social worker, requested an independent review on behalf of her client (Mr A).

  • Date:
    April 2020
  • Subject:
    Meeting the need
  • Outcome:
    Upheld

Ms C, a social worker, requested an independent review on behalf of her client (Mr A). Ms C explained that Mr A has significant physical and mental ill health issues and that he lacks capacity to make informed decisions. Ms C further advised that Mr A receives 24-hour care and had recently moved from a care home into his own tenancy. Ms C had applied for a number of household items to enable Mr A to live independently.

The council assessed that the application met the eligibility and qualifying criteria and awarded the items that they deemed to meet high priority. However, Ms C requested a first tier review of the decision in relation to the washing machine as she advised the size of the machine awarded was not sufficient for Mr A’s needs. The council did not change their original decision.

We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with Ms C for further information. She provided us with photographs of the washing machine and explained the reasons why she deemed that the item was not sufficient for Mr A’s needs. Due to his physical health issues, Ms C advised that Mr A’s bedding and clothing are washed on a daily basis. She also explained that he has carers who stay with him overnight and that their bedding also needs washed. As such, we changed the council’s decision and awarded a larger capacity washing machine on the basis that they had incorrectly interpreted the available information. We assessed that a larger capacity washing machine would meet Mr A’s needs and would increase the lifespan of the item. We provided the council with feedback about their decision letters and decision-making notes, and also highlighted that both decisions were issued outwith the target processing time.

Updated: April 22, 2020