www.NHSCare.info (public information)
www.NHSCare.info/EvelynLovelock (need to know)
Councillor PE Helliar-Symons, 17 Eagle Close, Heathlake Park, Crowthorne RG45 6TP
Copies: Marjorie Ireland, Care Manager, Partnership with Health
Wellington House, Wellington Road, Wokingham, Berks RG40 2QB
Val Bray, Area Team Manager (address above).
Linda Le Boeuf, Team Manager (address above).
Alan Wilkes, Service Manager, Community Services (c/o address above)
Eve Lovelock's Care file, web sites, others as needed.
Dear Councillor Helliar-Symons,
Subject: Care of Mrs Evelyn Lovelock and Coughlan Judgment
I am seeking 'free continuing care' for my mother under the 'Coughlan' case, as outlined by Mr Simon Burns M.P. and Mr Baron M.P. in the Commons last week. The Ombudsman has ruled that Thames Valley H.A. 'criteria' are unlawful.
I ask for your protection. I am particularly concerned because Mr Derek Cole, my legal advisor, had to seek the help of Mr David Curry M.P. in another case, and Mr Burns raised the matter in his speech (see below). Derek suggested that I send you this letter with some urgency, and that is why I took the liberty of 'phoning your home prior to delivery.
General information on "Coughlan" and the fact the NHS must pay for 100% of my mother's Nursing Home care, can be found on the public site above. There are many thousands of families equally eligible for this 100% NHS funding, and many more who may claim back money spent on a Care Home from the NHS under Coughlan. www.NHSCare.info was set up by myself and Derek Cole, to inform the public at large on this issue and we have been active in raising this issue with the media. e.g. the three pages in the last Sunday Telegraph and the smaller piece in our local "Express" group.
The first of what we hope will be many TV broadcasts on this subject should be on "Meridian Tonight" 6pm news this coming Monday 27th January. Derek Cole would be pleased to brief you personally. I will also be pleased to brief you on my mother's case.
You will find this letter, and other letters relevant to my mother's case, on the "need to know" website above. In due course, you will see my notes from last Wednesday's meeting with NHS and Wokingham Unitary at Holyport Lodge. You are welcome to pass both web site addresses (URLs) to others who you believe have the need to know.
This morning I received a copy of "NHS Continuing Care Eligibility Criteria, Assessment and Application Across The Thames Valley - Guidance for practitioners" dated January 2003, from Sue Moore of NHS. My legal advisor, Derek Cole, is astonished to hear that these new criteria are already in place, as they first require the agreement of your council. Please advise me if they have been approved by your Executive Committee and Full council. The revised criteria are unlikely to be lawful.
NHSCare.info includes statements made last week in the Commons, including that by Minister of Health, Jacqui Smith - which confirms what we say on the web site. Derek thought that you should be given this extract from Hansard, reporting Mr Burns (Conservative Shadow Minister) words of 15th Jan, 2002 :
FROM HANSARD Mr Burns (Conservative Shadow Minister) 15th Jan, 2002
The amendment would ensure that the patient and, just as important, their carer, were fully aware of the cost of their continuing care and aware that they had consented to it. The importance of such knowledge and consent is emphasized by a case that my right hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Curry) drew to my attention. He has a constituent who has been confronted with what I think the House would rightly agree is a grave injustice with regard to free care under the Coughlan case. A Mrs. Airey, who is the mother of my right hon. Friend's constituent and holds power of attorney, was suddenly sent a bill for £7,000 by the care home to which her mother had been transferred from hospital by social services in Yorkshire. She had made no agreement, written or verbal, to pay anything. When she replied that the contract with the care home had been made by social services, and that her mother could not be asked to pay, she received a telephone call last Sunday week from the home manager, who said that he had consulted social services and that her mother would not be able to continue in the home if she did not pay. Social services wrote last week to say that my right hon. Friend's constituent must pay "to protect her mother's place in the home", and that she had made the contract with the home. Mrs. Airey is adamant that she had done no such thing. As the House will appreciate, there is now a major dispute as to who placed the contract and who is financially responsible for paying the bill. QUOTE ENDS.
M.P.s of all parties (including Glenda Jackson for Labour) demanded that families be fully involved at all times and Jacqui Smith, the Minister of Health, gave strong assurances to that effect.
I hope for your strong support in my claim for 'free care' from the PCT. This will also save your Council money.
(Son of Evelyn Lovelock and Nearest Relative)