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Negative decision on motor neuron disease sufferer’s care reversed

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A council told a man in the final stages of motor neurone disease that he was not ill enough to qualify for free personal care on two occasions. East Ayrshire Council informed Andy Masterton that he was too early to apply for benefit as they only provide free care to those four weeks away from death. However, in order to abide by the Council of Scottish Local Authorities’ guidelines, the council recently reversed this decision and granted Mr Masterton with free personal care.

Cosla advises councils to provide people under the age of 65 with free personal care if they suffer with a terminal illness. East Ayrshire Council, however, only offers this if the individual is in their final four weeks of life. Despite having denied Mr Masterton of free care on two separate occasions, they have since reversed their decision.

“deeply disturbing”

The motor neurone disease charity MND Scotland criticised the council over their insensitive interpretation of the guidelines. The chief executive of the charity, Craig Stockton, described Mr Masterton’s situation as “deeply disturbing”. He argued that the health minister has produced a set of clear guidelines, which East Ayrshire Council has decided to neglect.

A council spokesman said that there was “no legislative framework” surrounding the provision of free personal care to those over the age of 65 with a terminal illness. They said that they would review their policy.

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