Nottinghamshire County Council sorry for care fee admin error

Jack and Margaret Beardsmore of Sutton who face a large increase in care costs
Jack and Margaret Beardsmore of Sutton who face a large increase in care costs

BOSSES at Nottinghamshire County Council have apologised after an ‘administrative error’ led to a Sutton carer being told that he must stump up £650 a week to look after his severely disabled wife.

Jack Beardsmore (81) has been caring for his wife Margaret (76) at their Farcroft Avenue home for the past six years after she came out of hospital where she was being treated for a problem with her leg.

She had also suffered a series of strokes which has left her needing round-the-clock care.

But, despite the admin error, Jack will still have to pay £325 a week instead of the £120 capped fee for two carers to visit Margaret four times a day and spend 26 hours at the house each week helping her to get up, showered and dressed, along with any other support she required throughout the day.

Jack, who worked at a hosiery factory for most of his working life, said: “It’s a 24 hour a day job as it is. The carers come in and change Margaret and provide a bit of company for me.

“She was in hospital six years ago. She has had several strokes and she had a sore on her leg so she went into hospital for that.

“She seemed to go down hill but we fed her up and she is still going strong.”

At the council’s budget meeting on 24th February, members approved a proposal to remove the maximum weekly capped charge of £120 a week as the authority tries to balance its books.

The council’s Service Director for Older People David Hamilton said: “Following this review of charging policy, it was agreed that the council can no longer afford to subsidise the costs of social care for anyone with income and savings above £23,250. Anyone with funds above this threshold will have to pay the full amount for their care.

“However, the council will be working with those who are affected to find solutions that ensure people get the right care for their needs at a cost-effective price.

“This process will see the council working with alternative care providers to deliver more affordable care.”

Mr Hamilton added: “I regret to say that Mr Beardsmore was written to with incorrect information. His care package would have increased to £325 per week, not £650 per week as was incorrectly stated in his letter.

“We apologise to Mr Beardsmore for this administrative error.

“However, Mr Beardsmore has since reduced his care package, which will bring his weekly care bill down considerably.

“We will be looking to meet with Mr Beardsmore very soon to review his care package and offer suppoort as necessary.”

But Mr Beardsmore has criticised the council’s decision to remove the cap because it penalises people who have saved throughout their lives.

He added: “We have been careful and lived within our means and not relied on the state all the time. Now we want a bit from the state we can’t have it.”

He also said that the decision has meant he has scaled back the care Margaret, a former employee at Illingworth’s in Sutton, receives from 26 hours to just six and now does the majority of the work himself.