1. ITV Report

Sheffield family face £6,000 monthly care bill

Still together: Barbara and Tom Earnshaw

A son whose elderly, ailing parents are in a home is facing a £6,000 a month bill for their care. Rob Earnshaw believes his family's bill could have been avoided if a care package had been developed and put into use earlier.

Couple in happier times

His mother Barbara has dementia and the family pay £2,986.98 a month for her residential care. As her husband Tom's mobility decreased, Rob says he considered paying privately for physiotherapy for his dad who, while trying to improve his movement, fell down the stairs and broke his neck.

Tom joined Barbara in the same home and now the Sheffield family face shelling out £5,973.96 a month for their care.

Tom and Barbara on their wedding day

Because we are living in this age of no money, suddenly the feeling of care for people seems to have gone out of the window and I feel very much that mum and dad have just been pushed to one side and said, 'Listen, you're old people.' It's almost like we don't care about you and just pay for it yourself and go away.

– Rob Earnshaw

Figures obtained by ITV News reveal that in Sheffield at the end of last year the longest someone was waiting for a social care package to be put in place was 227 days.

This month Sheffield Council has, like many other authorities, increased it's council tax charges by a further three percent. This follows Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to allow them to increase bills to pay for social care. However, the money will not go to creating new initiatives but towards paying the council's £3.2 million National Minimum Wage bill.

And Coun Cate MacDonald, of Sheffield City Council, warns unless more funding for care is given, by 2021 it will have a £79 million deficit - and it is just not the South Yorkshire city struggling to manage its purse strings: "A council somewhere is going to find it very difficult to make ends meet with all the pressures its facing."

For Rob it is little comfort: I am absolutely and the whole family is convinced if Dad had been properly looked after early on that would have made a big difference. It's actually cost them more money in the long run.'

Martin Fisher has been looking at the Earnshaw's plight.

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