Dis­abled man de­nied care cash

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY TRAGEDY - STU­ART GREER

CHESHIRE East Coun­cil has been slammed for deny­ing vi­tal care pay­ments to young dis­abled man which re­sulted in his mother giv­ing up work.

He suf­fered a se­ri­ous spinal in­jury while play­ing sport at univer­sity in Septem­ber 2013.

Af­ter two months in hos­pi­tal he asked for his mother, a lone-par­ent, to pro­vide his round-the­clock care.

But when he asked for his di­rect pay­ments to be used to em­ploy his mother for 76 hours a week, the coun­cil re­fused, us­ing the Work­ing Time Reg­u­la­tions (WTR), which says an em­ployee should not work more than 48 hours a week, un­less they choose to.

The row de­layed pay­ments for eight months and had a ‘sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the fam­ily’ and re­sulted in the mother giv­ing up work to be­come his carer.

Now, fol­low­ing a com­plaint the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Om­buds­man (LGO) has ruled the coun­cil was wrong to refuse pay­ments and should have bal­anced the choice to be cared for by a fam­ily mem­ber against the risk to their carer of work­ing long hours.

The coun­cil has been or­dered to pay the mother al­most £65,000 in back pay to Jan­uary 2014, less di­rect pay­ments al­ready made, £250 com­pen­sa­tion to the man, and £350 to the mother.

Dr Jane Martin, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Om­buds­man, said: “Di­rect pay­ments are about giv­ing peo­ple flex­i­bil­ity and choice, and in this case while the young man was ad­just­ing to sig­nif­i­cant life changes, he wanted his mother to pro­vide his care. The coun­cil did not give proper con­sid­er­a­tion to the ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances the fam­ily found them­selves in and, while we would not nor­mally crit­i­cise a coun­cil for con­sid­er­ing the risks of em­ploy­ing a fam­ily mem­ber as a carer or work­ing un­rea­son­able hours, the ab­sence of a risk as­sess­ment or de­tailed dis­cus­sion in this case casts doubt on the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.”

Cheshire East Coun­cil said the as­sess­ment was not as ro­bust as it should have been and apol­o­gised ‘un­re­servedly’ to the fam­ily for the ‘un­ac­cept­able de­lays’.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive, Mike Suarez, said: “We have al­ready im­ple­mented a num­ber of the ac­tions rec­om­mended by the om­buds­man. We will work with this gen­tle­man to en­sure that his needs are ap­pro­pri­ately met and that he is sup­ported to lead as in­de­pen­dent a life as pos­si­ble.”

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