Pensioner’s joy at clinic U-turn

HEALTH bosses have changed the criteria for how the elderly apply for free incontinence pads after a barrage of complaints.

We revealed earlier this year how Janet Poulson from Nuthall walked out of a clinic in disgust after she took her elderly mum to collect some pads, but was told she had to get soiled ones weighed first, to see if her mother qualified to receive them on the NHS.

But Nottinghamshire Primary Care Trust has now done a U-turn on its policy following our story and Mrs Poulson now plans to return to the clinic.

The 60-year-old, who lives in Lime Close, and looks after her 84-year-old mum, said: “It’s great they’ve changed it. It will be a lot better for everybody. It was terrible we had to go through all that. I will take my mum back down there now.

“She wouldn’t return to the clinic at all after what happened. She felt embarrassed.”

Mrs Poulson’s 84-year-old mum, Janet Bird, had been buying her incontinence pads, but paid a visit to a clinic in Kirkby-in-Ashfield where she lives after hearing you could get them for free on the NHS.

The pensioner, accompanied by her daughter, was told used pads had to be weighed before people could be told if they were eligible to have them free of charge.

The pair walked out and refused to go through with the test branding it ‘humiliating’.

Nottinghamshire Primary Care Trust had said the used pads had to be weighed because people were ‘abusing the system’ and because of ‘budget cuts’.

Mrs Poulson and another resident in Kirky-in-Ashfield, Edith Braddow, who is registered blind and disabled, complained to Eastwood and Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero, who took the matter further and also went to the national press.

The MP, who lives in Eastwood, said: “I was literally open-mouthed when this was raised with me by some constituents. I was furious. I raised it with the PCT and I’m so pleased that they have now changed their policy. This is a victory for everyone. Together we’ve changed things.”

The PCT has now apologised and put a stop to the tests.

Andrew Kenworthy, chief executive of Nottinghamshire PCT, said: “We have written to Mrs Braddow to offer our unreserved apologies for any distress caused.

“We have reviewed the policy and have now changed the way that eligibility is assessed for the prescription of incontinence pads.”