Mother forced to fight for entitlements: The failure to co-ordinate
Friday 10 June 1994
She had to bang her fist on the head teacher's table and burst into tears of frustration to get a supply of large print books - which she had repeatedly been promised - to make reading easier for him.
Nicholas, 12, has cerebral palsy. He is unable to stand or walk and is totally dependent on his parents. But his mother was was told only recently that she was entitled to a month's respite care every year. She found out from a friend, not from Brent social services department in north-west London, one of the many agencies with responsibility for Nicholas.
Mrs Alcorn, who lives in Wembley with her husband Steven, a cameraman, also only discovered from a friend that she was entitled to disability allowances. And it was the Bobath day centre in East Finchley, where Nicholas goes for physiotherapy, that told her he was entitled to an electric, rather than manual, wheelchair.
Even though Nicholas is totally helpless at night and dependent on his parents, the Department of Social Security has stopped a pounds 5 a week night allowance. A pounds 5,000 grant to install a stair lift has also been turned down.
The Alcorns' experiences confirm the worst findings of the Audit Commission report, which highlights lack of co-ordination between agencies and bickering over who is responsible for children with disabilities. Mrs Alcorn was not even told her son had cerebral palsy until he was 10 months old, when her GP, assuming the hospital had told her, said he was sorry to hear about it.
She said: 'Everybody seems to want to do their best but they are totally hampered by the fact that one person hasn't a clue what other people are doing.'
filmNymphomaniac is more Carl Dreyer than sexploitation of Russ Meyer
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Colin Farrell reveals ‘affair’ with Elizabeth Taylor: 'She was my last romantic relationship'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
India-US row over escalates over arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York
Peter O'Toole: Tales of the late film icon
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior C# ASP.NET Deve...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: QA Automation Explorat...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Implementation...