News | Richard Gurner | Published: 12:03, Thursday May 30th, 2013.
Last updated: 10:52, Thursday September 19th, 2013
A ten-year-old disabled girl and her family have won a two-year battle with authorities to provide extra funding for her care.
Poppy Blewett-Silcock, from Machen, has Warburg Micro Syndrome, meaning she is blind, unable to speak or walk and needs tube feeding.
Parents Craig and Tymandra had battled Caerphilly County Borough Council and the Aneurin Bevan Health Board for a funding system called direct payments.
The local authority had provided an overnight stay every fortnight for Poppy at a centre in Blackwood, but if she was very ill she did not go, leaving her parents without respite.
Social services and the health board have now agreed to fund the direct payments meaning the family now has a set budget to arrange Poppy’s care.
Mrs Blewett-Silcock said: “This will make a massive difference and Poppy’s quality of life will really improve and we will have help with the basic things.
“This will set a precedent for other families in Caerphilly County Borough who are in the same position. In years to come it hopefully won’t be a major battle – that has kept us going.”
The funding issue arose due to disagreements between the health board and the council over the classification of Poppy’s various care needs.
Poppy needs to be fed by a nurse through a stomach tube – something the council’s social services deemed as a health need and not applicable to direct payments. This was disputed by Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
Earlier this month the children’s commissioner for Wales had warned that Poppy’s human rights could be in breach if a resolution was not found.
Commissioner Keith Towler told the BBC: “When adults are arguing over who should pay what, my position is very clear. This child has an entitlement and if there are issues over funding then we’ll resolve that later.”
Poppy’s parents set up charity Parents of Partially Sighted Youngsters, www.popsy.org.uk, which offers support to families in a similar position.