Woman seeks answers over £7,000 mystery into late mother's care

Care payments found by Cambridgeshire County Council new HQ

Kerry Willett was told that over £7,000 in payments made to Cambridgeshire County Council for her late mother's care, including a bill of £5,649.61 (inset), had been found. - Credit: Cambridgeshire County Council/Kerry Willett

A woman is searching for answers after Cambridgeshire County Council found over £7,000 in payments for her late mother’s care more than three years after they were paid. 

Kerry Willett of Soham began paying invoices she received for her late mother Sylvia Crisp after she went into Kingfisher House Care Home in Newmarket in 2017. 

“I withdrew about £300 every day and went to the bank to pay the invoices in full,” Ms Willett said. 

“After I paid them all, I started getting more calls saying there were six invoices left outstanding.” 

After three invoices were paid, the county council’s debt recovery team told Ms Willett they were unable to find one payment of £5,649.61 and two payments for £891.08. 

“I hadn’t heard anything from the council on this until May this year when I got a message to say they’re sorry to hear my mum passed away, but I still owe them these invoices,” said Ms Willett. 

“The manager at Barclays Bank in Ely did a trace of my account to see where my money went and saw that the money had gone to the county council. 

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“My mum’s account with the council has been shown it’s in arrears for nearly four years when I paid the invoices in 2018. 

“It’s an utter shambles.” 

In a letter to Ms Willett dated September 28, Paul Loppas, team manager of the county council’s debt recovery team, said a senior income officer left before an investigation starting in 2018 into the payments could take place. 

Then on October 6, Ms Willett received a phone call from the council to say £7,431.77 in payments had been found. 

“They’ve totally discredited the fact that I provided evidence that the invoices had been paid,” she said. 

“I should not have had to go through the emotional trauma they gave me. 

“My mum would be mortified if she knew this happened - I want to know why the money went lost.” 

A review into the matter is being held by Cambridgeshire County Council. 

A county council spokesperson said they “are always very careful to respect the personal feelings of families who have lost loved ones and have been in contact with Ms Willett over six months to try to resolve this matter.” 

Ms Willett is hoping to meet a Cambridgeshire County Council representative to discuss the matter next month.