Tuesday 15 November 2011
Family wins care battle
Lynn and Paul Leadbitter are overjoyed that their son Matthew was yesterday able to come home after months of living in a residential care home following his recent tracheotomy, a vital surgical procedure to protect his health.
Following the surgery, Matthew’s care needs increased and the family were locked in a battle with the local NHS to secure funding for his care to be administered at home.
Instead, the Primary Care Trust argued that his needs would be best met in a care home 30 miles away.
The family were concerned that in this setting - so far away from the house Matthew has called home for the last 30 years - he would not have access to the right facilities or expert staff to meet his specialist care needs. Furthermore, at this difficult time Matthew was to be separated from this close network of family and friends at a great cost to his quality of life.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s advocacy service represented the family in their fight with the Primary Care Trust and was delighted to announce back in June that the funding had been agreed for Matthew to come home. Over the past couple of months the family have been working with the local authority to make all the necessary adaptations to their home so that it is fully accessible to Matthew. With that work now complete, the family were able to welcome Matthew home and are looking forward to spending Christmas 2011 together - something which was not possible last year.
I was thrilled that he could come home. It's wonderful, him laughing and joking, his sense of humour. He just seems a different lad and chirpy, his old self.
Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign said:
Lynn and Paul have shown amazing fortitude and determination to get Matthew back home and should be commended for their tireless campaign.
This is a heart warming story of a family dedicated to protecting their son’s health and quality of life. Lynn and Paul completed 60 mile round trips, daily, to see their son, ensure he had the help he needed and support him through this turbulent time. In recognition of their dedication the family were awarded the 2011 President's Award of ‘Carers of the Year’ by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's President, Sue Barker MBE at the charity's national conference in October.
Read more about the Leadbitters' battle on the BBC News website
If you are facing similar issues to those experienced by the Leadbitters, get in touch with the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's advocacy service on 020 7803 2853.