A WOKINGHAM man was left with a surprise bill of more than £7,000 after the council failed to properly notify him of costs for his care.

His family has received a small payout and Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) chiefs apologised for their failures.

READ MORE: Housing bosses want to build 1,000 more council houses

After his daughter complained to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO), a report from the watchdog read: “The council failed to properly inform Ms B [the woman] about potential charges for Mr C’s [her father] care... It then gave her conflicting advice about what would be charged for.

Bracknell News:

“This meant Ms B suffered uncertainty about what she would have to arrange for Mr C to pay.

“The receipt of the invoice... also likely caused her distress.”

In October 2017, the man was in hospital awaiting discharge but needed further care upon returning home.

READ MORE: The latest verdicts from court

His daughter could not afford his care fees so WBC bosses said she would have to sign an agreement saying she would pay the authority back.

Her father moved into a care home after WBC agreed to part-fund his care for the first twelve weeks.

Bracknell News:

But WBC did not provide information about charging and the authority stopped paying for her father’s care in January 2018.

An invoice for £7,203 was sent to the father for the 12 weeks of residential care the council paid for while he was in a care home.

READ MORE: Dead radioactive goats could be buried in Shinfield

The daughter challenged this invoice and refused to pay the fee, saying the council did not make her aware the family would have to pay this.

WBC refused to waive the fee and claimed there was no evidence it failed to make the family aware of the charges, but the LGO found no records from WBC showing it properly informed her of the council’s charges and gave her “conflicting information”.

READ MORE: The gritters keeping you safe on the roads this winter

The woman told the watchdog she would have considered private care for her father had she known about the expense, but the LGO believes there was “no financial injustice caused” to the family as alternative social care “would have likely been more expensive”.

WBC bosses apologised to the woman for its errors and will make a payment of £150 to recognise the “distress” caused by its failures.

Cllr Charles Margetts, the executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services at WBC, said: “We apologise for any confusion caused in regards to the cost of Mr C’s care and the time which it took to respond to Mrs B’s query.

“We have looked into this query thoroughly and put measures in place to ensure clarity is provided in regards to the cost of care.

“We do always strive to act in the best interests of our vulnerable residents and will continue to do so.”