My appeal at London Borough of Richmond decision –
· “To take my central Government Attendance Allowance award as part of their care package after 20 years. The care recommended, after extensive treatment and tests, by professional medics, Doctors, PT, OT, District Nursing Team and many visits to Kingston Hospital throughout 2010/11 was costed out at £1596 per month (in round figures) a monthly increase over my 2007 award of £386 to pay for the extra care I now needed.
· My new revised award, in 2011 is all at a flat rate of £9, instead of the higher rate for weekend working, representing the first cut by administrators of £145, Taking away my Attendance Allowance of £186 makes another cut leaving only a difference of only £281 for all the extra care, it was agreed, I now need.”
On early retirement from my printing business and sub postmaster in Hampton hill in 1980, I retired to my weekend cottage in Pewsey Wiltshire. Became licensee of a small Hotel in the mid 80’s. It was whilst here I suffered a major stroke, boxing day 1989, spending the next 9 months in Hospital and stroke units. After 2 more years of treatment and Occupational Therapy, I was registered as ‘Indefinitely Disabled’ and came back to Teddington under the Government mobility of housing scheme.
I was awarded mobility and attendance allowance; I could still drive my automatic car but could only walk on two wrist crutches very slowly and with pain. Where ever I drove to I needed help or be stuck in a car park, unable to get to a toilet and the attendance this allowance was for.
For the next 18 years I was able to get the attendance and help I needed to attend all normal functions, help far outside the £9 an hour the council want to pay. I.e. A trip to visit old friends in Pewsey/Swindon,
9/10 hour day, and a trip to the coast 10 hour day, my carer was quite happy to attend me as long as I paid expenses, lunch tea, snacks etc.
Further Hospitalisation with cellulitis left me completely wheelchair, bound physically deteriorating and needing much more care throughout the home. My carer, living only in the next road, often calls any time day and night outside his paid hours when I ‘phone if I need any small help or when I fall. Tasks not measurable with stop a watch and calculator, thus saving the ‘Help Line’ calling out the Ambulance service.
In 2007 I opted, on being asked by the Council, for direct payment to replace ‘home help’ etc. As well as my attendance allowance. This worked very well and I could lead a near as possible to normal life style taking part and continuing in my lifetime activity in the local community.
When I was awarded my Attendance Allowance by the Government, some 20 years ago, I could still walk on crutches, drive, cook my own meals shower etc but cannot do any of these things, very incontinent with a permanent catheter now, one of the reason for my increased care.
The support plan review dated May 2011 was based on OT, Doctors and Hospital visits throughout 2010 when my physical condition rapidly deteriorated and continues to do so. I agreed to my support plan as being adequate whilst I was receiving Attendance Allowance. Now this is being included in the plan, this is clearly not enough.
By taking my Attendance Allowance as care, the Council are depriving me of a basic human right, the right to play my part, participate and make my own contribution to the community, (I have always been a member of local groups, committees and discussion groups) attending local art shows, exhibitions, riverside walks and our boroughs parklands.
The council’s use of the attendance allowance as care is not obligatory, and different people have different needs. The Council attitude seems to be ‘one size fits all’. Some people at 76 are ready and happy to accept a way of life to sit in and be taken once a week to a day centre for bingo and a ‘sing song’. I am not, and far from that stage yet, with an active and absorbing mind and brain. In fact
40 years ago I helped to run those sessions for Teddington People.
When I had my first direct payment, after working out a plan with
Jackie Wade of ‘Ruils’ this included 45 hours for weekend working at
£13 an hour. The new revised award, in 2011 was all at the flat rate of £9, representing the first cut of £145, which I accepted. The original assessment did not include the extra jobs my carer now does, i.e. putting on my compression stockings attending to my catheter thus saving extra calls by the District Nursing Team.
Taking my Attendance Allowance £186 makes another cut leaving only a difference of only £281 for all the extra care, it was agreed, I now need.
The care recommended by, Doctors, OT, District Nursing Team and many visits to Kingston Hospital throughout 2010/11 was costed out at £1596 per month, an increase over my 2007 of £386 to pay for the extra care I now needed.
· The council’s use of the attendance allowance as care is not obligatory, and different people have different needs.
· The Council administrators attitude seems to be ‘one size fits all’
· The Council are depriving me of a basic human right, the right to play my part, participate and make my own contribution to the community,
· I agreed to my support plan as being adequate whilst I was receiving central government Attendance Allowance.
· My award in 2007 included 34 hours at £13 for weekend working, 2011 award all at the rate of £9 making a loss of£136 per month. This was accepted by juggling round the hours and my carer’s family kindly supplying me a roast Sunday lunch.
· By taking my Disability Allowance (after 20 years) of£196 per month making a total loss of income of £332. Not allowing me to pay for help in going out, have not been out for over 2 months.
Kenneth L. Elmes