A disabled stroke victim was forced to remain separated from his family for more than a year because Staffordshire council bosses bungled a grant request to adapt his home to his needs.
A local government watchdog today rapped Stafford Borough Council for its mishandling of the application for a disabled facilities grant by his wife, and recommended it pay them £4,000 compensation.
The separation, because of a delay in the processing of the grant payment, had been particularly traumatic for the man's young son, said a report by Local Government ombudsman, Jerry White.
He stated: "Mrs Ashton (not her real name for legal reasons) complains that the Council miscalculated her financial contribution in respect of a disabled facilities grant.
"As a result, her husband remained in residential care considerably longer than necessary. Mrs Ashton says that this separation resulted in considerable anxiety and that it had a particularly negative effect on her young son."
The Ombudsman found that the Council's original financial assessment, based on both Mr and Mrs Ashton's income, was incorrect and that this amounted to maladministration. He said Mrs Ashton had continued to pursue the issue as it was important for the whole family that Mr Ashton be able to return home.
Eventually a further assessment was carried out based on only Mr Ashton's income.
The Ombudsman found that the Council's failure to do the correct assessment at the correct time meant Mr Ashton was separated from his family for a year longer than needed.
Bob Ball, head of environ-mental and health services at Stafford Borough Council, said he accepted the findings and he would recommend at the next full council meeting that the compensation be paid in full.