A man weighing just 45kg has tragically passed away after his medical needs were deemed insufficient for him to qualify for free, full-time social care.
Unable to move or feed himself, Barry Balderstone was suffering from ulcerative colitis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, double incontinence and chronic kidney disease before he died.
But East Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said he was not eligible for full funding, which would have paid for all of his care needs.
“How ill do you have to be to qualify?”
“How ill do you have to be to qualify?,” widow Marilyn said, adding that the CCG twice turned down his bid for full funding.
75-year-old Barry had Ulcerative colitis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, double incontinence, chronic kidney disease & was unable to move or feed himself.— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) January 30, 2020
His medical needs were deemed insufficient for him to qualify for free, full-time social care https://t.co/0zkCreqpjy
The second time, Marilyn appealed, with a hearing held in July 2019.
She said she was told the appeal had failed later that year, shortly before he passed away weighing just 45kg.
“That picture haunts me, but I took it as I thought they needed to know how ill he was, he looked so terrible,” Marilyn told Cheshire Live.
“The assessments are incredibly difficult, you have to score ‘high’ or ‘severe’, but you realise you are not going to get it.
“It’s very stressful and you come out of it absolutely wiped out. But I thought I had to do something.
“It seemed so unfair and he was getting worse and worse.
“There needs to be a more sympathetic attitude and more help for the family. If it [speaking out] helps anyone else in the same position then it will have been worth it.”
“There needs to be a more sympathetic attitude and more help for the family”
The pictures have emerged on the back of a similar story concerning a 64-year-old man in Liverpool last year.
Stephen Smith, who weighed just six stone, was denied benefits and told to “go and look for work” by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Liverpool man has suffered with a number of serious conditions for several years, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, excruciating Osteoarthritis and an enlarged prostate.
He also uses a colostomy bag to go to the toilet.