Bristol

PM has 'every sympathy' with family of disabled child

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Media captionMr Cameron said he didn't believe that Riven Vincent's case was related to the wider public service cuts

The prime minister has said he has "every sympathy" with the family of a disabled six-year-old after her mother accused him of not doing enough to help families in need of respite care.

Riven Vincent, of Staple Hill, near Bristol, said she could not cope and might put her daughter Celyn into care.

She had criticised David Cameron and said her family was "crumbling".

Mr Cameron denied government austerity measures were preventing the family getting more help.

He said he would be looking into the case "very closely".

The prime minister's official spokesman said Mr Cameron had sent a letter to Ms Vincent.

Meeting arranged

Her daughter is blind, quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.PM's 'sympathy' for disabled girl

Mr Cameron had visited Ms Vincent during the general election campaign after an exchange on the website Mumsnet.

Ms Vincent criticised Mr Cameron, saying she had hoped following his visit he "would have done more to protect families like ours".

She added: "The money the government has allocated for short breaks and respite care - £800m over four years - is not enough and worse still it's not going to be ring-fenced."

Mr Cameron said he did not believe the case was connected to public service cuts.

On Wednesday Ms Vincent had posted again on Mumsnet: "Have asked ss [social services] to take dd [dear daughter] into care.

"We get 6 hours respite a week. They have refused a link family. They have refused extra respite. I cant cope."

At least 1,300 Mumsnet users have replied with messages of sympathy.

South Gloucestershire Council said it had now arranged a meeting with her.

'Care package reviewed'

A spokesman said it had been supporting Ms Vincent and her family since Celyn was a baby and there had been no reduction in the care the council provided.

The spokesman said: "This package of care is reviewed regularly and has increased according to need over the last six years. There have been no reductions in the care provided to Celyn and her family."

They added: "We recognise that there are times when difficulties can appear overwhelming and we hope that we can resolve the present difficulties in the best interest of the family."

The Bristol-based charity, the Brandon Trust, said it would offer whatever assistance it could in response to the issues raised.

Chief executive, Lucy Hurst-Brown, said: "We understand the dilemma the council are in because, as a charity supporting people with learning disabilities, Brandon Trust is also undertaking restructuring in the wake of the current economic climate.

"Nevertheless we recognise the enormous gap there is in services for young children like Celyn.

"These are difficult times and we believe charities like us need to work in partnership with councils and families who need help."

Jack Lopresti, Conservative MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, said he had visited Ms Vincent and Celyn at their home with a South Gloucestershire councillor in the summer following an e-mail exchange.

He said the councillor had raised the issue at a council meeting and they had written to the Minister for Disabled People.

Mr Lopresti said a case worker had visited Ms Vincent's house to see what support could be offered.

He said social workers had gone to the house on Thursday.

Mr Lopresti said: "Tomorrow I am going to see the leader of the council to see what we can do to give the family the help they need."

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