THE mother of a severely disabled Bournemouth man has hit out over potentially devastating cuts to her son's care funding.

Tarik Zavadil, 26, suffers from cerebral palsy and has to have round-the-clock care from three carers, led by his mother Lorraine.

Tarik, who lives in a bungalow in Bournemouth, has received direct payments for the past seven years from Bournemouth council, enabling a dedicated team to provide essential 24hour care at home.

But just before Christmas, Mrs Zavadil was told by social services that her son's funding could be cut by two thirds.

Bournemouth council denies the move is a response to government funding cuts, although it expects a £12.6million reduction in its annual grant. The news came as David Cameron warned that 2011 would be a "difficult year".

Mrs Zavadil said: "We have had a wonderful situation with Tarik over the last seven years and have got it to a place where it works really well.

"But now they are suggesting using agency staff or someone different living in for less money.

"As well as the effect this would have on Tarik, I've worked out that on the money they are proposing the care staff wouldn't be paid the minimum wage.

"And they also wouldn't be paid for working nights, which apparently is something not required by the law if the person being cared for is asleep.

"The thing is, Tarik is often awake at night with seizures or other problems.

Mrs Zavadil added: "Tarik needs people who know him.

"Because he can't speak, he is as vulnerable as a six-month-old.

"The council say this is a starting point but I think a two-thirds drop is not a legitimate or even legal starting point.

"They've said for years that we are abiding by best practice and now that is being thrown out."

Bournemouth council said Tarik's reassessment is part of an intensive review of all direct payment service users and that the assessment is "very much incomplete at this stage" as it was waiting for Mrs Zavadil's self-assessment.

It said the figure provided to her was provisional. Based on their assessment so far, a care package meeting all of Mrs Zadavil's son's needs could be purchased for one third of the current cost.

Judith Geddes, executive director at the council added: "We are satisfied that any funding amount we make available will continue to allow her to comply with all relevant employment regulations, including appropriate rates of pay.

"We remain in discussion with Mrs Zavadil regarding her son's care needs."