Glyn Banks has e-mailed SDN with his well publicised story of frustrated attempts to access adequate funding for care services. His story may be of interest to some of SDN’s membership.
After three years of trying to avoid the issue, Philip Dunne MP has finally decided not to call a full public inquiry into Shropshire Council’s adult social care funding policy and as a result has thrown away an election photo opportunity.
Shropshire Council has set a standard rate of payment to care homes so low that NO care homes in Shropshire can provide adequate care at this rate thus making the demand for top-ups from relatives both inevitable and unlawful.
However, Shropshire Council’s Head of Adult Services Mr. Stephen Chandler has informed Mr. Dunne that ALL care homes in Shropshire can provide care at Council rates. In response to this I have repeatedly requested a list of care homes in Shropshire which are currently providing care at the Council’s standard rate. However, Philip Dunne MP has failed to follow up this request due I believe to his unwillingness to confront the issue of systematic financial abuse of the elderly and their relatives by the Council.
Clearly he wants to take what the Council says at face value and to believe that having carried out a review of its own policy as requested by the Ombudsman, the Council is now acting lawfully despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Following the launch of the Toxic Top-ups website Solicitors for the Elderly has updated its own website:
“A Shropshire legal expert is urging elderly people and their families to fight against care charges being wrongfully imposed by the local authority. Nicola Hawes says that HUNDREDS OF CARE HOME RESIDENTS MAY BE AFFECTED BY SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL’S UNLAWFUL ACTIONS.”
This confirms the statement by Heather Osborne Chief Executive of Age Concern Shropshire Telford and Wrekin who has said:
“…. unfortunately the price that the Council is prepared to pay does not reflect the cost of the vast majority of care homes in Shropshire. This means ….. once their own funding runs out a top-up is almost inevitable ….”
Families Foot Bills for Care Home Top-up Fees. Shropshire Star 24 November 2012
On the same day that Philip Dunne notified me of his decision I had a surprise meeting with a number of Councillors, one very senior, who confirmed all my worst fears as detailed on the Toxic Top-ups website and also, despite the reviews carried out, that the Council is still continuing with its unlawful policy.
Also discussed was the severity of the cuts particularly within social services etc.; the current leadership of the Council and the undemocratic way decisions are being taken and cuts applied with irreparable damage; the upcoming crisis in adult social care as a result of the Council’s multi-million pound overspend; etc. ….. clearly there are the beginnings of dissent and dissatisfaction now appearing within the Council.
As a result of Philip Dunne’s decision not to give Shropshire Council the chance to publicly clear its name, the way is now clear for someone else to seize the opportunity and call for a public enquiry ….. watch this space.
Glyn Banks 01746 767966