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Disabled person’s care cash stopped after Norfolk County Council incorrectly recorded them as being dead

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 July 2012

County Hall.

County Hall.

Sarah Cocke

A disabled Norfolk person had their care cash stopped after a council official incorrectly recorded them as being dead.

The individual also had their blue badge disabled parking pass cancelled after the error, which has forced Norfolk County Council to review how it notes deaths of patients.

Care staff are due to be issued with new instructions telling them to making sure they write down who tells them of a person’s death and how it happened. The culprit for the initial error has not been found.

The mistake came to light days after it was made when the person did not receive their care allowance, known as a personal budget. Payments were “restored immediately”, according to the council.

A county council spokesman said: “Staff were reminded at the time that they should be vigilant when making any changes to people’s care records, and were reminded of the consequences for the person receiving care if they’re not.”

The authority says it explained the error to the person involved and their family, and has kept them informed about the changes to make sure no-one else is mistakenly declared dead.

The error was one of 453 complaints made against the county council’s adult social care team during 2011/12, a decrease from the 519 received in 2010/11.

Officials have so far responded to 415 in full, with almost one in every two, or 45.9pc, upheld.

Further complaints included jewellery going missing from a patient’s care home room and a mother’s concern about the actions and behaviour of her daughter’s social worker.

Phil Wells, chief executive of Age UK Norwich, said: “There’s no good reason for someone to be declared dead if they are not. The problem has been ironed out, it should not have happened but these things do.

“But if as a result of this another level of checks and balances and bureaucracy erupts, we are creating more problems for ourselves in the long run.”

Have you got a council story? Contact reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

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