BRADFORD Council has a duty to make sure the supported living care it pays contracted companies to provide on its behalf is delivered where it is needed, a coroner has said.
Assistant Bradford Coroner Roger Whittaker was raising concerns at the conclusion of an inquest into an epileptic man's death where a support worker panicked and removed tablets that should have been taken earlier that day.
The inquest heard how Edward Duffy's care worker Amjad Choudry had picked up the tablets after police arrived to investigate the 37-year-old's sudden death at his supported living bungalow in Briardale Road, Heaton, on July 14, 2012.
Mr Choudry said he was going to show the tablets to paramedics but police demanded everyone leave the scene, which he did taking the tablets which he later passed to a detective, the hearing was told.
The missing tablets did not contribute to Mr Duffy's death but his family had concerns Mr Choudry had removed them because he could have missed that morning's check as part of his work for Bradford Supported Housing Ltd, contracted by Bradford Council to provide him with accommodation and support.
They were also worried that paramedics told police Mr Duffy's body was cooler than expected if Mr Choudry had seen him alive only a couple of hours earlier as he had claimed.
During yesterday's inquest, which found Mr Duffy had died from natural causes after an an epileptic attack, the court heard how Bradford Council paid monthly invoices from Bradford Supported Housing Ltd on a nod and trust basis. It was contracted to give Mr Duffy 26 hours care a week, which included reminding him to take his medication for seizures.
Despite Mr Whittaker being told the company often put in more hours of support than it was paid for, he still raised a number of concerns about the keeping and recording of its paperwork, including support workers' weekly time sheets, and that a diary tracking workers' visits to Mr Duffy had gone missing.
Mr Whittaker told Majid Choudry, a director of Bradford Supported Housing: "It worries me its (the diary) no longer about". Mr Choudry responded: "It worries me more than you sir," to which Mr Whittaker replied: "I don't think it does."
The inquest heard that care worker Amjad Choudry was Majid Choudry's brother.
Mr Whittaker said because of the number of care hours given by Bradford Supported Housing Ltd to Mr Duffy, it did not come under the monitoring remit of the Care Quality Commission but he added: "It's incumbent on Bradford Council to make sure these properties are properly accounted for".
After the inquest Bernard Lanigan, Bradford Council's assistant director integration and transition, said: "We will continue to work with Bradford Supported Housing to ensure its records are accurate and up-to-date and we will take action if we feel that this is not happening."