With the help of Ian Wise QC, he has now launched legal proceedings with the “strategic intent” of changing NHS behaviour across the country.
“In terms of the sheer scale of this scandal, measured by the significant number of old, ill and vulnerable people adversely affected and the huge level of unlawful financial deprivation, this is very possibly one of the biggest government scandals of modern times.”
Rear Admiral Mathias said that on the basis that the 50,000 people allegedly unlawfully denied CHC over the past five years had, on average, had to pay £100,000 – a “reasonable assumption”, he said – then the NHS could be liable for £5 billion, if the judicial review is successful.
He said a win in court could be the most significant judgment since that concerning payment protection insurance (PPI).
He added: “The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS have grossly violated the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in society, descrimination based on age and disability, with many being unlawfully forced to sell their homes when their care should be funded by the NHS.”
The former submariner is launching a Crowd Justice appeal on Thursday to raise the £30,000 needed to fund the first stage of the judicial review.
A key plank of his case will be to challenge the secretary of state to explain the significant variations chances of receiving long-term health funding across the country.
Rebekah Carrier, who is running the litigation at Hopkin Murray Beskine, said: “It is often a huge and time consuming challenge for ill and vulnerable people to get the healthcare funding to which they are legally entitled. Many do not succeed, even when they should be eligible for NHS services which are “free at the point of delivery”.
“There appears to be a systemic failure on the part of the Secretary of State and NHS England to ensure that health bodies make lawful decisions.
“This systemic failure is unlawful and we will be asking the Courts to take action to make sure that the law is followed”.
Official figures show that since then, average eligibility per 50,000 population has fallen – from 68.77 per 50,000 in 2015/16 to 57.70 in 2018/19.
2019 figures also showed that show the number of people who were found to be eligible for CHC ranged from just 11.9 per 50,000 people in Luton, Bedfordshire, to 230.3 per 50,000 people in Salford, in Greater Manchester.
A Parliamentary briefing paper sets out NHS England’s efficiency plans, which require clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) “to make £855 million of savings on CHC and NHS-funded nursing care by 2020- 21”.
An NHS spokesperson said: “CHC funding is available to a minority of people whose eligibility is assessed on an individual level, while most people are instead covered by the rules on social care eligibility that Parliament has established.”