More than £4,000 has been paid out to people who have complained about adult social care in Reading, with nearly 90 people complaining about the service provided.

Adult social care is a key duty of Reading Borough Council, which involves looking after people who are mentally and physically disabled and the elderly.

Care provided can range from health visits and residential care to home adaptations and respite provision.

The duty is enough for authorities to be allowed to raise council tax by two per cent each year.

The council has paid out a total of £4,150 in compensation to people who had their complaints investigated by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Dave Jurgensen received £3,000 in compensation in July 2022 after a breakdown in communication between the council and his housing provider Southern Housing in making adjustments to his flat in Luscinia View.

Reading Chronicle: Dave Jurgensen with his mother Dr Albertineer Mathurine Jurgensen. Credit: The Jurgensen familyDave Jurgensen with his mother Dr Albertineer Mathurine Jurgensen. Credit: The Jurgensen family

A mum received £650 from the council after struggling to get a needs assessment after she referred herself to adult social care services.

A daughter received £200 after complaining about the way care home staff acted in response to her mother’s deteriorating health.

Similarly, a man received £100 in compensation for distress caused over the selection of his mum’s care home.

READ MORE: Reading son's anger over his mum's care home placement

Another ombudsman investigation ended early when the council agreed to pay a woman £200 for failing to ensure she received reasonable adjustments she needed to study at college.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service found the compensation figures by searching for upheld LGO cases from May 31, 2022 to April 1, 2023.

But compensation from an ombudsman intervention is a rare occurrence.

In 2022/23, five cases were referred to the ombudsman out of the 88 statutory complaints and 10 corporate complaints made.

Out of those five ombudsman cases, fault with the council’s service was found on four occasions, with one of the cases being assessed but not further investigated.

Corporate Complaints dropped by half from 20 in 2021/22 to 10 in 2022/23.

READ MORE: Stats show nearly 100 adult social care complaints made to Reading Borough Council

The figures were discussed by councillors who received a report on the complaints.

Councillor Richard Davies (Labour, Thames) said: “Sometimes an increase in complaints is not a bad thing, because it can mean that you are looking for constructive ways to improve your service.

“But in fact, there are lots of fluctuations, but there’s lots of figures going in the right direction here.”

He then asked for an explanation for the corporate complaints dropping by a half.

Nayana George, a council complaints manager, replied that Corporate Complaints typically involve care providers not being paid on time.

She said: “It’s not through a lack of promotion of our complaints process, because all of our service users are given information about the complaints process at the point of assessment or entry into the system.”

The council is working on paying invoices on time.

According to the latest figures, 84 per cent of invoices were paid within 30 days of the invoice date.

The complaints report was noted at the council’s adult social care, children’s services and education committee meeting on Wednesday, January 17.