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Case Study 6
Susan is mum to Grace who is now 12 years old. Grace has severe cerebral palsy causing her learning difficulties and physical disabilities. Grace needs 24/7 care.
After Grace was born her father left the family home leaving Susan to provide all care for Grace single-handedly. They lived in small three-storey terraced house with no garden and lots of steps. Susan had to carry Grace up three flights of stairs to the bathroom. Life was very hard for Grace and Susan.
A successful clinical negligence claim resulted in a substantial payment of compensation, Grace was six years old. It was confirmed that Grace will never have mental capacity to manage your own property and finances and so a Court of Protection Deputy was needed.
Susan said that she wished to put all her energy into caring for Grace and was overwhelmed at the prospect of dealing with the additional burden of managing Grace’s compensation. Susan was recommended to talk to me. I met with Susan and Grace to enable me to better understand than immediate needs. Shortly afterwards I was appointed Grace’s Deputy.
I identified the immediate needs as:-
- A more suitable home
- Increased therapies to supplement the therapies provided at school
- A family holiday
- Supplemental care so that mum could have a break as she was very sleep deprived
- Better transport.
Funding of a suitable property to purchase and adapt is a lengthy process but the family had an immediately need for additional paid care. Space to provide for the additional therapies was urgently needed. The solution was to rent a bungalow. A tenancy was secured for 12 months renewable. The family moved into the temporary accommodation and soon the additional paid care was arranged along with the therapies. Meanwhile a suitable property was located and purchased in trust for Grace.
I liaised with an architect to draw plans and obtained planning permission for the alterations. I organised a tender for the building works and selected the builder. The alterations were project managed, suitable specialist bathroom and other equipment was sourced. I managed the budgets to ensure that there was no overspend. The work was completed and the family moved in.
Grace loved her new home and mum was delighted with the equipment to assist Grace.
Life for Grace and Susan has much improved. By using Grace’s compensation wisely and investing for the long term, Grace’s changing lifelong needs will be met.
The solicitor who wrote this Case Study is Julia Morrill, head of the firm’s Court of Protection and Deputyship department.