Denied healthcare after a lifetime of service to the countryOCTOBER 2010:
HARDLY a day goes by at Nick Griffin's Constituency Office without there being a call on the telephone or correspondence in the MEP's mailbag, drawing attention to how Britons are being treated as second class citizens in their own country.
It sometimes seems as if the Government has concerns only for the welfare of newly-arrived immigrants to these shores and doesn't give a damn for the well-being of British people, especially the elderly who have served this country throughout their lifetime.
A letter last week was from a family whose elderly mother was being denied Fully Funded NHS Continuing Healthcare (FFNHSCHC) by the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust after a fall at home left her with almost no cognitive function.
The lady, an 86yr old widow of a retired RAF Officer who served as aircrew in WWII, and herself a former wartime Auxilliary Nurse, has been refused for FFNHSCHC and told that her family are responsible for any onward movement to a nursing home.
"The Primary Care Trust are failing to ensure that my mother receives all the care that she needs and is threatening to take her possessions to pay for any future care," a distraught son told his MEP.
Responding on behalf of Nick Griffin, Constituency Office manager Tina Wingfield wrote:
"I am sorry to hear of your mother’s ill-health and share your outrage over the way she is being treated by the administrators of the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust.
You mention that your mother has almost no cognitive functions and is fully dependent on the healthcare she receives in hospital, so it would seem that she should qualify for the free package of fully funded continuing care that is provided by the National Health Service.
As a former wartime auxiliary nurse, and the widow of a retired RAF officer, the automatic right to free healthcare should be absolute. In addition to serving their country, both will, no doubt, have paid a lifetime of National Insurance contributions and it is criminal that essential care is now being denied to your mother in her hour of need.
I know from the huge amount of correspondence that Mr Griffin receives from constituents that people cannot comprehend how this Government can believe that it is defensible to deprive our vulnerable elderly of the care they deserve, yet consider it justifiable to continue to waste millions of pounds of public money on foreign aid and welfare benefits for newcomers to our shores who haven’t paid a penny into our social protection funds.
I fully agree with your view that it is unfair and morally unacceptable, moreover, for Lancashire Primary Trust to assert that it is your mother’s responsibility to fund the move to a nursing home - before the appeals process has been concluded.
I note that you have already lodged an appeal against Lancashire PCT’s ‘non-entitlement’ decision, on behalf of your mother, and I hope that justice is served with a successful outcome.
In the meantime, may I refer you to some support services that may be able to offer you and your mother advice and help? If you are not already in touch with the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS), it might be helpful to contact them. PALS provide information for people who are concerned about the care patients are receiving, including the transfer arrangements from hospital to other care facilities, and can also help to resolve complaints. There is a PALS office in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary - telephone number: 01539 795497. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Citizens Advice Bureau can also offer informed advice about care options and appeals procedures. They can be contacted at: Oban House, 87-89 Queen Street, Morecambe L A4 5EN. Telephone: 0844 499 4197 (advice line); 01524 400405 (appointment booking line only). Email: email@example.com .
Caring for a loved one is an immensely rewarding task but it can also create intense stresses and strains on the carer. The Carers Federation offers a confidential support and information service for carers: their website can be found at www.carersfederation.co.uk/ . Email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please do not hesitate to contact Mr Griffin again if you require any further assistance."