A local council has been forced to defend its plans to charge pensioners £26 to help them up after they’ve had a fall in their home.
Tendring District Council, in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, has been blasted by critics after proposing a £25.92 annual charge to roughly 2,500 Essex residents who use its Careline service. The ‘lifting service’ will see trained Careline staff go to the home of elderly people who have pressed a special alarm button following a fall.
— Ken Spearpoint (@K_G_Spearpoint) December 18, 2015
Michael Le Cornu, chairman of the Tendring Pensioners’ Action group said in his opinion it meant people would be ‘penalised for falling’.
He told the Mirror:
The simple fact is, you are getting penalised for falling and these people are the most vulnerable in our society. How is that right in this day and age? It really is quite shocking. This sort of thing shouldn’t be happening in the 21st Century. We have paid taxes all our lives for health services – this was supposed to be our insurance, but now we are being asked to pay again.
But Paul Honeywood, a local councillor who supports the scheme, told the Independent the council required the charge in order to continue offering the service:
Having consulted users we have discovered there is a demand and the idea is now going through the budget process with a final decision to be made in February.
The scheme hopes to reduce the need to call the ambulance for simple falls and the council says when it consulted customers, 60 per cent of those who responded said they were in favour of the move. You have to admit, it does seem at least a little harsh though doesn’t it?