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Paralysed woman victim of 6,870 per cent rise in care bills


Summary of story from D&G Standard, search July 8, look 2011

A disabled woman in the Scottish town of Dumfries has been told that her weekly care bill will increase from £21 to £1,464.

Linda Murray was left paralysed after suffering spinal injuries in a car crash 40 years ago.

She was given a £23,000 compensation payout in 1971 and she believes all her life savings will be swallowed up in months if she is forced to make these payments.

The increase is the result of a new council policy that intends to raise an extra £1.1 million for the local authority.

Council Leader Ivor Hyslop said: ‘We took the decision to change the charging policy to ensure that we continued to provide the services we have been delivering.

‘The way we have approached this also ensures that those who cannot afford to pay are still protected.’

He added: ‘We have people checking that a mistake has not been made [in this case].

‘When the decision was taken, it was reported to us that rises would be up to four or five times. It is my understanding that one in five people receiving services will see their bills rise.’

Ms Murray currently receives 58 hours of care each week.

WVoN comment: I’m not sure what disgusts me more, the way in which this woman is being treated, or the relatively insignificant sum that the council hope to raise through their policy. 

  1. I don’t understand how they possibly justify the costs here – I work in social care, and have known people with 24/7 live-in care which costs around £800 a week – and that is South East England. Maybe the council needs to be quizzing its contracted care services about their high charges before pulling this kind of stunt….

    • Good point, Rufus. I suppose they’ve said it’s an estimate, but I doubt those high costs are going to pay care assistants properly or anything like that.

      I expect them to conclude that ‘a mistake has been made in this case’ though, what with all the publicity.

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