The wife of an ailing Parkinson's patient has challenged the view of The Sterling Council, of levying £1 a week for the medical emergency care alarm service, which the Scottish public service refuses to buy. The complainant, Mrs. C, has not minced words that the ruling is a target at the weaker sections of the society, and truly a mockery of the free care provided for the elderly.
Mrs. C had installed the emergency care system in her home in 2002. This allowed emergency calls to be attended by the contact center, which was manned 24 hrs. Mrs. C dished out a complaint to the council and to the ombudsman when the authority decided to levy a charge of £1 a week. The option of flexible payment did not appeal to her.
Extremely peeved at the decision she said, "I appreciate that it does cost to supply the service but I don't think the council could stoop any lower than this, by attacking the most vulnerable in our society."
Supporting the council's stance, the ombudsman reiterated that local authorities were permitted to charge for social work services, despite the free personal care legislation.