Reports Bring Issue Into Spotlight
A medical law expert has urged authorities to ensure parents who care for children with disabilities are given full support, following the reports on the plight of Riven Vincent and her daughter.
The Bristol mother posted on the Mumsnet website that she may be forced to put six-year-old Celyn, who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, into care after the council refused to offer extra respite on top of the family’s six hours a week.
It has since been revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron has urgently requested to see all of the details of the case.
Irwin Mitchell has long campaigned on the issue of ensuring families with disabled children receive support that will enhance their quality of life.
At the end of last year, the law firm joined forces with Caudwell Children and Acorns Children’s Hospice to hold a fringe reception at the Conservative Party Conference to raise awareness of the importance of protecting residential and short break respite services.
Anita Jewitt, a medical law and patients’ right specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said that one of the most terrible aspects of the report is that it is unlikely to be an isolated case.
She explained: “Parents find themselves struggling to care for children with disabilities whilst at the same time fighting to ensure they get the support they need from the local authority.
“We see first-hand that caring for a disabled child is exhausting and demanding. It is imperative that parents receive the care and respite care they need.
“At Irwin Mitchell, we have appointed a client liaison manager in each office to assist our clients in liaising with the local authority regarding care and support packages. In our experience, parents often need a helping hand because the process of challenging care packages takes up time and energy they simply do not have.”