From Michael Mandlestam
"Bernie Crean makes a formidable advocate. His extensive experience in social care and health care matters, his dedication to fair decision making and his determination all stand out strongly. He is the sort of person you want to advocate on your behalf .On the other hand, decision makers in statutory services, who attempt to defend the unfair and the unlawful, will not welcome his involvement."
"As if it isn’t stressful enough dealing with two parents suffering from dementia, and going into Nursing homes, we then had to deal with the nightmare of trying to get Continuing Healthcare funding. This is a minefield, and the ordinary person has no chance of navigating this successfully without expert help. Bernie is that expert, and not only that, he is like a dog with a bone, and will not give up until he gets what you are entitled to, in the face of every delaying and diverting tactic known to man! Bernie is tenacious, tough and fair. For both of our parents, we were told that full funding was not available – Bernie secured the funding for both parents, recovering thousands of pounds. It would not have been possible without him. We could not have asked for more support or hard work on our behalf. Thoroughly recommended."
"Thank you Bernie for being such an effective advocate for us during this difficult time. Understanding and trying to cut through the red tape was certainly made easier with your assistance for which I know the family and I will be indebted to you with your insightful knowledge of the 'processes' and helping us to deal with the bureaucratic side of the DST (decision support tool), the CHC and the PHB (personal health budget) . All terms and dealings therein we couldnt have fathomed without your help. So once again a big thank you! I would highly recommend your services and you particularly for being so human and being a really nice bloke too and understanding our predicament. Certainly our loved one would be pleased that we had you on our side'."
" We found Bernie on the Care To Be Different website as we live overseas and were desperately wanting to find help with the situation we were now dealing with. It's hard enough finding out your dad has to go in a nursing home without the stress of dealing with social services and NHS staff. We were told our dad didn’t pass the CHC checklist something that is apparently set low, even though to us it was rather clear he has medical needs. We were not sure to what extent these needs were in relation to how NHS funding is rewarded and had no idea if he should qualify however I just could not understand and accept that my dad didn’t qualify seeing he was so poorly.
I contacted Bernie and gave him a brief run down as to what happened in the hospital just before discharge. It was a horrible experience dealing with Health & Social Services and caused a lot of pain. Looking back there was no kindness or care from either Health or Social care staff but pure business. Bernie's knowledge was very thorough and immediately he guided us in the right direction and made us aware that neither agency had not followed the correct procedures. This confirmed in my mind that something was being hidden or down played.
Bernie took over and instantly put them all in their places it was a relief to have someone on your side with such knowledge and the tone of the emails we were receiving soon changed. Each party was only concerned in looking after their own interests and failed to see beyond that. Bernie is very motivated and he did a great job for us and we were rewarded full CHC funding. My advise would be to follow your instincts and don't believe everything they say as we were clearly told dad wouldn't get CHC funding but he did.
Thanks Bernie! "
FROM JR: (CHC Legal Advocate)
"Bernie is one of the most passionate and dedicated health and social care advocates I have ever had the privilege to meet. He has many years experience as a former head of a complex care team within Devon County Council Adult Social Care Team which has given him a firm understanding of issues relating to NHS Continuing Healthcare funding as well as Local Authority funding. I now class Bernie as not only a good friend but also an outstanding mentor."
I am so grateful for the professionalism and in-depth knowledge of Bernie Crean, his sincerity and hard work that has unmasked the indisputable deceptive attempts of the CHC team to evade correct procedure at almost every turn. I have learned much on this journey and advise anyone who is to seek CHC for a relative to heed the warnings about the CHC teams and how ruthless they can be in control of the funding that has been, and should be, rightfully pledged to those in need.
Our family have found Bernie Crean a beacon and a stalwart for anyone having to fight for CHC funding, being highly qualified with much experience giving him the capacity to expose and address the serious line up of improprieties favoured by many CHC teams.
FROM SP (CHC & Care Advocate)
"Bernie's knowledge and expertise regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare is impressive. He would be a very valuable resource in a CHC claim.."
"My mother was discharged from hospital back to her home. The CHC process upon discharge was not correct and CHC was refused even though she had to be cared for in bed 24/7 and had significant health care needs. I raised an appeal with the local CHC team who upheld their decision not to award CHC funding. It was only when I got Bernie involved that my appeal was taken seriously and progress was made. It was a long hard fight that was very stressful for myself and my parents but eventually we won the day and funding was awarded and backdated to the point of discharge. Bernie's understanding of CHC processes and the inner workings of both Health & Social Services were invaluable as was his tenacity in the face of intransigent CHC staff who presented obstacles along every step of the way. "
"Right from the start we knew that it would be hard navigate the CHC process without expert help. Luckily Bernie was recommended to us and after 8 months we just got our mum her panel acceptance for funding. Bernie knows all the legislation, departments and protocols having spent his career in this sector and was always professional and supportive throughout."
FROM TB & JB
Our family had to not only cope with our mother’s deterioration from Alzheimers, but to fight to get the care needs that she was duly entitled to from the various health care service professionals. Without Bernie’s expertise in this area, his patience, understanding and good advice, he guided us through the maze of procedures, system and bureaucracy that anyone without his knowledge would have got lost and given up. In our situation, we had to take our case to appeal and throughout the whole process Bernie was on hand to attend crucial meetings needing someone of his expertise to advise the family and to make us confident in knowing we were right in what we were pursuing in order to get her the care needs she was duly entitled to. In the end, after a two year battle, we succeeded and could not have done any of this without Bernie and regard ourselves very lucky that we were recommended to him in the first place. “
I found Bernie's assistance to be invaluable in the Continuing Care process. He is professional and very knowledgable. I found the advice he gave enabled me to be prepared for the assessment, and also to rebut issues he foresaw would be raised. This is a complex area of policy and Bernie's help was essential to achieving success.
From Dr S.
I engaged Bernie in January 2016 to act on behalf of my wife who at the age of 56 has advanced Alzheimer’s disease and more lately my 86 year old mother in law with dementia and behavioural problems. Specifically with regard to my wife our engagement with the CHC assessment process since May 2015 has been a time of great stress and frustration in dealing with the CCG CHC teams and social services. The issues ranged from poor information provision, failure to adhere to due process and legislation, undermining my wife’s care needs, failure to communicate and general obfuscation. They failed to undertake an appeal process as requested and it became clear they were kicking the issues into the long grass in the hope that I would give up on pursuing the health care funding my wife was clearly entitled to in law.
As a full time NHS hospital clinical consultant I had little time or energy to collate all the evidence on behalf of my wife and mother in law and it is thanks to Bernie that we gathered together daily evidence of needs from many sources including the care home care plans and daily records for a period of over one year. It was due to Bernie’s meticulous documentation, clear advocate report and in depth knowledge of the National Framework including Health and Social Care legislation that funding for my wife and mother in law was achieved and more over back dated to the time of the original check list.
I can’t thank Bernie enough and highly recommend him as an advocate.