Widower fighting £70,000 care home fees bill

David Whitworth, 87, from Dereham Road in Norwich. who has a big bill for care home costs for his late wife Nancy.

David Whitworth, 87, with a picture of his late wife Nancy, has a massive bill for the Hawthorns Care Home including interest, after his wife was moved there from hospital. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A former carer is worried he will be left with no money to pass on to his children due to a £70,000 bill for care home fees for his late wife.

David Whitworth, 87, of Dereham Road, Norwich, never wanted his wife Nancy, who had Alzheimer's disease, to go into The Hawthorns Care Home on Unthank Road after a hospital stay seven years ago.

His wife died at the Hawthorns about three years ago aged 84 and he claims Norfolk County Council social services did not allow her to return home under Mr Whitworth's care despite him making modifications to the living space.

Nancy Whitworth, who had Alzheimer's disease and died about three years aged 87.

Nancy Whitworth, who had Alzheimer's disease and died about three years aged 87. - Credit: David Whitworth

He has spent £8,000 fighting the care home charges which will be taken out of the sale of his house when it is sold after his death and wants the fees cancelled.

Initially the NHS paid for the care home but soon after he faced fees of £30,000 which has increased to £70,000, due to a £17 a day interest charge.

Mr Whitworth, who has a son and daughter, said: "It will be well over £100,000 taken from my estate when I die. I want to leave it for my children. It is most unsatisfactory.

"I knew I could look after my wife. I have spent three years fighting this. I don't see why social services should take a vast amount of money for something that my wife and I didn't want. I want the debt cancelled."

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He met his future wife, Nancy Moffatt, aged 19, at a dance class on Elm Hill and four years later the couple marred in 1957.

Mrs Whitworth was involved in the Felicity Lodge Freemasons and her husband described her as generous and kind.

As well as owning some shop units on Larkman Lane, Mr Whitworth had 40 years of experience in caring for people at the former St Michael's Hospital in Aylsham, West Norwich Hospital and homes in Cringleford and East Carleton.

The great-grandfather looked after her in their home for eight years before she went into hospital and said he found that role easy.

A county council spokesperson said: "It would be inappropriate to discuss personal details about this case, however, in April 2018, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman made the decision not to investigate.”

The chief executive of Countrywide Care Homes, which runs the Hawthorns, was approached for comment but has not responded.