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Increase in legal action against local authorities for inadequate health care caused by cuts

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This week saw the latest action being taken by a family against a local authority for not providing adequate health care and it is believed by the family’s solicitor that the increase in such cases has been caused due to the lack of funding at local authorities.

The parents of four-year old Esme van der Merwes who suffers from the rare brain disorder Rett Syndrome are taking legal action against Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust and the local authority for not providing adequate care for their daughter.

The effects of Rett Syndrome mean that Esme cannot feed herself, walk, crawl and is susceptible to potentially fatal epileptic seizures. Esme’s mother Mary said: “We do not have the correct equipment or nursing help. We have 50 hours a week care during the day. My husband and I take turns to sit up with Esme each night to care for her.”

Gary Hardman, Director of Nursing at NHS Lancashire said: “We understand the family have sought legal advice and have also made a request for additional support, which is being considered.”

Sally Riley who is responsible for running inclusion and disability support at Lancashire County Council, defended the local authority’s record by saying: “We are committed to ensuring families have regular assessments to ensure they receive the support to which they are entitled.”

The family’s solicitor commented: “In the past six months we have had a significant increase in families that have been forced to sue health trusts and councils for care they need.” He also added: “Local authorities are being more stringent about what social services provide and primary care trusts are tightening their belts.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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