Council forced elderly Northamptonshire couple to endure night vigils to stop son dying in his sleep

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Two pensioners are to be paid thousands of pounds by Northamptonshire County Council after it removed funds for their son’s night carer, forcing them into life-or-death overnight vigils.

The Local Government Ombudsman found in favour of the Wellingborough mum and dad, aged 72 and 69 respectively, and their son (referred to as Mr X in its report) after Northamptonshire County Council stopped the funds for a carer while it assessed his other needs.

Mr X had sleep apnoea, which meant someone needed to watch over him while he slept to ensure his oxygen mask did not slip off, which could be fatal.

Although the council agreed to fund three weeks’ worth of care, the Ombudsman found they had gone back on a verbal agreement - which the son had recorded - to extend it until the assessment was complete.

As a result, the elderly couple paid out thousands of pounds in carers’ fees three days a week and did the other night shifts themselves.

The ombudsman has now ordered the council to apologise for their distress and pay the family £2,000 between them.

They are also to be reimbursed by for the cost of the fees.

The son, who is 37 and profoundly deaf, came to the Chron to raise the issue publicly.

He said: “It has taken two years and a horrible battle.

“I became seriously ill and depressed losing my independence because of their injustice and failure to do their job.

“I want people to know how they treated me.”