'The property of the old and disabled is more at risk from N.H.S. authorities than from thieves, burglars and con-men'. (Front Cover)

Extract from'Reaching' Out Magazine of the Guillain Barre Group Nov 2002

By Derek Cole

A ludicrous and grossly misleading report by a non-medical junior that our member, Colin Mercer in Liverpool, (who could not even lift a spoon to his mouth to eat) could do his own housework, cook his own meals and collect his own pension 'with a helper', was eventually disclosed after months of prevarication after the intervention of the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Ron Gould (Lib-Dem).

Colin's permanent total disability from G.B.S. without doubt makes it totally unlawful under Section 21 of the 1948 Act to refer him to Social Services for means testing and, according to Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice, under the Health Acts anybody in Colin's condition is 100% the financial responsibility of the Health Service. Following a direct approach at the highest level Mrs Judith Greensmith DL, Chairman, she at last wrote on 7th October 2002 - 'I would hope to be in aposition to come back to you by the end of October.... I am aware of the desirability to see .. if the concerns.... can be resolved by discussion or ...mediation before the courts are involved'.

A complaint has also been lodged with North Mersey P.C.T, about flagrant breaches of the law in the procedure followed. The bizarre non-medical report was made in June, 2001 without either Colin or his brother John, who has Power of Attorney, being informed. The junior then ruled secretly that Colin was 'self-funding', a decision that at £25000 a year for ten years could involve £250 000. Under the Human Rights Act, this is a major quasi-judicial decision to be decided by 'due process'. (The citizen " suffered an interference with her means of subsistence and was claiming an individual, economic right flowing from specific rules laid down in a statute" - Salesi v. Italy (1993) 26 EHRR 187 para 19'.)

Colin & John assert that the secret procedure was unlawful, reference to Social Services was prohibited by the 1948 Act, the disclosure of confidential information to non-N.H.S. staff without their consent was a breach of medical ethics and it was grossly improper to act on a non-medical report rather than a medical assessment by a consultant.

As is shown by the £25000 compensation cheque for the improper sale of her home which our member, George Peak, eventually obtained in addition to the payment of Nursing home fees for his friend Jean Woolley in Croydon, this is only one of many examples of Health Trusts depriving the sick and disabled of their assets and even their homes in flagrant defiance of the Law. The S.W.Peninsula Health Authority is defiantly refusing to obey two decisions of the Court of Appeal (on funding and on hearings).

In Scotland, our member received a curious phone call at 9.05 a.m. on a Sunday morning from the Chief Executive of the Health Board in person apologising because she had quoted the consultant as saying her brother was 'independent' when she should have said 'dependent'. Asked for the actual report, she said she couldn't find it, but after vigorous intervention by Jim Murphy M.P. and Ken Macintosh M.S.P (Lab), it suddenly appeared. Surprise! Surprise! The consultant also wrote that I had raised an important point of law which should be referred to Central Legal Services. This has now been done.

The Law Society say they cannot investigate if solicitors incited managers and consultants to falsify the medical evidence! As one of our members said - 'The property of the old and disabled is more at risk from N.H.S. authorities than from thieves, burglars and con-men'.

Photo.Caption. - Colin Mercer with Councillor Ron Gould (Lib-Dem), Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool. 'Colin can do his own housework'. Official!

Front Cover Photo Photo.

Caption - 'Jean Woolley with Richard Ottaway M.P. (Cons). Her home was unlawfully sold. Information on the case was withheld from him.