A NEW independent review of the adult social care provided by Southampton City Council (SCC) has been launched after the authority was asked to pay £40,000 compensation to carers over the closure of Kentish Road Respite Centre.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is currently carrying out the review after another independent review and an investigation of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) identified a number of failings in the way the city council dealt with the closure of the Shirley respite centre.

The authority will have to pay £40,000 compensation to carers for the cost of the respite they were entitled and did not receive and for the “avoidable distress due to the fault identified”.

As reported, the council apologised to carers and said action is being taken.

But emotions were running high at the extraordinary governance committee meeting held at the civic centre on Tuesday when civic chiefs discussed the findings of the investigations which showed faults in care assessments, carers assessments review and poor communication between council staff, councillors, carers and service users.

Campaigners asked for assurance that the mistakes made with Kentish Road Respite Centre will not be repeated.

At the meeting they told civic chiefs that “how these things are looked at in the future is more important than the apology and monetary compensation”.

Another campaigner added: “I don’t really want an apology about the upsetting. What I want an apology for is that you didn’t listen to what we said and you were not admitting that we were right. We have to ask why it went wrong.”

Opposition leader Dan Fitzhenry asked the authority to look into the circumstances that allowed decisions to be taken.

He added: “We endlessly along with carers made statement in public that the care assessment process was not being done correctly, that the financial programme was not done correctly. If there was political pressure given that needs to be said and if there was not political pressure that needs to be said.”

The reports acknowledged that the council has acted on the recommendation made by watchdogs.

Cllr Lorna Fielker, cabinet member for adult care, said to be working on creating a board which will allow carers, service users, councillors and stakeholders to work together. A new health and social care team is also in place.