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UK News Rear Admiral to launch £5bn lawsuit to make NHS fund patients' costs

14:20  01 october  2020
14:20  01 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The former head of Britain's nuclear deterrent is hoping to shake up the healthcare system by launching a £5 billion lawsuit against Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

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Rear Admiral Philip Mathias is set to launch a judicial review to force the NHS to pay for elderly patients' long-term health costs.

He branded the failure of NHS bosses to pay for patients continuing healthcare (CHC) requirements 'one of the biggest public scandals of modern times'.

The former director of nuclear policy at the Ministry of Defence was inspired by his his own personal long-term battle to recover fees paid to fund his mother's care.

a group of people posing for the camera: Rear Admiral Philip Mathias, pictured with his mother Joy, plans to sue Health Secretary Matt Hancock to force the NHS to pay for elderly patients’ long-term health costs © Provided by Daily Mail Rear Admiral Philip Mathias, pictured with his mother Joy, plans to sue Health Secretary Matt Hancock to force the NHS to pay for elderly patients’ long-term health costs

'The failure of Government Ministers and senior NHS leadership to take effective correction action is disgraceful and they must be held to account,' he said.

'They are responsible for causing emotional distress and financial devastation to many thousands of old, ill and vulnerable people and their families.'

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“The use of funding requests means patients will spend more time in pain with potential deterioration of their condition, thereby generating further costs However many local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are now using them for routine procedures as they try to make scarce NHS funding

The case concerns the alleged failure of local NHS Clinical Care Groups (CCGs) to pay for the continuing healthcare (CHC) of tens of thousands of eligible patients every year.

NHS CHC is funded by CCGs and it is for individual authorities to make decisions on funding based on the medical needs of their local populations.

Calling it the 'best kept secret in the NHS,' Mr Mathias highlighted the legal duty of NHS England to fully fund an individuals care costs through local CCGs if their significant health issues are the main reason they need care.

Matthew Hancock wearing a suit and tie: Mr Mathias is crowdfunding to launch a £5million lawsuit against Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail Mr Mathias is crowdfunding to launch a £5million lawsuit against Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured)

Under national CHC rules, any patient with a significant health problem should have their care and nursing fees paid in full by the NHS - a system distinct from adult social care.

Social care is either means-tested and funded by local councils or privately funded.

Former submariner Mr Mathias claimed there is 'extensive evidence' that up to 10,000 people are unlawfully denied healthcare funding each year.

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If successful, the threatened case could force the health service to pay back medical fees in the region of £5 billion.

This would make it the biggest legal judgement since the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI), which has become the UK's biggest financial scandal to date.

Mr Mathias has launched a Crowd Justice fundraiser to fund the first stage of the judicial review to defeat this 'scandal'.

'There is extensive evidence to show that in the last five years, tens of thousands of old, ill and vulnerable people have been unlawfully denied healthcare funding,' he wrote on his £30,000 crowdfunding page.

'The total level of unlawful financial deprivation is staggering – possibly as high as £5 billion.

'The aim is to force the Government and NHS England to stop Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) breaking the law and to make sure redress is provided to those who have been unlawfully denied CHC funding.'

a person lying on a bed: The former submariner highlighted the plight of this man on his Crowd Justice page, saying: 'This man suffered from Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative colitis, double incontinence, chronic kidney disease and.... His healthcare needs were deemed insufficient to qualify for CHC funding' © Provided by Daily Mail The former submariner highlighted the plight of this man on his Crowd Justice page, saying: 'This man suffered from Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative colitis, double incontinence, chronic kidney disease and.... His healthcare needs were deemed insufficient to qualify for CHC funding'

Mr Mathias has first hand experience of the issue after being locked in a two year battle with Wiltshire CCG to recover his mother's nursing home fees.

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His 90-year-old father shelled out £200,000 to pay for Joy's care when she was legally eligible for CHC because of her dementia diagnosis.

'I have personal experience of the dysfunctional and failing NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) system,' he wrote on his page.

'My mother had severe dementia and also suffered from numerous other serious medical conditions.

'After a gruelling two year battle, the NHS eventually agreed to fund her healthcare.

'On behalf of those who have been less successful and unlawfully denied CHC funding, I am now taking legal action against the Government and NHS England to expose this scandal and to hold them to account.'

On his Crowd Justice page, Mr Mathias also highlighted the plight of an elderly patient plagued with health conditions who was denied CHC funding.

Underneath a picture of a frail and emancipated unnamed man, he wrote: 'This man suffered from Parkinson's disease, ulcerative colitis, double incontinence, chronic kidney disease and he was unable to move or feed himself.

'His healthcare needs were deemed insufficient to qualify for CHC funding.

'The day after that decision was confirmed at an appeal, he died weighing 45kg.'

In the past five years NHS data shows the delivery of funding is a 'postcode lottery'.

An NHS spokesperson said: 'CHC funding is available to a minority of people whose eligibility is assessed on an individual level, while most people are instead covered by the rules on social care eligibility that Parliament has established.'

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