A 20% retrospective pay cut for Dudley care workers has been scrapped - thanks to the mother of disabled sons who 'got on her high horse'.

Care workers looking after some of Dudley's most disabled and vulnerable faced having to repay a fifth of their salaries because of lockdown.

But one woman who thought it was unfair, aided by the Labour party, has managed to get health bosses at the Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group to ditch the plan.

Rachael Gardner and husband Malcolm faced having to look after severely disabled 16-year-old twins Harry and Thomas when Covid struck as the risk of allowing their personal assistants into the home was too great.

The two boys were born very premature and have multiple disabilities. One has chronic lung problems while the other is quadriplegic.

Lockdown left the family having to provide 24/7 care for more than 20 weeks of shielding because the health risk of PAs coming into the house was too great.

When they asked if the public money they get to employ personal assistants could be used to pay family members who now had to do all the work, the answer was yes – if they sacked their PAs.

It was a suggestion Rachael would not contemplate, for many reasons, but mainly because of the relationship she has with them and the fact that it takes a lot of time and effort to find the right assistants for the children.

But the other complication was that the money had already been paid.

So Rachael did nothing, but then weeks later she was shocked to find that the Dudley CCG, following the government furlough scheme, said they wanted the families to recoup 20% of the payments for 13 weeks – a total of £360.

“If the CCG had made that decision at the start, then OK,” said Rachael. “But to ask for it retrospectively was wrong.

“I just got angry at the way they were being treated. I got on my high horse.”

She eventually took it up with Dudley’s Shadow Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Intervention, Councillor Shakaut Ali.

He said: "Carers have done a fantastic job in looking after vulnerable members of our community. We must support our carers."

Rachael, who runs the We Love Carers Charity, and Cllr Ali raised the issue with the CCG who have reviewed the policy and decided to rescind it.

“I’m so grateful to them and want to thank them for coming to the right decision.”

Rachael’s personal assistants are now able to return to the home to provide care, with protective equipment, but Rachael worries about another wave and another lockdown forcing the family to shield once again, with all the stress it brings.

The CCG have been approached for a comment.