More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Homeward bound MS patient's delight

Monday, 13 August, 2001, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK

A terminally-ill man who won the right to free care at home during his final months has described the outcome as "brilliant".

Multiple sclerosis patient Jason Powell, although only in his early 30s, had the prospect of having to move into a nursing home filled with the elderly.

His local health authority, Dyfed Powys, had refused to meet the full cost of round-the-clock care in his specially-adapted home in Whitland, near Carmarthen.

Jason's solicitor, Katrina Salter, was preparing to take the case to the High Court, but the health authority backed down on Friday, just three days before the scheduled hearing.

It has reassessed the case, and now says he needs 24 hour care, but only a small number of hours of full nursing care.

Shared responsibility

It is now prepared to meet the full cost of the nursing care, and his local council will pick up the cost of the other non-nursing support he needs.

This means Jason can leave hospital and return home.

Jason told the BBC that others in his position should be prepared to fight on.

He said: "You should just go for it, both for yourselves and other people.

"I wanted to be independent, just wanted to be home around my family and my friends."

Being placed in a nursing home would have "done my head in", he said.

"I'd have gone mad," he said.

He told the BBC that the first things he wanted to enjoy on coming home were rugby and a beer.

Legal threat

Katrina Salter said that it was the threat of legal action which had prompted the change of heart by the authority.

"Every health authority should have a policy on allowing people like Jason to have palliative care at home.

"This is not exactly a new concept."