Budget cuts get war hero – 93 – home emergency cord bill

A war hero and his wife have been ordered to pay a weekly fee for the emergency cord at their sheltered accommodation because of council budget cuts.

Roger Turner, 93, and Barbara 90, are terrified of what will happen if they fall over and cannot call for help.

But the company which manages the sheltered housing now wants the great-grandparents to pay an extra £2.71 a week..

Emergency CordRAF serviceman Roger, who spent five years in North Africa during the Second World war, said: “If we both took a fall, it could be 24 hours before anyone found us. It’s a matter of life and death.”

“The whole situation is outrageous. To think we have been here all these years and this happens all of a sudden. It’s a case of pay or get out.

“When I fell last month it was 20 minutes before I could even get up to reach the cord.

“If I’d been left lying there without it who know what would have happened?”

Roger is partially sighted and suffers from mobility problems while Barbara has suffered two strokes, walks with a stick, is deaf and has arthritis in her hands.

Both have fallen in their flat in Worcester and have pulled the cord multiple times.

When the alarm is activated a medic is immediately dispatched to check on the residents.

The couple, who have lived in the flat in Worcester for 30 years, will have to scrimp to pay the fee from a combined pension of £192.

Peter Gill, of Fortis Living, said Worcestshire county council previously funded the service. He said: “This situation has occured due to budget cuts.”

“We don’t have to guess why the cuts – what we have to guess is how far they will go”

More at: http://tinyurl.com/nr99waw

Assisted suicide – disability rights campaigners challenge rules

John Aston reports in The Independent (29/04/2015) – Disability rights campaigners have won permission to bring a legal challenge against Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), over her current policy in relation to the law on assisted suicide.

The Suicide Act 1961 makes it a criminal offence to assist or encourage suicide. The DPP has discretion on whether to prosecute, and last October, the DPP amended the published policy, making the prosecution of healthcare professionals in assisted suicide cases less likely.

Alison Saunders - DPPThere is growing concern that Mrs Saunders, above, is more interested in pursuing particular campaign agendas rather serving the interests of the public at large.

Today Nikki and Merv Kenward were given permission to challenge the DPP’s actions, arguing that the DPP had in fact “changed” the policy and made it more “liberal”.

They argue that the significance and legality of the change should now be properly assessed.

Lord Justice Bean, sitting with Mr Justice Hickingbottom, gave the Kenwards permission to seek judicial review at a High Court hearing in London.

John McGuiness QC, had argued on behalf of the DPP that there was no legal basis for the challenge.

But the judge said permission was justified by the “importance” of the subject matter of the case combined with the fact that the Supreme court “did not speak with one voice” on the issued it raised.

Outside court, Mrs Kenward, from Aston on Clun, Shropshire, welcomed the decision, saying: “I am delighted and shocked.”

“Whatever your views on assisted suicides it will continue to be an emotive issue”