Brent Council bills war hero, 98, £24k for his care

Robert Clark's son has been billed �24,000 for his care (Pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Robert Clark's son has been billed �24,000 for his care (Pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Brent Council have been slammed for billing a veteran war hero £24,000 for his care a year after his son claims he was told the local authority would cover the cost.

Robert Clark celebrating his 98th birthday earlier this month

Robert Clark celebrating his 98th birthday earlier this month - Credit: Archant

Robert Clark and his son Mike have been locked in a feud with the council since last year amid claims he was being forced into a home to save on the costs of a live-in carer ear his home in Burnt Oak.

Following a national outcry, Mr Clark Jr claims he was told Brent Commissioning Group and social services would foot the £960-a week bill.

However last week, Mr Clark Jr said he returned from holiday to find he had been sent the five-figure invoice for his 98-year-old father, an ex-prisoner of war who fought in World War II.

He said: “This is disgraceful. We were told that his care was being fully-funding and now that have sent a bill. A retrospective bill.

Robert Clark in 1940

Robert Clark in 1940 - Credit: Archant

“It feels like they waited until the publicity over the way they treated my dad to die down and now they are demanding backdated costs as well as the current charges.”

Last year the Times revealed that the council had refused to make up the difference for Mr Clark Snr’s care costs after he used his entire £50,000 life savings.

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Instead it was suggested he was placed in a home which would be funded through the sale of his house.

However as he only owns half of the house his son says he is unable to sell it.

Mr Clark Jr said: “I am refusing to pay this bill as the council have refused to acknowledge my dad has funded his own care costs to the tune of £50,000 even thoughh we have attended financial assessments.

“The care plan was written by the council and includes the need for example for two trained people for hoisting – the council provide one and my dad provides and pays for the other. This has never been taken into account in the assessments. While BCG have been very helpful Brent Council have no empathy and are uncaring.

“My dad hasn’t got £24,000. We are back to square one.”

A council spokesman told the Times the Clark family had been offered a deferred payment option, which meant that Mr Clark Snr wouldn’t have to pay a penny for it in his lifetime.

He added the option was still available and denied that the family were told Mr Clark’s care would be fully funded.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Brent Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “Our priority has always been that Mr Clark gets the care that he is entitled to. We are delighted that Robbie has also been able to get the additional care that he has chosen, in the comfort of his own home, without having to worry about the additional costs in his lifetime.

“However, social care is means tested and the reality is that government rules cap the amount of money taxpayers provide to people needing adult social care when they have assets over a certain value. From the discussions we’ve had with Mike Clark it is clear that he thinks his father shouldn’t have to contribute what everyone else in a similar position has to even when his estate eventually comes to probate.

“Some may argue that Mike has a point but this is really a question for the government. If the government chose to find more money to fully fund all adult social care, regardless of a person’s wealth or care choices, it would mean there would be more assets left over to loved ones when someone passes away but this is not something any local council has control over.”

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