THE ombudsman in charge of social care has seen a jump in the number of upheld complaints, sparking concerns that providers are attempting to “ration resources” to cut costs.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is now finding in favour of the care recipient in two out of every three cases, its newly published figures reveal.

For certain categories of complaint, such as those relating to fees and charging for care, the figure for upheld complaints is 73%.

Michael King, head of the ombudsman service, fears the rights of those in need of care are being compromised by cost saving.

“Many of the issues we see appear to be driven by attempts to ration scarce resources, and we received and upheld more complaints about fees and charging this year than in previous years,” he said.

In Blackburn with Darwen, five of 11 complaints made against the council were upheld while countywide, 35 of 54 complaints against Lancashire County Council were backed by the ombudsman.

No complaints were upheld against Burnley or Hyndburn Councils, while just one complaint was upheld against Ribble Valley and Pendle Councils.

Two of the three complaints made against Rossendale Council were also upheld.

In one Blackburn with Darwen case, the council paid out £500 to a man who complained it had wrongly advised users of its parking permit scheme they could park on his land, causing him regular inconvenience.

In Ribble Valley, the council apologised to a woman after trees were felled in a woodland protected by a TPO without valid written consent from the planning authority.

In Rossendale, the council was ordered to repay a woman £257 in council tax overpayments as well as £200 to reflect the time, trouble and inconvenience she was put to pursuing her complaint.

Lancashire County Council had to fork out £1,500 after a woman was not properly informed about the cost of a temporary stay in a nursing home following her father being discharged from hospital.

The county council also had to fork out a share of £7,682 after failures with the how they carried out reviews of a resident’s care and nursing needs.

This led to the resident being in a nursing placement longer than they should have been which cost more than a residential placement. The county council as well as the CCG and a care home agreed to pay the resident the amount they were overcharged because of the faults identified.