Woman ‘forced to give up care’

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A DISABLED woman from Rother risks losing her carers after refusing to pay rocketing care costs.

The woman, who asked to be identified only as M Danson, suffers from dystonia and osteoporosis.

She sees her carers for four-and-a-half hours a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to help her with housework and shopping.

She was paying £243.44 a month towards the cost of her care, but in May this jumped to £259 while her benefits were cut last July.

Ms Danson said she received no warning from East Sussex County Council about the impending price increase and complained to the authority.

ESCC put a ‘block’ on Ms Danson’s invoices for May and June pending the outcome of her complaint.

But the complaint was rejected and the 54-year-old found herself facing a bill for £523.42.

Ms Danson says the council gave no reason why her complaint was rejected.

She now risks losing her care as she claims she cannot afford to pay for it.

Ms Danson said: “They have done nothing about my complaint.

“They done nothing to help out apart from still then come back with a bill for £523.42.”

She added: “I’m not paying that.

“The girls only get minimum wage.

“I would rather put it in their hands.”

Ms Danson says she believes her carers get a raw deal.

She said: “I have got four girls and they have all been such sweethearts.

“They have become friends and I look forward to seeing them.

“I never wanted them in here in the first place.

“But I struggled and now I am grateful I have got them.

“But they are being ripped off and it’s not right.”

Ms Danson worked at a local kennels for eight years, but ill health forced her to give up the job she loved four years ago.

Ms Danson has severe dystonia, an incurable neurological movement disorder, in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures.

The condition means Ms Danson is virtually housebound.

She was later diagnosed with brittle bone disease osteoporosis.

Speaking about her carers, she said: “I love my girls. They are my friends.

“Without them I do not know what I would do.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Every year we review the contribution clients are asked to make towards their care, taking into account any changes in benefits or other incomes received by the client.

“Clients are informed of changes before the increase is applied and the client has the right to complain if they disagree with the amount they are asked to pay, and if they’re not happy with the outcome of this complaint.

“If a client is asked to pay backdated charges, they can speak to our income recovery team who will, where appropriate, agree a payment plan by which the client can pay the money owed in instalments.”