Friday, 24 April 2015

UPDATE: Brent Council finds 'deferred payment' solution to Robbie Clark care costs

Brent Council posted the following press release yesterday:

A former Second World War prisoner of war who campaigned to stay in his own home and receive social care from a specialist live-in carer, has had his wishes granted.

Robbie Clark, 96, who survived the Nazi death march across Europe in 1945, needs 24 hour a day social care, and has fought to receive a more expensive care package than the one normally offered.
Around 187,000 people signed a petition calling for Mr Clark to be allowed to stay in his house.

We worked with his family to offer a solution which means Mr Clark can stay in his home while receiving the care he wants and not pay a penny in his lifetime.

Phil Porter, Director of Adult Social Care, said: “Our offer means Mr Clark can stay in his own home and receive the care which he wants, through a live in carer. He won’t have to worry about the cost, but neither will tax-payers have to foot all the bill.”

The ‘deferred payment’ is a new option available to councils, which only came into effect at the start of April 2015, enabling them to help meet the cost of care for older people in this way.

Under the proposal, the cost of the additional care will eventually be reimbursed to the council from the proceeds of the sale of the property.
UPDATE Saturday April 25th

Today the Daily Mirror publishes a story following up Brent Council's statement that includes an on-line poll on the issue. LINK

These are key quotes from the story from Mike Clark. Robbie Clark's son and Phil Porter, Brent Director of Adult Social Care. This story arouses strong emotions but can I ask readers to be restrained in how they frame their comments so as not to hurt people personally. Thank you.

Mike Clarke

Angry son Mike Clark, 58, said: "We handed the signatures in to the council on Thursday and we scheduled a meeting about them increasing their funding for my father's care, not deferred payment options, next week.

"Now they're claiming he's 'had his wishes granted', which is absolutely ridiculous.

"He has had no such thing. From what I understand, the deferred payment scheme will mean that they can get away without paying any more for his care, and when my father passes away, they will take the difference, plus a percentage and other fees, from the sale of his house.

"The issue isn't that he doesn't want to pay for his care at all - the issue is that Brent Council are trying to get away without actually spending any more money on a national hero."

Phil Porter
However, Phil Porter, Brent Council's Director for Adult Social Care, said: “Robbie Clark, supported by 187,000 petitioners, asked the council to find a way for him to stay in his home, receive his care by a live-in carer and not to have the worry over how it will be paid for.

“We have listened to Robbie and his supporters. 

"We have made an offer of a deferred payment that gives Robbie exactly what he asked for. 

"The council has offered to meet some of the costs of his care with the remaining costs set against the equity in his house. 

"Although there will be less equity for Robbie’s heirs when the property is eventually sold, Robbie himself will have all his wishes granted in a way taxpayers can afford."


Alison Hopkins said...

Martin, I've met the family and know a great deal about the background to this. I can categorically state that Brent's press release is a work of fiction. Phil is NOT telling the truth on this - the family hasn't been offered anything new and they've certainly not agreed to anything! Not only that, the new so-called assessment Brent did, at my suggestion to the family is a complete cock up from start to finish.

I'd suggest anyone going to future hustings might like to ask Gardiner and Butler how they've (a) tried to help the family and (b) what they'd do in the future to help.

The whole situation is appalling.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is a story about a family trying to hang on to their inheritance and make other poorer people pay for it.

That a supporter of the most right wing govt in history can keep up this level of nonsense - when her party nodded through cuts to local authority is beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

With my heart still warm from reading the press release I then read these comments. There seems to be some disagreement over what's actually happened.
Anyone know more?

Anonymous said...

This is a story of a government that does not support older people.
This is a story where social care should be provided free.
This is a story where care homes in Brent are failing older people.
This is a story where if he goes into a home he will likely die.
This is a story where Labour and the Conservatives fail to say where cuts will fall.
This is a story where they are both in it together.
This is a story where anonymous 24 April 2015 at 12:55 lacks compassion.

Alison Hopkins said...

12:55 - no, it is NOT about inheritance and that's an appalling insult to Robbie to claim that.

For a start, the poor old boy doesn't even own the house outright, and secondly, if it were about inheritance, how come he's spent £50K already and the family are topping up? They're not "rich": they just care about an old man who deserves far better at the end of a long life.

I've read much of the files and correspondence and Brent's stance has been an utter disgrace throughout. This isn't the first time they've behaved with total callousness and it won't be the last. I can give you numerous instances of their attitude over many years to the old and the homeless - it has nothing to do with cuts, and everything to do with wanting to push people off their lists. They even sent the latest assessment results to Robbie alone - in WRITING. This was to a man who's blind. :( And they got his bloody name wrong, to boot.

I do know who you are, oh serving Labour councillor, and you ought to be ashamed, both of this post and what you've said elsewhere. You don't have the cojones or the courage to use your name, so you've no right to be taken seriously.

14:32: Well said. I had many dealings concerining my own elderly relatives under the last government and they're both as bad as the other when it comes to the old.

Yes, I'm angry - actually, I'm furious. The stinking words used by 12:55 to dismiss a man's suffering as some kind of spin story are sickening and shameful.

Alison Hopkins said...

PS: I'm very happy to provide non confidential detail, including how Brent are chasing Robbie for money they say he "owes". Claudia Hector and others have claimed Brent are paying £451 a week towards his care - this is also a fabrication - whichever officer briefed them has done it very badly indeed.

Anonymous said...

12.55 you are despicable, if indeed you are a Labour council, you are a coward and pathetic. Why don't you represent your local residents and earn some of that 25% pay rise you lot took from Brent residents.

Anonymous said...

Alison gets anonymously attacked for every statement she ever makes on this site, rarely constructively, usually personally. She regularly indicates that she knows that these attacks come from a Labour councillor and regularly challenges him to provide, as she always does, his name. He never does. Who is he? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Alison says the last government were callous when dealing with the elderly. Interesting, that was when we had the LibDems in power in Brent so it was the (Labour) government's fault. Now we have a LibDem goernment it's not their fault at all its ťhe (Labour) council's fault!

Anonymous said...

To give some sort of context to the ,inheritance, argument - my parents were on low incomes and qualified for council housing. They chose not to rely on the state and instead rented privately, saving every penny they could over a four year period. During this time, they lived modestly, no meals out and no outings that were beyond a bus ride away.

After buying their house, the purse strings tightened even further. Our family trailed way behind others in not having a fridge for several years after they became a common household feature, ditto central heating, ditto moving from black and white television to colour, ditto a telephone, fitted carpets and so on.

My mum and dad had their first holiday 16 years after getting married and then it was a week-long trip in a friend's caravan, once again staying only where it was free of cost.

The reason I go on at length is to illustrate that for most ordinary folk, the thing that is to be inherited, has been built up by the entire family making sacrifices for most, if not all, of their lives. Ownership of the 'inheritance' can also serve to put many people outside of qualifying for state help in the various benefits that might otherwise be available.

I don't know the case in question however it does not sound as though we are talking about a person who has amassed huge wealth. Anyone wanting to comment on inheritance matters really ought first to have an understanding of the issue before pressing the send button.

With reference to social care, this is entirely cost driven whatever the spin that is put on it. Any system that can deem it acceptable for a person to receive a single period of 15 minutes per day of 'help'..........then again "care" and "system" in this context are contradictions in terms.

Anonymous said...

These Labour Politicians need to man up. They're too concerned about what Butt says and their careers to care about Brent.

Anonymous said...

Why are Brent Council using their twitter feed to say something that is not true.