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Double amputee wrongly funded her own care following council dispute

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A mentally ill woman, and double amputee, was forced to fund her own care for more than fourteen months following a funding dispute between the council and her local health trust. The woman, who remains unnamed, was left “house-bound, isolated and depressed” following a dispute between Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust regarding who was responsible for funding her care. She was left with highly inadequate care, with an agency worker visiting her only twice a day.

“trust should have acted sooner”

The woman was awarded an annual personal budget of around £7,000 from the NHS to help her deal with depression prior to having both of her legs amputated. However, after suffering a blood disorder and problems with her vascular system, this annual budget had to be reassessed. However, a dispute arose between the council and the health trust, which was ongoing for fourteen months. Following this period, a 50-50 split was agreed upon, yet the parliamentary and health service ombudsman, Julie Mellor, said: “Both the council and the trust should have acted sooner to prevent the unnecessary distress experienced by this woman.

This decision was finally made after the woman’s physiotherapist, psychologist and prosthetist composed a joint letter to the council saying that the decision-making delay was having a severely negative impact on the patient’s wellbeing, both physical and psychological.

The woman has since been paid £27,000 following additional letters from both her GP and clinical psychologist.

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