£26,000 Payout after Officialdom Walks Over Pensioner and Family

The Government has been heavily criticised after a series of blunders left an elderly pensioner £26,000 worse off.

The Pension Service – part of the Department for Work and Pensions – failed to send a computerised prompt to the woman’s council that would have automatically triggered  a housing benefit claim she was entitled to. Her family who are from Essex, discovered the mistake, but were forced to spend five years battling with government officials from the Pension Service who, according to the family, had refused to correct the problem.

The Pension Service did not look at the complaint until the woman died, aged 90, and then it refused to compensate the family. The service said she had died before it had had time to consider the complaint. However, it was the agency’s own officials who had refused to deal with the complaint while she was alive, the family said.

The DWP fell back on “policy” which the pension service wrongly claimed prevented it from compensating the next of kin of people who had died. The Independent Case Examiner investigated the complaint but, to the family’s astonishment, upheld the department’s decision.

Eventually, the family turned to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which put things right, forcing the DWP to hand over the money owed plus compensation for its mistakes.Parliamentary and Health Service OmbudsmanThe Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor, said: “An elderly woman and her family were let down because of service failure and poor complaint handling.

“Our investigation upheld the complaint and recommended that both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Independent Case Examiner apologise to the family and pay her family the £26,514 plus interest that she was owed.”

The DWP also agreed to pay the family £1,000 as an apology for its mistakes, while the Independent Case Examiner paid them £250 for its part in the debacle

Read. S 2015 The Independent Daily Briefing  27/02/2015  P. 7

“This family were determined not to be ‘walked on’, as so many are, and got justice. These officials believe they are untouchable – and the country stinks with them.”

The Bed Manager – Does Job Description=”The Job”

Although quite ill recently and on a NHS ward I had no problem in “clocking onto” the bed manager. She appeared more animated than all other ward staff and the giveaway was complete as the names of each patient on the wall being each bed was quickly viewed – we seemed not to be there. Low and behold within 20 minutes myself and three other patients had been moved to a short stay ward – we had to queue to get in as we were just dumped at the nursing station.

Below is just part of a typical bed manager’s job description:

Clinical Site Practitioners
Matron/Divisional Manager for Medicine/ Head of Nursing

POST SUMMARY: The post holder will be a qualified nurse and registered with the Nursing and midwifery Council with an up to date PIN number.

The post holder will be a member of the clinical, mobile bed management team responsible for the Trusts bed complement.

The team is responsible for placing the right patients in the right place at the right time, maintaining Government targets relating to trolley waits in the ED, minimising the short notice cancellations of elective admissions and single sex accommodation allocation. They will be proactive in the application of discharge plans for patients.

The post holder will develop good working relationships with staff on the wards and in ED to ensure the effective utilisation of available beds.

The post holder will be offered three weeks training from the Clinical Site practitioners

Bed Management Responsibilities:

The post holder will be responsible for the allocation of all emergency and elective admissions across the Trust, ensuring safe and appropriate patient placement with the supervision of the Clinical Site practitioners / Matron.

The post holder will be required to balance the demand for emergency admissions against an optimal level of elective activity.

The post holder will be responsible for the allocation of all patients on the medical assessment, using the “Trust patient Movement Policy”.

The post holder will be expected to support the Clinical Site Practitioners in the co-ordination of Major and Serious untoward Incidents as required.

The post holder will work closely with the Clinical Site Practitioners to ensure seem-less 24-hour bed management service.

Monitor outlier level and repatriate all outlying patients as soon as possible, taking into account the continuity of care.

Maintain an accurate bed state, including updating Patient Administration system and Patient Tracking.

Ensure the timely and accurate completion of data relating to bed utilisation is available for the daily and weekly sitrep reports.

The post holder will contribute to the overall good of the organisation by being a positive role model and to treat all staff, visitors and service users with courtesy.

It is expected that the post holder will be able to carry out all of the duties listed. The duties will vary from Department to wards and they may carry out other similar duties in support of the ward environment that are not listed.

No duties are to be undertaken by the post holder unless they have received the appropriate training. The post holder will be continually supervised and supported by the Matron and Clinical Site Practitioners.

Clinical Responsibilities:

The post holder will be expected to regularly communicate with the wards, and support junior nurses co-ordinating the admission and transfer of patients.

The post holder will have a ‘hands on’ approach in assessing and evaluating patients care prior to transferring to the appropriate area for the patient’s condition.

The post holder will encourage and promote the use of evidence based clinical nursing practice.

The post holder will continue to develop their cannulation and venepuncture skills in line with Trust guidelines.

The post holder will act as a positive role model.

The post holder will maintain a flexible approach to working hours in order to meet the needs of the service.

The post holder will work closely with the ED Department Shift Leader to the safe and appropriate allocation of all emergency patients allocation.

The post holder will be offered training in all areas listed above.

Bed Manager“I’m sorry that this may seem irrelevent to some.

To me it’s a joke and epitomises the mess our hospitals are in. Seeing is believing”