Rise Park woman on law change crusade after WW2 veteran dad spends life savings on care
16:22 14 August 2014
The daughter of a Second World War veteran is on a crusade to change laws that have seen him spend his life savings on end-of-life care.
Reginald Outridge, 89, served in the Royal Navy during the struggle to defeat Nazism, then worked as an electrical engineer until retirement but, now bed-ridden by Parkinson’s disease, he has spent £45,000 in the past 15 months on nursing costs.
It is only now that Mr Outridge’s savings have fallen to below the £23,500 threshold that the state is paying for his care.
Daughter Lin Mathieson, of Campbell Close, Rise Park, said: “I’m on a mission to get change. Once I get started, I’m like a dog with a bone – I don’t let go.”
The war veteran needs round-the-clock nursing support, so he moved from his Collier Row home to Gable Court nursing home in Roxy Avenue, Chadwell Heath, in March last year.
Mrs Mathieson, 61, is outraged that current laws mean that people who have paid tax all their lives have to spend their savings on care.
New legislation means there will be a £70,000 cap on liability for end-of-life care costs but Mrs Mathieson believes this is insufficient and is going to Romford MP Andrew Rosindell to demand further reform.
“Something needs to change. It’s despicable. These people have helped the country and paid taxes but now they are pushed to one side and forgotten about,” she said.
“People need to get together and say it’s not acceptable.”
To make matters worse, the NHS admitted last week that a mistake had been made when Mr Outridge was assessed as ineligible for support that would have contributed to his nursing needs. He is waiting for his payments to be backdated.
A Department of Health spokesman said the new legislation would also make more people eligible for state support.