An Appeal Court challenge launched this week by health secretary
Alan Milburn may have huge implications for the funding of
long-term care for older people.
The Department of Health is challenging last year’s High Court
ruling that Christopher Beeson – who died last year aged 95 –
should not have had to pay for his residential care after giving
his home in Dorset to his son in 1997 (news, page 12, 6 December
Beeson moved to a nursing home in Bridgwater, Somerset, after a
fall in August 1999.
In November 2001, the High Court judge overturned the decision of
Dorset Council that Beeson’s son was liable for his father’s care
costs. The council had argued that, in making the gift, Beeson
“deprived himself” of his major asset. The law obliges councils to
charge those with assets of more than £16,000 for their care