Jewish OAP moves into religious care home after human rights battle with Barking and Dagenham Council

A Jewish pensioner is celebrating after council chiefs agreed to pay extra to place her in a religious home she was kept away from despite requirements under human rights legislation.

Barking stroke victim Phoebe Redding, 96, moved into the Jewish care home, Vi & John Reuben House, after weeks of legal wrangling between housing bosses and her family acting on advice from the Age UK charity.

The charity told Phoebe’s relatives that her religious needs must be met under legislation including the Human Rights Act, but council chiefs declined to give her a place at the Gants Hill care home because it exceeded their spending limit of �463 a week.

Phoebe urgently needed a new place as her existing home, Angel House, in Goodmayes, is closing down this month.

Barking and Dagenham Council refused to bulge but eventually backed down and agreed to pay the extra �6 a day at the Jewish home when her niece Sandra Coren complained to our newspaper.


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Mrs Coren, 68, said: “She is very happy. Her home is closing down. People have got to go somewhere.

“It was all about funding. Age UK said the council had a statutory duty to pay more than what they wanted. The charity said they had to meet her religious needs. Thank you very much for your help.”

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Age UK told the Post the religious needs of care home residents were enshrined in the Human Rights Act, the Disabilities Act 2010 and the Fair Access to Care Services guidance from the Department of Health.

An Age UK spokesman said: “The Human Rights Act means the council should consider rights under the European Convention on Human Rights – Article 8, the right to respect for private and family life, home and confidentiality, and Article 9, freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

“The council must also under the Equalities Act 2010 take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of person’s who do not share it – race and religion are both protected characteristics.”

Barking and Dagenham Council declined to comment on the decision to move Phoebe from Angel House to the Jewish home Vi & John Reuben House.

A spokesman said: “We are in touch with the family and looking at the best way to ensure the welfare of all Barking and Dagenham residents placed at Angel Lodge care home.”

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