Source: Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO)

The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has had the power to investigate complaints about independent providers for more than 10 years.

If they find a care provider at fault, and they do not agree to their recommendations to put things right, the LGSCO will publish a report (called an Adverse Findings Notice) about their investigation.

It’s incredibly rare that they have to go to such lengths, as most care providers agree to their recommendations, but over the past few months they have issued two such notices against homes in Kent and Yorkshire.

In the first case, the LGSCO heavily criticised Kent care provider, Foxley Lodge Care Ltd, after it suddenly raised its fees – and then threatened to evict a vulnerable resident if her family did not pay.

The company failed to respond to their investigation so they published a public notice and issued a media release.

In the second case, Burlington Care Ltd refused LGSCO’s recommendation to refund the full cost of a woman’s care, after their investigation – and that of its local council – found care workers had verbally abused and neglected a woman while in its care. The company instead offered to refund just one week’s stay.

It was not until the afternoon before the LGCSO were due to speak to BBC Radio 4 about the case that the company agreed to refund the full amount.

The LGCSO have shared their findings about both care providers with the care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).