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RAF veteran Bob Frost from Sandwich helped with £22,000 to replace NHS funding

By Eleanor Perkins

Thousands of pounds has been raised to help pay for the care of an RAF veteran after the NHS withdrew funding for his medical treatment.

Bedbound Bob Frost, 95, who evaded capture by the Nazis in 1942 faces selling his £300,000 home in order to stay at Ami Court in Walmer.

The former Cartwright and Kelsey Primary School headmaster says he was told he had "survived too long" and must stump up the £5,000 a month fees.

But he told KentOnline he is desperate to pass his home in Sandwich, which he worked so hard to buy, to his children.

His partner Mildred Schutz, 94, a former spy who operated behind enemy lines in 1944, told a national newspaper it was a "very cruel blow", when "he should be treated with dignity".

A crowdfunding page was launched and has raised more than £22,000 from more than 1,500 contributors.

Mr Frost told KentOnline: "I find it totally... well, just, goodness gracious me!

"I'm bowled over by it."

RAF veteran Bob Frost with carer Chrissi Dunn from Ami Court in Walmer (5344674)
RAF veteran Bob Frost with carer Chrissi Dunn from Ami Court in Walmer (5344674)

Mr Frost was taken to hospital following a fall in March and then transferred to the Walmer care home.

The veteran was receiving end-of-life care after suffering two bouts of pneumonia and a kidney infection however his heath has since improved.

The NHS have therefore decided to withdraw funding for his care, passing the case onto social services.

He said: "I was called in to the office and they said they couldn't go on funding me. They said I'd have to move elsewhere.

"I went there on the understanding it would be my home for ever more. I want to leave my house to my children, obviously."

RAF veteran Bob Frost's story of how he evaded capture by the Nazis in 1942 is documented in books (5344670)
RAF veteran Bob Frost's story of how he evaded capture by the Nazis in 1942 is documented in books (5344670)

Mr Frost was the rear gunner in a Wellington bomber that was shot down in September 1942, as it flew to raid the German town of Essen.

After bailing out through a hole in the fuselage, he ended up alone in a field with a big white parachute. He was 19.

The former boy Scout decided he would walk the 1,000 miles to Gibraltar to find safety.

On the way he found support with the resistance who aided him, and then a woman, countess Andree de Jongh, who operated the Comete escape line out of Belgium, aided him across the Pyrenees to safety.

His story is well documented in a book called Escaping Hitler by Monty Halls. His story was also part of a Channel 4 documentary.

RAF veteran Bob Frost meets 1st Deal Scouts (5344662)
RAF veteran Bob Frost meets 1st Deal Scouts (5344662)

When asked what his memories of war were, Mr Frost said: "Being frightened.

"Anybody who says's they weren't when in a bomber being shot at, when you've got 4,000lb of high explosives, hasn't got a brain.

"We carried a 4,000lb bomb, it was shaped like a long barrel and when you let that go, the aircraft shot up in the air quite a way and said thank you for taking that lot away from me.

"And then you could look down below about 15 seconds later and see the bomb explode on the ground it was such a big explosion.

"And you'd get home as quickly as you could."

RAF veteran Bob Frost with 1st Deal Scouts (5344660)
RAF veteran Bob Frost with 1st Deal Scouts (5344660)

This Remembrance, the home's activities co-ordinator Chrissi Dunn organised for Mr Frost to be visited by members of the 1st Deal Scouts.

As a former member of 15th St Pancras Troop, he told the youngsters how his mother had ensured he joined the movement and how he thinks being a a boy scout helped him "enormously in later life".

"In my outlook and attitude towards other good folk," he said.

The Scouts had baked poppy cookies for RAF veteran Bob Frost (5344658)
The Scouts had baked poppy cookies for RAF veteran Bob Frost (5344658)

The youngsters gave the veteran a plaque with their badges on and showed him a memorial cross they'd made plus shared a tin of poppy biscuits.

A KCC spokesman said: “Mr Frost has not yet been assessed by KCC and is at present receiving continuing healthcare funding from the NHS.

“We appreciate that paying for residential care in a care home is extremely expensive but KCC is bound by government legislation on funding arrangements.

“KCC has to carry out a financial assessment to see whether people are eligible for funding support and this looks at income and savings - including the value of property.

“If someone has over £23,250 that person is self-funding, meaning they pay for their costs. Below this threshold and the local council can fund some of a person’s care.

“When this money drops below £14,250, funding is solely from the local council.

“People eligible for NHS continuing healthcare receive their care home placement free."

Owners of Ami Court, Amita and Naveen Patel said: "As owners we are delighted that Mr Frost has responded so well to the excellent nursing care at Ami Court and will do everything we can to support him to be able to continue to reside here as he loves it so much."

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