SOMERSET County Council has been ordered to complete a disabled woman’s care assessment following a damning report by the care watchdog.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigates complaints made against local authorities where it is alleged they are not carrying out their legal duties and providing services correctly.

The ombudsman found the council at fault in July 2018 after it failed to properly assess Ms X, a disabled woman living in sheltered housing.

The council agreed following this decision that it would re-assess Ms X and consider whether she was eligible for a care package.

But Ms X complained again after this reassessment, stating the council had not specified whether she should have any financial support for her care.

Ombudsman Michael King explained: “A needs assessment must contain two elements – an assessment of the person’s need for help and a decision on eligibility.

“Without establishing the woman’s eligibility, the council cannot be satisfied she does not need a personal budget to meet any of her needs.

“I now urge Somerset County Council to complete the woman’s assessment, and put in place the recommendations I have made to bring its assessments in line with the requirements of the Care Act 2014.”

The council has agreed to apologise to Mrs X and pay her £250 in compensation for the “trouble it has put her through”, as well as updating its assessment of her care needs.

A spokesperson said: “We work hard to get things right every time. In this case we did not met the standards we set for ourselves, and will be apologising and making the payment as instructed by the Ombudsman.

“A Care Act compliant assessment has been carried out, and to reduce the risk of a similar situation happening again we have reviewed our paperwork and practice guidance around Care Act eligibility.

“This will be implemented across our adult social care service, including our mental health and services working in hospital settings.”