SOMERSET County Council has apologised and paid compensation after admitting "fault...causing injustice" in its dealings with a severely disabled service user from Wellington.

Mr X, 60, complained to the Ombudsman on behalf of himself and his daughter, Ms Y, 35, that the authority failed to:

ncarry out an adequate assessment of her care needs;

nconsider arrangements for her care needs in the absence of her personal assistants;

nconsider if she had an eligible need for short breaks;

nmake backdated direct payments and a one-off direct payment as it agreed to;

nproperly deal with Mr X's complaint.

The council also delayed reassessing the care needs for Ms Y, who was born with spina bifida and developed hydrocephalus. She lives in the Lodge Close extra care complex.

A report by the Ombudsman says: "These failures amount to fault causing injustice to Mr and Mrs X and Ms Y."

The council has agreed to send a written apology and pay Mr and 69-year-old Mrs X £200 for the "distress and avoidable time and trouble" caused and also send a letter of apology to Ms Y.

It is also backdating increased direct payments to Ms Y and has reviewed its procedures to avoid anyone else suffering "excessive delays" experienced by Ms Y and Mr X.

County Hall must also make a one-off payment to Ms Y for a short break she missed due to the council's failures, while her direct payments from 2014 must be increased.

Mr X told the County Gazette his complaints to Somerset County Council were ignored, forcing him to spend hours poring over the Care Act before putting his case to the Ombudsman.

Referring to the council's attitude, Mr X said: "The caring profession doesn't care. They shouldn't have been fighting us - they should have been helping us.

"You shouldn't need to be able to apply degree-standard logic in order to force the council to comply with the law."

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: “We work hard to get things right every time. In this case we did not met the standards we set for ourselves. We have apologised to those concerned.

“In addition, we have paid £200 in acknowledgement of the delays and the council has considered all the recommendations and is in the process of actioning them.

“Somerset is a learning authority and in light of the recommendations we are undertaking a review of our direct payment procedures.”