War veteran facing care costs hike

A WAR veteran has been told his care costs will double to more than £700 a month - at a time when the authority responsible agreed to employ a £220,000 chief executive.

A WAR veteran has been told his care costs will double to more than £700 a month - at a time when the authority responsible agreed to employ a £220,000 chief executive.

David Pegram, a former Royal Marine who was at the D-Day landings, developed a blood clot in his brain two and a half years ago.

Since then the 85-year-old, who lives with his wife Diane at Neptune Marina, Ipswich, needs around one hour of care a day from two carers to help with washing and getting ready for bed.

The couple, who have been married for 52 years, have now been told by service provider Carewatch - who are contracted by Suffolk County Council - that they will have to pay £761 every four weeks compared to between £340 and £360 that they were paying previously.

The changes, which will be introduced from April 7, will see care charged in blocks of 30 minutes - causing the Pegrams' costs to rise from £12.37 for 50 minutes to £27.20 for an hour.

The couple received the letter informing them of the alteration just weeks before the county council agreed to employ new chief executive Andrea Hill on a salary of £220,000 a year.

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Mrs Pegram, 83, said: “It will reduce our way of life considerably. We were told we needed two carers because of health and safety but provided I can help them with that then they've agreed to go down to one.

“It seems to me that this is very poorly timed - especially as the county council has just voted for a new chief executive on £220,000 a year.”

Graham Newman, portfolio holder for adult and community services, said: “No-one will pay more than they can afford.

“But we have to introduce this charging scheme, which is in line with about 95 per cent of councils in England, because government funding has not kept pace with the extra numbers of people who need our help.”

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