A local authority has been found at fault for charging a woman for care she did not receive. The council charged her by the hour rather than for tasks completed, a local government and social care ombudsman has found.

Suffolk council were found to have failed in delivering its duties under the Care Act 2014 when it did not review a support plan for the woman after her daughter complained visits were too short. As well as this, they were found to have failed to provide the ombudsman with evidence to back its claims that two women were told care visits would be charged for a minimum time of 30 minutes. If they had done this, the woman could have made alternative arrangements with a private provider.

The local authority has been recommended by the ombudsman to reimburse the woman for any overpayment, pay £250 for time and trouble and demonstrate that it had taken steps to ensure service users were better informed about care costs.