UPDATED: ‘I feel like I’m in prison’ says woman who is facing care cuts
A wheelchair dependent woman has had her council-provided care reinstated after last week’s front page Luton News article.
Angela Murray, 28, feared her life would be like a prison sentence when her care was dramatically reduced on February 25.
She has lived in sheltered accommodation in Abigail Close for ten years and depends on the 24-hour on-site care and carers’ visits to help her live a normal life.
Angela said: “My care was reinstated on Friday, it is only temporary but it is a relief for now. They said they will carry out a reassessment in four weeks and try to cut it again. It’s back to how it was near enough but as it’s only a temporary measure I am still worried for the future. I am still not very happy because I still think they are going to cut it. They’ve told me it’s not about money but that’s a load of rubbish.”
Angela’s care was reduced to just four visits a day; to get her out of bed at 7.30am, to go to bed at 10pm, and two 30-minute calls during the day to use the bathroom and cook.
At a meeting of the council executive committee last night, it was agreed that services at Abigail Court, Applegrove and Colwell Court would be reviewed to identify “budget savings”.
They also approved tendering of onsite contracts for Jill Jenkins Court and Betty Dodd Court, a review of care for Leicester Court, and further operational changes for the In-House Supportd Living Service which would create a total of £800,000 worth of savings.
A council spokesperson denied that the actions agreed at the meeting were connected with Angela’s care cuts.
They said: “The actions agreed at Executive have not yet been implemented and will include a phased approach.”
At the time when she was informed of the reduction in her care, the full-time charity volunteer said: “My social worker mentioned changes to my care in October last year and said we would work together to reduce my hours suitably, which I was fine with. But then she disappeared for four months until last week when she told me my care was changing immediately. I had no time to prepare. I am trying to appeal but it is already having a big impact on my life.”
The University of Bedfordshire psychology graduate, who won Volunteer of the Year Award 2012, was hit by a car when she was two years old and has not been able to use her legs since.
Luton Borough Council social services moved her to Abigail Court when she was 19 so she could live an independent adult life with flexible care.
The former Putteridge High School student said: “I like getting out and about and doing things, and this new care plan will prevent me from doing that.
“I won’t be able to do my night shifts at work and it’s going to affect my social life, I can’t be as free as I want to be. Like any young woman I enjoy going out with my girl friends and work friends, but now I’ll have to be home by 9.30pm - that’s when we would normally be going out.
“Plus as I’ll only have two short care visits in the day, I’m going to have to have microwave meals only. I am angry and anxious, because if my appeal doesn’t work, then this will be the rest of my life. I feel like I am in a prison.”
A council spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases. However, any changes to a care plan are only made after a full review and assessment of need, and through in-depth discussions with the service user (and, if appropriate, a carer or advocate). The complaints procedure is available and is offered to service users who may be unhappy with a decision. The council will respond to any dissatisfaction brought to its attention.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
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