Brent Council row with PCT hits new low

Brent Council’s row with the London borough’s primary care trust has intensified after the debt-ridden PCT advised care home residents it funds to demand a council assessment.

Interim PCT chief executive Ian Wilson – former Tower Hamlets Council’s social services director – wrote to 28 care homes ­housing 106 Brent residents whom the trust deemed last November should now be funded by the council. It advised managers to help them request a section 47 community care assessment.

He claimed the council had been dragging its heels over assessing the group in order to save money.

Wilson said the 106 were among 200 Brent residents who should no longer be funded by the trust – most of whom are receiving continuing care – and are costing it £160,000 a day. The PCT has a statutory obligation to clear a £25m deficit by next April under the government’s drive to clear NHS debts.

Wilson said the council had only assessed 20-30 of the 200, adding: “We think the reason they are dragging their heels is that they have legal advice that they may be to fight off backdating payments to when we informed them of the ­assessments.”

But council chief executive Gareth Daniel said the council had carried out a “considerable number” of assessments. It was on course to compete them but has been hindered by a lack of information from the PCT.

He added: “The PCT’s interim chief executive seems determined to ignore this and further damage partnership working.”

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