Merton Council has apologised for leaving a woman with a degenerative condition without care.

A report by the Local Government Social Care Ombudsman found that the council ‘failed to take prompt action’ which could have prevented her care package breaking down.

The complaint was from a man, identified as Mr A, who said he wife, Mrs A, had been left without care for two days in 2017.

A report from the ombudsman said that the woman had been assessed as needing three calls a day.

However, the council’s care agency withdrew service after carers could not transfer Mrs A to her bed without hurting themselves.

After about two months of discussions the agency gave notice and said its carers were complaining of back pain as Mrs A was not sticking to her care plan.

This included not accepting a special hospital bed meaning carers had to lift her from her double bed each day.

Issues were first reported to the council by the agency in March and in May the package ‘broke down’ for the second time.

In the report the ombudsman said this could have been avoided if the council had prompted more urgent action.

The report states: “The council only visited Mrs A the day the care agency ended the care package.

“It did not contact other care agencies until the day after. A break in the care package was therefore inevitable.”

For two days it was up to her husband to meet Mrs A’s care needs, until a new provider was found, but he said he could not continue to do it.

The Ombudsman said: “[The council] needs to consider what to do to ensure it takes more prompt action in future.”

The conclusion also added that the care provider was not at fault as they have a duty of care to their employees as well as clients.

Last week a Merton Council spokeswoman said: “The care of our residents is our highest priority, and we immediately apologised to the family for any failures in the service.

“Following the ombudsman’s recommendations, we have made significant improvements to our service to ensure that the lessons are learned.”