A NINETY-three-year-old woman whose home care was removed by Social Services after she was deemed not ill enough has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Barbara Burt's daughter claims she was told by a doctor that the stress of the situation could have brought on the illness.

The daughter, Val Mustoe, who owns the Monkton Inn with her husband, Peter, is angry at how Social Services broke the news to Mrs Burt.

"I was round mum's when she said, 'Someone from Social Services is coming to see us'," said Mrs Mustoe.

"The carer who came simply said, without warning, 'We're stopping your care because you're not ill enough, you're not bedridden and you can still do things on yourself. If you want care, you'll have to pay for it'."

Eight days later, Mrs Burt was feeling unwell and when she was seen by a doctor at Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton, she was told her Hodgkin's lymphoma had returned and she has three months to live.

Mrs Mustoe said: "I went to see her two days later and she didn't even know who I was, although she rallied a few days later.

"I told the doctor that Social Services had cut mum's care and asked if she thought the shock could have brought on her condition. She replied, 'Yes, quite possibly'."

Mrs Burt had been supported by a carer from Brunel Care, who carried out tasks for about half an hour every morning and evening.

Her daughter would take her on weekly trips out from her home in Walnut Drive, Bridgwater, to go shopping and for lunch.

Mrs Mustoe has been in contact with Social Services asking why "a proper assessment" was not carried out before the home care was removed.

She said: "Social Services have told me they're going to change the way they do things.

"It feels to me like they've killed my mother. I believe she's on limited time because of what's happened.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: "We do not comment on individual circumstances, but if a complaint is made we will speak to the individual, their family or carer and work to address their concerns.

"Council-funded care is provided when a person is assessed as having needs that are eligible. If they have care needs that are not eligible, we offer advice and guidance on other ways they could be met.

"Any change to support can only happen after a review and explanation of the outcome.

"As a learning council, we will always look to see how improvements can be made, such as making decisions on a person’s care in a measured way and with better advice on other ways needs can be met."