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Dementia sufferer made to up his payments - even though he receives less care from Brent

PUBLISHED: 17:17 12 July 2018

Fitzherbert Francis with granddaughter Simanie Sandiford

Fitzherbert Francis with granddaughter Simanie Sandiford

Simanie Sandiford

Brent Council hiked a dementia patient’s care costs by 60 per cent – even though he now gets less care than he used to.

Fitzherbert Francis, 80, who has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, has been left £36 worse off a week by the unexpected rise in fees.

Fitzherbert’s granddaughter Simanie Sandiford only found out his weekly contribution had gone up to £94.25 – a jump of £36 – when she called the council to complain about a separate issue in April.

To add insult to injury, Brent Council had contacted the family a month earlier to say the Elders Voice day centre in Kensal Green where Fitzherbert spent one day a week was shutting, meaning he could no longer visit.

But when Simanie called them to ask what was going on, she was told the centre wasn’t closing after all, and her granddad had simply become too demanding for staff.

Fitzherbert came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1960s as part of the Windrush generation. He worked as a driver for Barnet Council taking children to school before retiring in his late 50s.

His granddaughter has been his carer since 2011.

She said: “For five weeks, no one could tell me why the contributions had gone up.

“As long as things are communicated properly with sound reasons I can generally accept them or at least be in a position to make an informed decision. They took that right away from us by not being clear.”

It eventually turned out the rise in service charges was overdue and had taken place because of the 2014 Care Act leaving councils out of pocket. Letters alerting his family to these changes were lost in the post.

A Brent Council spokeswoman said: “Our client affairs team, which has responsibility for managing financial contributions, and the deputy manager of the social work team have listened to Mrs Sandiford’s concerns.

“I’m pleased to say a process has been agreed with Mrs Sandiford and as a result, the issues raised regarding payments and the amount of care received have now been completely resolved.

“As a council we want the best for our residents and often a conversation is the best way to resolve matters, as was the case on this occasion.”

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