Mum sold her home to pay £200,000 for care
WIDOW Lily Capell lost everything she had spent a lifetime saving for when she was forced to sell her home and use the £211,000 it raised to pay for her care.
NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group refused her application for continuing healthcare although she met vital criteria to qualify.
Daughter Shirley Lesiak, 63, gave up work as a travel agent to care for her mother before she was moved to a £800-a-week care home in Sudbury, Suffolk, in 2010.
She said: “My mum scored “severe” on two of the 11 criteria needed to get the extra healthcare so had a fighting chance to keep the home she and Dad loved.
“She scored ‘high’ on three other criteria and ‘moderate’ on the others. She had enough points to qualify but then the social care experts had a meeting and changed the criteria.
“It was awful, underhand and unfair. The system is fixed.” Mrs Capell died, aged 92, in 2015 and Mrs Lesiak, and her brother John, 70, battled through a five-year application and appeal procedure.
Mrs Capell had Alzheimer’s, heart failure, poor mobility, osteoporosis and double incontinence.
“I want to know exactly how ill a person has to be before they qualify for continuing health care,” said Mrs Lesiak, a mother of two from Colchester, Essex.
“It’s almost as if the Clinical Commissioning Groups are using dementia as an excuse not to pay.
“Health Secretary Matt Hancock said no one should have to sell their homes, he should tell that to his own constituency West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.”
A spokesman for the CCG admitted mistakes were made during the assessment but said that the errors made no difference to the decision.
He said: “There are nationally set eligibility guidelines relating to NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) strictly adhered to by the clinical commissioning group.
“Mrs Capell had a full NHS CHC assessment and in her case the Multidisciplinary Team recommended she was not eligible.
“We acknowledge that some mistakes were made during the assessment process.
“The independent review panel commented on this, and we have acknowledged that best practice was not adhered to at all times. Our processes have been amended as a result.
“However, our original decision regarding Mrs Capell’s eligibility for NHS CHC has gone through every possible stage of appeal and has been upheld.”