Pensioner's fury at home care move
PUBLISHED: 12:34 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010
DISABLED pensioner Jan Morris is to lose the home-carers who have looked after her for six years because they cost too much. Instead, 62-year-old Miss Morris has been told she will be visited by agency workers because they can do the job for less money. B
DISABLED pensioner Jan Morris is to lose the home-carers who have looked after her for six years because they cost too much.
Instead, 62-year-old Miss Morris has been told she will be visited by agency workers because they can do the job for less money.
But one agency has already refused to accept Miss Morris' case because she raised questions about her care.
Now health chiefs are trying to find another agency so that her case can be handed over from her regular carers employed by the primary care trust.
Miss Morris' case comes in the same week that a report by the Audit Commission reveals that elderly people are being neglected and poorly treated by the health system.
The report revealed old folk had become second-class citizens and there was a lack of consultation.
"I'm being rail-roaded into accepting this new lot when I was quite happy with my regular carers," she said from her home in Lucas Court, Wilburton. "This is just not fair. My carers were really good.
"Now I feel I am just another case on their books. I'm not a person, I'm a number now. Why don't we get any say in this?
"The agency wanted to visit me regularly three times a day instead of the two I have been used to and they wanted to hold on to my case notes.
"When I disagreed, saying I wanted the notes left here, they said they were withdrawing their services.
"I suppose I was being difficult. I wasn't one of those old ladies just prepared to sit in the corner and say nothing."
Miss Morris, who suffers from arthritis in her back and hips, is usually visited in the morning and evening by her carers.
They help her to get out of bed and shower, and sometimes make her breakfast.
In the evening they return to make sure she has had tea, and they help her to get into bed.
Miss Morris, who often falls because of her condition, is visited three times a day when necessary.
She added: "I want to stay as independent as I can. I don't need regular visits three times a day unless I fall.
"This is taking away my independence."
Health chiefs are being forced to commission agency care packages under a Government directive to save cash.
East Cambridgeshire and Fenland Primary Care Trust, which provides the present in-house service is struggling to balance its books, faced with a £3.2 million deficit.
If it fails to get back into the black, it fears the Government will penalise it by providing less cash aid next year.
East Cambridgeshire and District Primary Care Trust director of integrated services, Catherine Mitchell, said: "Ms Morris previously received home care support from East Cambridgeshire and Fenland Primary Care Trust. These services have recently been redesigned to focus on emergency, short-term support to prevent patients being admitted to hospital and to help early discharge.
"Arrangements were, therefore, made to transfer Ms Morris' care to another organisation that provides long-term support which is more suitable to meet her needs.
"It is most regrettable that Ms Morris has experienced difficulties with the new arrangements. The PCT had advised the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Trust of Ms Morris' concerns and they have confirmed their willingness to work with her to resolve the situation.