Kay Jenkins fights NHS to keep direct payment

A direct payments support adviser is fighting to hold on to her own direct payment after health chiefs deemed her eligible for continuing healthcare which she doesn’t want.

Kay Jenkins is appealing against Rhondda Cynon Taff Local Health Board’s assessment of her as eligible for continuing care – the system under which people whose long-term care needs arise from a health need receive full NHS funding for their support.

They then become ineligible for direct payments, though government guidance emphasises that health commissioners should seek to maintain continuity of care for those who previously had direct payments.

Jenkins, whose condition requires her to have oxygen 24 hours a day and use a ventilator with a mask at night, said she had been assessed for respite care but was deemed eligible for continuing care.

The direct payments support worker, who works full time for Cardiff and Vale Coalition of Disabled People, said her needs were not significant enough to warrant continuing care, nor did she want it.

Yet the health board, which refused to comment on her case, confirmed that anyone deemed eligible for continuing care would be unable to challenge the decision itself, only the process behind it.

As part of her direct payment, Jenkins pays a personal assistant to sleep at her house in a separate room. However, under the board’s plans, a nurse would sleep in her room every night.

She said: “I’m not ill. It’s a waste of resources.”

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Essential information on direct payments

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Government guidance on continuing care

This article appeared in the 27 March issue under the headline “User fights NHS to keep direct payment”

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