Brent Council accused of trying to force war hero into a care home

Robert Clark faces being forced into a care home (Pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Robert Clark faces being forced into a care home (Pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Council chiefs are accused of trying to force a 96-year-old war veteran into a care home by refusing to increase the funding needed for a live-in carer.

The son of Robert Clark has slammed Brent Council for their treatment towards his father, calling them being uncaring and lacking any compassion for the ex-prisoner of war who fought in World War II.

Mike Clark told the Times: “The council’s attitude is appalling. I have been fighting with them for two years and it is clear they want him to go into a care home where if they cared or had compassion they would allow to stay in the house where he has lived for 50 years.”

Mr Clarke snr is registered blind, deaf in one ear and has severe mobility problems leaving him dependent on a wheelchair.

For the last two years he has used his £50,000 life-savings to pay towards a £960-a week live-in carer.

Brent Council provide £350 a week and Mr Clark has made up the shortfall however his savings have all been used leaving him at the mercy of the council to plug the shortfall.

They have refused to do so telling his son to put his beloved father in a care home as

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he is unable to sell his house to pay for the cost as he is not the sole owner.

His son said: “My father’s needs are complex because of his health and he suffers from anxiety issues as he was held as a prisoner in Poland during the war. Today that would be recognized as post-traumatic stress.

“He can’t be left on his own and by putting him in a care home it will feel like a prison to him. He needs 24-hour care.”

In a further twist the maximum cost of £450 per week that the council will pay for Mr Clarke to live in care home is too low because of the around-the-clock-care he needs.

His son said: “If he lived in Harrow or Barnet he would be given more funding so this is also a postcode lottery.

“My father needs a live-in career not a care home. Brent Council refuses to acknowledge that.”

Ibrahim Taguri, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brent Central has taken up the family’s case.

He said: “Brent Council’s callousness and incompetence with dealing with a national hero is breathtaking.

“All the while scrimping over a few pounds while sitting on a £1.3m social care fund designed to support such cases.”

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Brent Council’s lead member for adults, health and wellbeing, said he empathised with Mr Clark and his family but there is little more that the council can do because of current legislation and the levels of government funding and support.

He added: “Placing our residents into residential care is always a last resort and only considered once all other possible and sustainable options have been considered, including providing extra care.

“This case simply highlights the urgent need for wider health and social care reforms, so that we can have a system that is fit for the 21st century.”