Peter Ireland, 78, a retired Detective Inspector from the Metropolitan Police, fought a lengthy battle for his NHS continuing healthcare.

Despite being paralysed from the chest down and only able to do very little for himself, Mr Ireland saw two applications for the CHC rejected.

He finally won by appealing directly to NHS England and in November 2021, West Sussex ICB were ordered to grant the application.

However, it took most of 2022 to get any funding from them.

Mr Ireland, a father of two, retired from the Met in 1995 following 34 years of service.

In 2017 while he was in hospital with a heart problem, he suffered a life changing spinal bleed and a bleed to my brain which paralysed him.

Since then he has fought for his right to free NHS care, a fight backed up by numerous medical reports from his doctors which say his condition is so severe it meets all the necessary qualifying criteria.

“The last few years have put an enormous strain on me and my family,” he said. “Can you believe it, even though I’m paralysed and can’t move my legs, local CHC assessors said I could.

“If it wasn’t so stressful a situation, it would be laughable. I wish I could move my legs, get up and walk.

“I had to use all my pension paying a live-in carer from Thailand £1,500 a month to care for me. There was very little left over. I paid on top of that all the extra food and utility bills.

“My local council won’t help unless I go into a care home, which would be extortionately expensive every week and they would expect me to sell my home to pay for it.

“They did send round a carer when I came out of hospital, but he was a drug dealer. He was charged and banged up. They then sent me a bill for £5,000 which I refused to pay.

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