Care home fees row blamed for death

A fees dispute has been blamed after an 88-year-old woman died five
days after being transferred from the nursing home in which she had
lived for eight years.

Gloucester Charities Trust moved eight residents from its Magdalen
House after Gloucestershire Council refused to pay an extra
£88 a week each in fees. One resident, Violet Townsend, died
soon afterwards.

Mark Hendry, council cabinet portfolio holder for adult care
services, said the council was unable to pay the extra cost which
had previously been met by the charity.

“We didn’t see how we could go into weekly negotiations with other
providers if we agreed to that,” Hendry said. “If we paid everyone
an extra 23 per cent that would come out at £11.4m.”

However, the council has now agreed to increase its fees budget by
£1m a year for the next three years.

Robert Dean, administrator for Gloucester Charities Trust, said the
decision to remove the people from the home was taken after the
subsidy for the eight residents rose to £54,000 a year and the
money could no longer be found.

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