COUNTY council bosses have been ordered to compensate a mother after faulty record keeping caused her ‘distress’ over whether her children were at risk of ‘significant harm’.

The mother complained an investigation into her behaviour had misrepresented comments following concerns over her ability to look after her two children.

The council referred her to an Initial Child Protection Conference, which is convened when there are concerns of significant harm or potentially significant harm to children.

The Local Government Ombudsman found the council had done nothing wrong by referring Ms X, as she is referred to in its report, to an ICPC.

But it found the woman had been caused undue distress.

To rectify that, the ombudsman told the council to write to Ms X, ‘acknowledge the inaccuracies contained' in a report prepared by the council and pay her £250 compensation.

In the council’s report an officer incorrectly recorded that Ms X suffered a ‘brain injury’. Notes with Ms X’s doctor referred to a head injury – and the council already acknowledged that such details were potentially ‘misleading’.

The ombudsman's report states: “The council’s investigation into Ms X’s complaint also showed that officer A wrongly said that Ms X had not engaged with a brain scan as Ms X was never referred for such a scan. These inaccuracies are [a] fault.”

It found that the doctor’s notes and the council officer’s notes were ‘not congruent’.

The council officer noted that Ms X said she did not want her mother interviewed because, the officer claimed, ‘she would not be able to walk through the village with her head held high’.

But the investigation found there was no evidence for that because the officer had not formally recorded it in her notes.

The ombudsman’s report stated: “The council has said officer A recalls Ms X making this statement but she did not record it in her notes. Officer A acknowledges she should have recorded this.”

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Paul Smith said: “It is uncommon for a referral about social care in Oxfordshire to be upheld by the ombudsman in this way. However a thorough investigation has been held and we fully accept the findings. We have undertaken the agreed actions.”

The ombudsman said that the council must review its record keeping for section 47 enquiries to ensure officers record all key evidence obtained.

Those enquiries are undertaken when authorities have a ‘reasonable cause to suspect’ that a child is likely to suffer significant harm.

And they decide whether action should be undertaken to keep a child or children safe.