Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 16:18 UK

'Anger' over disabled son's care

Josh Langford
Josh Langford's mother said his care needs have not altered in seven years

A mother says she is angry and upset after a primary care trust decided to reduce help for her disabled son.

Debbie Langford, from Shrewsbury, said care for nine-year-old Josh, who has myotubular myopathy, will be reduced from five to three nights a week.

Mrs Langford's four-year-old son, Cain, also has disabilities.

Telford and Wrekin PCT said it would review the amount of support "on an ongoing basis" and has to take into account "changing needs" in Shropshire.

Younger son

Josh cannot support his head, walk or crawl and has problems breathing.

Mrs Langford said: "I feel like a lot of it is more financially motivated and that cutbacks are more to do with finance rather than their assessments.

"They said they started using the new assessment tool to come to this conclusion. But his care needs haven't altered in the last seven years.

"As a family our needs probably have increased because we have another child who has problems."

The mother added the decision meant her husband, Richard, Josh's full-time carer, would be required to be up all night and she might have to give up full-time education.

The younger son has autistic spectrum disorder.

'Right place'

Jo Banks, a spokeswoman for the primary care trust, said in the decision was not based on money.

She said: "I think it's fair to say that we acknowledge that the NHS is in a difficult time in terms of our overall recession.

"But in this particular instance, this isn't about resources. It's very much about need and (ensuring) the right resources are at the right place at the right time."

She said the trust tries to respond as families' needs change and it had assessed that the Langfords "can do with a little bit less frequency of support".

She added: "What we haven't done is right from the very beginning advise families that based on our needs assessment, the frequency of support may change.

"I think in this particular case we may not have been as explicit in sharing that."



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