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Nursing home offered hope

PUBLISHED: 05:11 20 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

A NURSING home which claims it is owed £9,000 in benefit payments for one of its residents is to have its complaint investigated.

The Leopold Nursing Home, in Leopold Road, Felixstowe, warned it could be faced with financial difficulties if a similar delay was experienced in receiving payments for other residents.

A NURSING home which claims it is owed £9,000 in benefit payments for one of its residents is to have its complaint investigated.

The Leopold Nursing Home, in Leopold Road, Felixstowe, warned it could be faced with financial difficulties if a similar delay was experienced in receiving payments for other residents.

Rema Jayarajan, a managing partner, said she had spent many weeks unsuccessfully trying to establish from the social security office in Ipswich why no money had been received to pay the cost of care for an 84-year-old woman.

She claimed that staff at the office had been reluctant to help and they had said they would not discuss the matter because of the Data Protection Act regulations. Mrs Jayarajan said she was told they would only communicate with the woman's next of kin.

Now, a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pension has apologised for the delay. He said: ''We are unable to comment on the circumstances of this case. We apologise for delay that has occurred and will ensure that the claim is processed urgently.''

The woman was transferred to the nursing home to receive 24-hour care after she had been living in a residential home in Felixstowe and her care demands increased.

She arrived at the Leopold nursing home in June and Mrs Jayarajan said her bills were met by social security. The benefits office was also due to organise the payment of her £14 a week pocket money.

''But we have had no fees for her. We have been caring for her here and we have not had a penny – it is six months nearly and that is about £9,000.

''We have one or two other people here who are getting money from social security and that has been fine. But if this case carries on I just do not know what will happen. If I ask somebody to take here away, they will say that I am cruel.

''But if it happens to more patients then I will have to close. With one patient we can just about handle it, but social security are playing with our profits and it is very hard,'' said Mrs Jayarajan.

She has been at the Leopold nursing home for 13 years and it has 36 residents. People with savings of more than £18,000 are responsible for all their fees. Those with less money receive financial assistance from either social services or social security.


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