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East City News: Cash cuts come before my son; STECHFORD: Autistic man's mother protests at care home shake-up.

Byline: By Patrice John

A BIRMINGHAM mother has hit out at health bosses who will no longer provide helpers at her autistic son's care home.

Zena Bennett's son, John, has lived at the home in in Ipstones Avenue, Stechford, for five years.

The home is run through a partnership between South Birmingham Primary Care Trust and Accord Housing Association, but Zena says the trust is now withdrawing support.

Lollipop lady Zena, aged 64, of Victoria Street, Bordesley Green, said health officials were just penny pinching - but the trust has promised to ensure "a smooth transition of care".

Zena said: "They are putting money before the care of my son and I think it's disgusting," she said.

"What bothers me about this is that the quality of his care won't be the same any more.

"It was impossible when I had to look after John at home. He is getting on so well now and he knows all of the staff.

"I am sure all that will stop as well if new carers come in."

Zena added: "I did not have a partner to help me look after John in the past, and it is very hard to manage on your own.

"The carers at that home have helped my son so much."

John, aged 38, lives in a set of ten bungalows in Ipstones Avenue that cater for adult handicapped people, with support from carers.

Sue Roberts, of South Birmingham PCT, said: "The owners of the home will tender for a new provider of this service.

"When the new provider is selected, South Birmingham PCT will work closely with both the home owners and the new care providers to ensure a smooth transition of care management for service users, their carers and relatives.

"The new providers will be expected to have extensive experience of managing residential care to this client group.

"Existing staff at Ipstones Avenue will transfer to the new provider under protected arrangements, thus ensuring continuity of care workers for the residents at the home."

CAPTION(S):

DEVOTED... Zena Bennett with her autistic son John, who lives in a Birmingham care home.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 14, 2006
Words:354
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