A family given just £10-a-week for the care of their learning disabled relative has won compensation and an apology from their local council.

Sutton Council has been forced to apologise after the family of an autistic man who is also suffering from dementia was caused financial and emotional stress due to an “administrative error”.

It relates to the case of a man, known only as Mr E, who is cared for by his sister.

Last summer, the family contacted the council to ask for a review of money given for Mr E’s to cover extra clothes, incontinence products, stationary and the cost of tumble drying his clothes – as well as the cost of taking him to the day centre three times a week.

After it was reviewed the family was given just £10-a-week despite a further complaint to the council that it was causing financial hardship to the family.

A complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman against the council was upheld this week.

The Ombudsman found that Sutton Council should have been “more flexible” in helping the family financially as the country was coming out of its first lockdown last summer.

The council was told to pay the family £350 – this was due to the time and difficulty of complaining and for the family having to drive Mr E to and from his day centre during the pandemic, when he would usually take a taxi.

During the pandemic, councils were told to be more flexible when issuing “direct payments” as long as it was used to meet someone’s care needs.

The Ombudsman also found that the council handled the family’s complaint badly and never responded to a letter of complaint about Mr E’s care and support plan in February 2020.

A spokesperson for Sutton Council said: “Firstly, we’d like to apologise for the administrative error that has caused such emotional and financial stress for these Sutton residents. 

“We will be reviewing their specific case in more detail and reimbursing them for the extra costs incurred.

"We will also be providing front line staff in our care team with refresher training when dealing with complaints, issues or inquiries when it comes to future cases.”