Abused woman’s care nightmare as council slashes package


theweeksubA disabled woman who needs 24-hour support has been told her care package will be cut to just three hour-long visits a day.

The woman from east London, is still emotionally scarred and needed lengthy counselling after a previous care worker neglected and abused her.

She is unable to move around safely on her own, and faces the prospect of having to sit in incontinence pads during the day and all night because Newham council wants to slash her care package.

She has significant paralysis, following a brain haemorrhage in 2001 and a subsequent stroke, has epilepsy and is partially-sighted, and has been receiving 24-hour care for more than 10 years.

And because of her medication, she needs to drink a lot of water, which makes it even more uncomfortable for her to have her pads changed only three times a day, as well as risking infection.

Her family have also been told that the agency that has been providing the care workers who have been supporting her for the last 18 months – and which took over after the alleged abuse – is not registered with the Care Quality Commission.

Newham council is now facing questions over why it approved the agency to provide her care when it was not registered to provide that service.

The council has also told her that she cannot start using direct payments to arrange her own care for another three months because of a backlog.

Despite the concerns over the care agency, she has built up an excellent relationship with her two current care workers, but faces losing them if the council’s cuts go ahead.

She said: “I am still reeling from it all. I can’t believe it is going to happen. I have had 24-hour care since I came out of hospital.”

She said the council tried giving her three visits a day – at meal-times – when she first came out of hospital 10 years ago.

But she said: “It was horrendous. I was run-down, I wasn’t eating properly, I lost my communication skills.

“Having 24-hour care has helped me no end. I know I have improved health-wise. The two carers I have now, I respect them and they respect me. I can’t believe they are going to take them away from me.”

Her daughter said: “Mum needs 24 hour care. She can’t do anything for herself, go to the toilet or make her own food.”

A Newham council spokeswoman said: “For reasons of confidentiality, we cannot discuss individual cases.”

But she said all residents receiving adult social care were “regularly assessed”, with account taken of information from GPs, while there were regular reviews “so our level of care meets their changing ongoing needs”.

She said: “In situations where a customer receives a significant reduction in care, this change will not be immediate. Instead the reduction in hours will be decreased gradually to help support individuals manage their new care packages.

“We will closely monitor the impact of any changes made to care packages and review if there is a change in an individual’s needs.

“The adult social care providers we use are regularly monitored and evaluated. If customers have concerns about the service they receive, we will investigate immediately and if necessary change their service providers.

“All allegations of abuse are taken very seriously and investigated.”

23 August 2013

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