Shock as nursing home fee nears £10k a month

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 May 2012

Jacqueline Heal with her mother Pamela Watts.

Jacqueline Heal with her mother Pamela Watts.

Jacqueline Heal

A DAUGHTER has hit out at a nursing home which has nearly trebled the price of her mother’s care to almost £10,000 a month.

Pamela Watts, aged 76, has been in nursing care for the past two-and-a-half years because she has no mobility and needs help to move from her bed or room.

She is currently a private resident at Sherwood Nursing Home in Sandford, part of St Monica’s Trust, and was assessed as having no mobility before she moved in last December.

Her daughter Jacqueline Heal had to pay £3,500 a month for the care but, two weeks after her mother moved in, Jacqueline was called in for a meeting regarding the fees.

She said: “We had been fighting for the sort of equipment the home would provide and I also got social services involved.

“My mum was then given another assessment and I was told they needed more nurses for her specifically. But my mother had the same ailments, nothing had changed.”

Jacqueline, aged 44, of Cleeve, then applied for Continuing Healthcare Funding for her mother’s care but was declined because her needs were not complex enough.

She said: “I had another meeting with the home on May 3 and was told the cost of care may change but was not told how much. Then, on May 12, I was sent a letter to say the charge would be £2,290 per week.

“My mother can feed herself and brush her teeth, it’s just her mobility. They cannot justify this kind of money, the fee is extortionate.

“Social services is appalled but cannot really do anything because she is a private resident. And there is no organisation or anything out there to help protect residents in nursing homes in regards to what they pay.”

Ms Heal has now been told she has to meet the new rate by July 1 or find a new nursing home for her mother.

She said: “My mother will have to move out and we are now trying to find her a new home.

“It seems to be a case of either pay up or get out.

“That anyone can ask this kind of money is ridiculous. How many people out there are being hit with these sort of prices?”

Ms Heal has also sent a letter to North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox who said he is looking into the matter.

A spokesman from St Monica’s Trust said: “The issue of Mrs Watts’ immobility means her care requirements are considerably greater than all other residents. She currently receives an additional 13 hours of dedicated care every day.

“The trust has been providing this additional care, without question, and at its own cost since early December.

“Mrs Watts’ high care needs have been discussed directly with her daughter on several occasions.

“The proposed increase is purely to cover the actual cost of this care, and only the cost. It is 91 additional staff hours every week which costs the trust £1,365, every week.

“The trust has offered to build, at its own expense, an extension to Sherwood which is a new care home, purely to provide large, purpose-built accommodation for Mrs Watts.

“We hope her family, the local authority and PCT will also be able to make a long-term commitment.”

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