Sheffield Council pays out £46,000 in complaints compensation

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Sheffield Council paid out almost £50,000 in compensation and reimbursement to unhappy residents following complaints last year, a report has revealed.

The Annual Ombudsman report reveals the authority paid out £46,000 in the 2015/16 - £34,000 of which related to two adult social care complaints.

In the first case, the council agreed to make £20,800 of back payments after failing to provide appropriate support, reducing her number of carers from two to one and failing to complete a support plan which had been recommended following a previous complaint.

In the other matter, a woman complained about the way the council and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust dealt with her application for a personal care budget and failed to take enough action following an initial complaint in March 2014.

The council and trust apologised and paid £27,000 - half each - to acknowledge the costs the woman had incurred.

The number of complaints to the Ombudsman service relating to the council dropped by 18 per cent from the previous year from 684 to 561.

There was a particularly marked fall in the number of complaints about parking services, dropping from 90 to 28 following work on how the department manages complaints.

The areas that generated the largest number of Ombudsman inquiries were the Streets Ahead road improvement programme with 27, council housing with 25 and adult social care with 21.

New figures from Ombudsman Services show residents in Sheffield made more than one million complaints about shoddy service last year relating to things such as energy suppliers, shops, public transport and phone companies.

But the organisation said many consumers are not making complaints that could have merit.

Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “We’re still seeing consumers ignore millions of problems each year because they’d rather suffer in silence than go through the perceived hassle of complaining – but it’s not as complex and time-consuming as they might think.

“At a time when it is becoming more expensive to take court action, alternative dispute resolution, including ombudsmen, is an important and growing part of the civil justice system as a whole."