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COUNCIL AGREES TO RECONSIDER SERVICE USER'S CARE PACKAGE

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East Riding of Yorkshire Council has agreed to reconsider the case of a ...
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has agreed to reconsider the case of a disabled man who claims his care package was drastically cut back without justification.

Lawyers for Graham Baverstock from Bridlington are challenging the council's allegedly unlawful decision to slash his 'Care Plan' provision, despite his compelling medical needs.

The case was scheduled for hearing today before Mr Justice Bennett at London's High Court with lawyers expected to ask the judge to order a judicial review of the council's decision.

But, in a surprise last-minute development, East Riding's barrister, Jenni Richards, interposed to tell the court that a temporary agreement has now been reached.

Under the terms of the deal agreed between council officials and Mr Baverstock's lawyers, the local authority has agreed to 'review and update' its care assessment, and arrange for a further care plan to be drawn up after further consultation with an occupational therapist.

Mr Baverstock - who suffers from chronic lung disease, a 'leaky' heart valve and osteo-arthritis among a wide range of ailments - will also attend key meetings with council officials at which his case will be discussed, the judge was told.

Mr Justice Bennett agreed to an order adjourning the judicial review application for eight weeks after Ms Richards told him of the new 'way forward' agreed by both sides.

The judge said he hoped the new development would spell an end to the dispute, observing: 'It's very difficult for the court to try and sort out these very delicate matters.'

Mr Baverstock has 'multiple needs' due to his medical problems. He first issued judicial review proceedings against the council last year after a dispute arose over the 'adequacy of care provision'.

The deadlock centres on the council's alleged failure to provide contingency and emergency cover during carers' holiday periods, and on the key question of reduced night -time cover.

The council's proposed changes were put on ice pending the resolution of these legal proceedings after a High Court judge imposed an injunction on East Riding, preventing them implementing the changes, in February this year.

After today's hearing Mr Baverstock's solicitor, Lindsey Rhodes, commented: 'We want a full care package, not the reduced care package that's on offer at the moment.

'We used to have an extensive care package, including night-time cover, but there was an assessment undertaken which reduced the care package and took away the night-time cover. We came to court to challenge that decision.

'Today we got an agreement to reconsider the evidence and have an overall assessment that we hope can be agreed upon at the end of the day.

'What we're aiming for is to ensure that Mr Baverstock gets a package which includes his night-time cover.'

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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