Second Ombudsman's case - Reading. by Derek Cole. 21st Dec, 2002

In Reading, the Ombudsman also found in favour of an Alzheimer's patient. There Social Services were seeking to reclaim c£50000 by placing a charge' on the patient's house at the Land Registry. When the family filed legal objections, the Land Registrar instructed the Council to seek the authority of the Court of Chancery.

Before the Council could do so, the Ombudsman recommended that the Health Authority should pay.. Therefore, families should not allow themselves to be overawed!

Note. Here and in Croydon in a previous case which I eventually won before reaching the N.H.S. Ombudsman, the Local Authority Ombudsman refused to look at the legality of the Health Trust's action. All challenges should be aimed mainly at the N.H.S., not at Social Services, although there is no harm in complaining at the same time that they unlawfully accepted the patient for 'means testing' contrary to Section 21 of the National Assistance Act, 1948.