A terminally-ill war veteran, who survived his ship being sunk during the Second World War, has been shocked to receive an unexpected care bill.
Roy Dickenson, 90, who has lung cancer, has been told he owes more than £4,000.
His wife Mavis, 85, has been in ill health for some years and he has been acting as her carer.
Finally Mr Dickenson, of Carroll Walk, Langney, contacted East Sussex County Council to ask for help as he was struggling with his own illness and finding it hard to cope.
Two home care companies were commissioned to send staff to the couple’s home on a daily basis, but he says he was not told of the cost implications.
His cause has been taken up by the Veterans Association UK. It told the council, “The Dickensons have been invoiced for a care worker to attend Mrs Dickenson’s needs totalling more than £4,000.
“They were wrongly advised by a council advocate regarding this and have been receiving demanding letters ... causing concern and distress to this elderly couple both of whom are in very bad health.”
Its CEO, Tony Hayes, said, “Roy served on the Atlantic and Russian convoys during the war and served his country well. I think he has been treated abhorrently.”
Mr Dickenson joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class in 1940. Two years later he was serving on HMS Bedouin in the Mediterranean when she was shelled by enemy warships and finally sunk by a torpedo bomber. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in Italy and Germany.
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “We cannot comment on individual cases, however anyone identified to us as a carer will be offered an assessment and could be provided with support based on their needs. This will include a personal budget which can be spent on those services the client considers necessary.
“We will only charge for services following a financial assessment and dependent on a person’s ability to pay – this policy is in line with Government guidance. Without charging people that can afford to pay, we would have considerably less money to spend on services. We would always discuss and explain charges before clients accept help.”