The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has today found that a London Borough failed to support a man with mental health problems properly, resulting in him sleeping on his parents’ sofa for 18 months. Hounslow council has agreed to apologise, make amends and provide financial compensation to the family; and make changes to avoid similar issues arising in future.
Responding to the findings of this investigation by the Ombudsman, Ellie White, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer at Mind said:“This truly sad case really highlights how important it is that vulnerable people are provided with ongoing, continued support to live independently. When you have a mental health problem, having somewhere safe and secure to live can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing. People living in supported accommodation tend to have greater needs and the quality and type of housing they live in can have a really big impact on their recovery.
“We often hear from our supporters that housing, healthcare and social care can feel very separate. People tell us when there are several agencies involved, a lack of joined up approach and sharing of information can lead them to fall through the cracks and be left without support, which can result in people having to resort to unsuitable or unsafe housing, or even homelessness. It’s right that, based on the Ombudsman’s investigation, the council have agreed to apologise, financially compensate the family, and put in place measures to ensure nothing like this can happen again.
“This case shows how important supported housing is, so we’re pleased to see the Government also announce today that they won’t be following through on their ill-advised plans to change how this type of housing is funded.”