COUNCIL CARE: Man charged for free care services
he was “very surprised and angry” to subsequently receive invoices totalling £320.7, Image: LDRS
A Birmingham man with severe disabilities was threatened with bailiffs after getting a bill for hundreds of pounds for council care – when he was told it was free.
David Steele, 62, suffered life changing injuries during neck surgery in 2009, is now unable to walk unaided and has had more than 120 falls requiring medical help.
Following a fall in April, he was asked if he would want to be referred to council adult social care services – and said he agreed on the basis that it was free.
He said he was told by a Birmingham City Council officer he could have a six-week assessment of personal care and he said he again agreed “as long as it’s free”.
He said he was told he could continue with the service for free until a financial assessment took place – and said he continued but called to cancel the service following the financial assessment.
But he says he was “very surprised and angry” to subsequently receive invoices totalling £320.74 – despite, he said, being assured the service he agreed to was free.
He said after contacting the council he was told he had been signed up to a long-standing care plan without his knowledge.
After informing the Local Democracy Reporting Service of the situation, Mr Steele said he was then told by the city council the charges had come about from a misunderstanding.
He said he was told the charges would be waived – but has since received a further final demand for payment for £11.46 from the city council for “non residential services”.
Mr Steele, a former school caretaker, said: “It has been quite stressful and when they threatened the bailiffs, it does make you worry about your home.
“Being disabled and having things taken off you – it brings back memories from when people have stolen from me.
“It makes you worry, being helpless and not being told anything as well.”
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said invoices have been put on hold while the matter is looked into.
Mr Steele said he had not been told that the latest invoice has been put on hold.
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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