THE family of a severely disabled man claim they have finally won a battle to secure funding for his complex care needs.

Matthew Brook is deaf, almost completely blind and is the UK’s oldest survivor of keratitis ichthyosis – a rare condition which makes his skin thick and flaky, and needing daily checks for life-threatening cancers.

The 42-year-old, of Roding Lane North in Woodford Green, also has a serious form of autistic spectrum Aspergers syndrome, leaving him with the mental age of eight or nine, and severely deformed feet so he is forced to shuffle around on his knees.

Yet his care package was cut from 11 hours to just five-and-a-half hours a day by Redbridge Council and Primary Care Trust (PCT), meaning the family were unable to care for him at home.

Despite enormous pressure to place him in sub-standard facilities, the family stood firm and has finally secured funding for appropriate multi-specialist care - athough social services claim it is too early to tell the final outcome of negotiations.

Mr Brook's sister Helen Coughlan explained: “It’s wonderful that they will have the bill for the rest of his life after the way he has been treated.

“The risk factor for my mother to continue to look after him was just too great so he will be going to a full residential care home and Redbridge will fund it no matter where.

“This is a victory in many ways as it shows the PCT cannot go around without using professionals to make the decisions.

“It is still down to us and the Royal National Institute for the Deaf to find the right place for him but he will be going to a home run by a major charity rather than a private enterprise without all the correct facilities.”

After the Guardian reported his plight, Mrs Coughlan appeared on ITN and BBC national news, prompting the Government to order a re-think by the PCT.

The situation got so bad that when their 72-year-old mother, Marion, became ill in August the family was forced to admit Matthew to King George Hospital as they were unable to cope.

Old Church deaf adult services specialist centre in Balham has been caring for Mr Brook since this time at a reported cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to Redbridge Primary Care Trust.

A Redbridge Council statement said: "This isn't about winners and losers. What we want is the right care for Matthew Brook and we are currently working closely him and his family to secure this.

"It is too early to say what the future arrangements are for Mr Brook's care, other than that he has described very clearly to us some changes that he would like to make, changes which we will support him in making.

"For reasons of confidentially and to respect Mr Brook's right to privacy we do not want to discuss confidential and personal details in public.

"Redbridge Council and Redbridge Primary Care Trust will continue to work closely with Mr Brook and his family."