22 Armitage Court, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks SL5 9TA.
Tel/Fax 01344 620775
Our Ref: NHSC1.RTF 6th December 2002
Mark Gritten, Chief Executive
The Royal Berks & Battle Hospital Trust, London Rd, Reading RG1 5AN.
Janet Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Reading Primary Care Trust,
57-59 Bath Rd, Reading RG30 2BA.
Nick Relph, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Health Authority, Jubilee House,
5110 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park South, Cowley, Oxford OX4 2LH.
Dr Van Wyk, c/o Castle Ward, Battle Hospital, Oxford Rd, Reading.
"Eve Lovelock's Care" File, Others as required.
Dear Mr Gritten,
Subject: Care of Mrs Evelyn Lovelock
This is a formal 'Complaint Letter' under Page Three of the NHS Complaints Pack - First stage - Local Resolution.
This letter serves three purposes:
1) I, on behalf of my mother, request a copy of the report, believed to have been supplied by Dr Van Wyk to Anju Bhatti of Social Services, prior to my mother's discharge from Castle Ward, Battle Hospital to Holyport Lodge Nursing Home on 18th November 2002.
2) this is my formal request for your Hospital Trust to take 100% financial responsibility for the care now being provided for my mother in Holyport Lodge.
3) to provide you relevant information to assist you to make the right decisions in my mother's case, and many other similar cases I expect you will need to consider in the near future.
I attach my letter, REF ANJU4.RTF dated 15th November 2002 for your information.
The following is some additional, more recent information:
A new case now makes it abundantly clear that your hospital Trust was at fault in passing my mother, Eve Lovelock, to Social Services 'for means testing'. Under the Coughlan case she was, and still is, 100% your financial responsibility.
In E.308/99-00 4th Nov, 2002 the Ombudsman found that a patient (whose estate is now advised by my legal adviser) in the early stages of Alzheimer's with no specific nursing needs was covered. On 4th December the CEO of the Somerset & Dorset H.A. phoned the executor to agree a refund from early 1998 to March 2000, when the patient moved to Devon, where a decision is due shortly. The Consultant's report of 12th February 1998 stated : "He appeared to be more confused and disorientated but there was an improvement in his behavior. He is now much more tolerant of other people, more accepting of personal care so much that the female staff can manage him".
That is to say, he was a typical early stage Alzheimer patient needing personal care from female staff, not nurses. None the less, he was in a Nursing Home because of his Health needs and under the Court of Appeal ruling the NHS was legally obliged to pay all his Nursing Home fees.
In effect, a patient who because of illness has to go from hospital into Residential accommodation remains, as a matter of law, 100% the financial responsibility of the Health Service. The reference to the 'intense' nature of the treatment in DoH booklet 25253 is plainly unlawful. A patient with 'Health Needs' is entitled to 100% care BY LAW even if no treatment at all is possible. There was no mention of Ms Coughlan's treatment in the judgment.
In consequence I formally ask your Hospital Trust to take 100% financial responsibility.
The Audit Commission are investigating the implications of the Ombudsman's ruling.
Please also send me a copy of the report on my mother, believed to have been written by Dr Van Wyk, prior to my mother's discharge from Castle Ward, Battle Hospital into Holyport Lodge Nursing Home on 18th November. You may send this copy to myself, or my mother Evelyn Lovelock, c/o Robin Lovelock, at the above 22 Armitage Court address. Alternatively, if your procedures so dictate, you may send the copy to Mrs Evelyn Lovelock, c/o Holyport Lodge Nursing Home, Holyport, near Maidenhead, Berks, with a separate reply to this letter, direct to myself. I also attach a witnessed letter from my mother, dated 10th October 2002, should you believe "Patient Confidentiality" an excuse for not providing a copy of the report.
We are in the process of taking Power of Attorney, but this is not yet in force.
Many Thanks in advance.
(Son of Evelyn Lovelock)