Seven-year-old Warsash boy trapped in Southampton hospital as care bill is fought over

STUCK Oliver Taplin
STUCK Oliver Taplin

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A MUM has spoken of her heartbreak as her seven-year-old son is ‘trapped’ in hospital.

Rachel Taplin said the situation is unbearable as her son Oliver cannot go home and the funding is not in place to send him to a specialist school.

FAMILY  Rachel Taplin with a picture of her son Oliver and her daughter Jasmine. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132753-4591)

FAMILY Rachel Taplin with a picture of her son Oliver and her daughter Jasmine. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132753-4591)

Oliver has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and his condition has become so bad he needs to have 24-hour medical supervision.

Rachel, 31, from Warsash, said: ‘He was admitted to intensive care in July and we’re now stuck in hospital. It is heartbreaking.’

Southampton General Hospital has reached the end of the care it can give him, and Oliver now needs to move on.

Oliver could go to a specialist school, such as St Piers School in Surrey, as it provides appropriate medical care.

But Rachel said this school costs around £6,000 a week.

She said: ‘Oliver was going to a mainstream school, but it was sending him home all the time as his condition was so complex.

‘There are only two schools that he could go to. It is expensive but that is where he needs to go. It is the only school that can manage his needs.’

She added: ‘The school is 100 per cent the answer.’

Oliver’s current package of care is funded by Hamsphire County Council’s social services and the NHS’s West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Rachel called on them to act quicker so that Oliver can start to have some quality of life again.

She said: ‘Nobody is thinking about what is right for him. It is all about money. At the heart of it all, there is a little boy who needs our help.’

Fareham MP Mark Hoban said he will be writing to those involved to place extra pressure on them to get Oliver into appropriate schooling.

He said: ‘It seems there is no more medical treatment that Oliver can get, so he needs to move either back home or into school.

‘There seems to be a blockage in the system that is not letting this happen and I want to do all I can to unblock it and get things moving.

‘It’s a sad story. Oliver has some challenging health issues. This blockage is preventing him getting the support he needs.’

Cllr Keith Mans, the council’s executive member for children’s services, said: ‘This an extremely difficult situation. We appreciate Oliver’s mother’s wishes and have offered the family a high level of support. We are waiting for guidance from the health service on a discharge plan so that we can put in place the care that Oliver will need when doctors say he is well enough to leave hospital and return home.

‘Oliver’s educational needs can only be met once we know his ongoing health needs and officers are in discussion to see how we can work together to arrange the funding for this.’

A statement from West Hampshire CCG’s said it could not comment on individual cases. However, it would work with the county council to make sure the right support is in place.

More meetings are expected to take place next week.