Bromley council at fault for delays in drafting special needs child’s care plan

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Bromley council has been told to pay a mum nearly £2,000 after failing to arrange occupational therapy sessions for her child with special needs for five months.

The authority was criticised for its poor record-keeping and communication with the parent in a recent Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman report.

The report said that the resident, named Mrs X in the report, had a child with special educational and physical health needs.

The mum reportedly commissioned an independent occupational therapist (OT) assessment in November 2022 which found her child, named Y in the report, would benefit from further therapy to support their development.

Y’s school then carried out a review on transferring the pupil from infant to junior school in December 2022. Bromley council also told Mrs X in January 2023 that it planned to amend Y’s education, health and care plan (EHCP). But by late February it still had not been received.

The parent sent a formal complaint to the council in early March. The council sent a draft copy of Y’s EHCP shortly afterwards.

The ombudsman criticised the council for taking 12 weeks to send the draft EHCP when it should have been sent within four weeks.

Bromley council acknowledged the frustration it had caused Mrs X from its delay in finishing her child’s EHCP and apologised.

The council later told the ombudsman this delay was due to the caseworker being on leave at the time and the initial comments had not been stored on file.

The council was told to apologise to Mrs X for the frustration it caused and instructed to pay the parent £1,980 for its faults, including the price of the 12 OT sessions it was estimated Y had missed between February and July 2023.

Pictured top: Bromley Civic Centre, in Stockwell Close (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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