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Royal Borough apologises to elderly man over dementia care failings

An apology has been offered to a widower with dementia after a care provider failed to turn up at agreed times.

A complaint was made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman after a man, referred to as Mr X, was left waiting on two occasions last year for a carer to show up to help him make his lunch, leaving him in a distressed state.

The Royal Borough had agreed to send a carer, employed by Carewatch, to the elderly man’s house at 1pm and 4pm at weekends to help him prepare a lunchtime meal and make a sandwich at tea time as part of a ‘reablement care’ service.

This aims to help people develop the confidence to carry out daily tasks.

On June 24 the carer failed to turn up which led to a complaint from the man’s daughter, referred to as Ms B. She was told the matter was under investigation but nothing came of it.

On July 8, a carer failed to arrive by 1.23pm for a lunchtime appointment.

Carewatch told Ms B a carer would arrive within 30 minutes but she cancelled the appointment and said it was unacceptable her father should have to wait until 2pm for his lunch.

On July 10 she cancelled the contract and subsequently lodged a complaint with the ombudsman.

The government watchdog said that it was inappropriate for the council to commission a ‘reablement style’ service for someone suffering from dementia who needed support at specific times.

It added that it was unacceptable for the care provider to suggest Mr X should wait longer than expected for help making his lunch.

The council was told to formally apologise to Mr X and Ms B for the distress caused and pay £250 to Ms B for the time spent pursuing the complaint.

A council spokesman said: “We are very sorry for any distress caused to this resident and their family.

“We have formally apologised to the family and have implemented all of the recommendations made by the Ombudsman.

“The Royal Borough is committed to providing residents with high quality care services that are tailored specifically to them.”

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