Man stuck in Fife care home for 18 months – despite being fit to go home

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A man with Multiple Sclerosis has been stuck in a St Andrews care home for 18 months – even though he is fit to go home.

Mr Dawson, a 63-year-old man with MS, has been confined to a wheelchair since 2008 and requires two carers a day.

In April 2018, the agency providing care withdrew and, with Fife Council unable to find another agency, Mr Dawson has been stuck in the care home ever since.

To make matters worse, the DWP has withdrawn his Disability Living Allowance, backdated to May 2018, because he is staying in a care home. The allowance paid for a Job Support Worker which enabled him to stay in work despite his disability.

Since July, Fife Council has been trying to charge Mr Dawson £26,000 for staying in St Andrews House Care Home even though he says he does not want, or need to be there.

“It strikes me as perverse that Fife Council, which is responsible for providing care for me at home, is trying to charge me for staying in residential care which I do not want, or need yet,” said Mr Dawson. “The council appears to be unfairly using legislation designed to protect people as an instrument of usury.

“I have already had my Disability Living Allowance withdrawn which is having a big impact on the finances of both myself and my wife.

“This is completely degrading way of dealing with someone who just wants to go home and work. I’m pleased that Mr Rennie has raised the issue with the Scottish Government but am concerned that my case will be ignored once again.”

MSP Willie Rennie, who is helping Mr Dawson, described the situation as “appalling”.

“So he’s been told to pay for 24-hour care that he does not need, in a care home where he does not want to live, for 18 months because the council can’t provide the care he needs to be at home and now his Disability Living Allowance has been withdrawn too,” said Mr Rennie. “That does not seem fair to me.

“This is a matter of real urgency and Fife Council, the Scottish and UK governments needs to face up to their responsibility and provide care for Mr Dawson at home.”

MP Stephen Gethins added: “I have raised this with the Secretary of State for DWP. Far too often constituents are disadvantaged at a very difficult time in their lives and as these benefits are still reserved to Westminster. I have called on Mr Dawson’s case to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

“I have been in touch with Mr Dawson and his local councillor, Andy Heer, to keep them up to date and I welcome cross-party working with Mr Rennie to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said it would help Mr Dawson return home.

Julie Paterson, divisional general manager Fife-wide, said: “Fife Health & Social Care Partnership is committed to ensuring that every person who is eligible receives care and support.

“Every effort is made to maximise choice and flexibility with regards care provision, but it has been very difficult in this geographical area to identify alternative care options.

“The service continues to work in partnership to consider agency and/or personal assistant support to facilitate Mr Dawson’s safe return home as it is his wish.”