Saturday 17 November 2018
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Newport woman to appeal against mother's care decision

A woman from Shropshire is appealing against a Telford and Wrekin NHS decision to cut her mother's care package.

Teresa Jones, who is 91 and has dementia, has been in a care home for the past three years.

Tina Dean from Newport, said her mother had been assessed as not needing her current level of care.

Mrs Dean has been told she would need to pay an extra £800 a month to maintain the service she receives.

She said Mrs Jones had begun to show signs of dementia when she was 82 and the decision to put her into a care home was taken when she had started to wander around the town on her own.

She was assessed at the time as being in need of "elderly mentally infirm" (EMI) nursing care.

Not meeting criteria

Mrs Dean's husband, Richard, said they had received a letter from the NHS after Mrs Jones' latest assessment.

It concluded that "the nature of Mrs Jones' health care needs are not unpredictable or complex and that her primary need is for social care".

Social care provides a degree of practical and physical help but not the level of nursing care involved in EMI.

Mrs Dean said she had reacted with disbelief to a phone call from a social worker saying her mother was not going to be funded.

"They suggested to my husband that she either moved to residential care because that was cheaper or we make up the difference which was about £800 a month."

She believes the decision to cut her mother's care was made for financial reasons.

She said Mrs Jones' condition had not improved since she went into the care home, but she had in fact continued to deteriorate.

"The disease takes a bit more all the time. The person that you know you start to lose, but you relish things like that little smile of recognition, you just have to make the most of what's left," Mrs Dean said.

Susan Spence from NHS Telford and Wrekin said they could not comment on individual cases but "had followed national criteria in assessing any applications".

Any decisions of eligibility for continuing healthcare were "based on assessment of the healthcare needs of a patient and financial issues were not considered as part of this process."

She added that the decision-making process had been "completed in partnership with the appropriate local authority, the patient and their families."