A BLIND disabled woman’s care package was more than halved following a flawed assessment by Bolton Council

The woman, who suffers serious ill health, previously received a personal budget for 67 hours of care per week.

But after a number of stays in hospital Bolton Council organised another assessment which slashed her care to 25 hours a week which caused her significant problems carrying out basic activities, including communication, taking medication and preparing food.

The new care package also included basic errors about her religion and preferred language.

Now the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has released a scathing report about the way the woman was treated by Bolton Council.

Michael King found the council at fault for failing to assess the woman’s needs.

He also found that when the council did start the reassessment, it was with the intention of reducing her care hours, without considering the woman’s fluctuating needs or the cumulative impact of her health conditions.

Mr King said: “The amount of support and budget given to someone should not be based on financial matters, but on a person’s needs.

“In this case the council used a flawed assessment to reduce the woman’s support by more than 60 per cent, causing her significant distress.

“I am concerned the council has used the same approach with other people in its area, so I welcome its commitment to review other cases to see if they comply with the Care Act.

“I also welcome the steps the council has already taken to remedy the complaint and improve its services for people in its area.”

Bolton Council has agreed to apologise to the woman, and pay her £3,800 compensation.

It has also agreed to pay the woman’s longstanding daytime personal assistant £500 in recognition of the unpaid, and on-demand support she provided in the absence of other support. The council has also reinstated the woman’s personal budget for 67 hours.

A council spokesman said: “The council takes all cases and complaints seriously and we are committed to improving our services. We will take this as an opportunity to learn and improve our services. Many actions have already been completed.

“These have included amendments to our processes to reflect the findings of the report. We have also conducted a full review of the last 12 months of cases.”