Woman left in her wheelchair for 24 hours after carers fail to turn up

The care company said it has faced “serious operational challenges” in Bristol recently

The care company said it has faced “serious operational challenges” in Bristol recently

A severely disabled woman was left to sleep in her wheelchair, unfed and unwashed, after her carers failed to turn up.

Jayne Bush, from Hengrove, has a severe neurological condition, which leaves her needing help with all daily tasks.

But the 53-year-old was left to fend for herself for 24 hours after carers from Comfort Call failed to show up for a scheduled appointment.

Jayne says carers regularly turned up late and completely missed scheduled care visits on five or six occasions.

Jayne said she felt seriously neglected by Comfort Call (Image: Jon Kent)
She said: “That night I had no shower and nothing to eat either. No one came to put me to bed, so I had to sleep in my wheelchair. So I was in my wheelchair all night, which is not very good for my bottom.

“I feel I have been seriously neglected by Comfort Call.”

Jayne has been disabled her whole life and she has needed care for 20 years.

She suffers from cerebellar atrophy, a rare neurological condition affecting her movement and balance, which means she needs help with all personal care. She also finds it difficult to communicate although she can understand everything.

She said: “As I am a vulnerable person my partner and me complained to the CQC and the council about them. They handed my package back and I had to find another agency.”

Comfort Call is one of Bristol City Council’s “preferred providers” – receiving contracts from the council. The council was forced to source Jayne’s care from a new provider following the complaint.

Jayne’s partner Christoher Walkley, 61, said: “There has been a pattern of unreliable timings, people not coming when they say they’re coming. Comfort Call have also been putting work out to other agencies, like Prospero and Thornbury Nursing.

“It’s bad for Jayne because she’s been getting strangers in all the time – there’s no consistency.”

Christopher said Jayne had had a haircut on the day she was left alone – she needed a shower to wash the itchy cuttings off her but instead she had to endure them for a full day.

“It was very bad, she was very frustrated,” said Christopher. “It’s not done her long term health any good because of what she’s been through.

“Comfort Call needs to have someone sort them out – to make sure they’re performing as they should. They shouldn’t be going on as they have been.”

A spokesperson for Comfort Call said: “Comfort Call is very sorry to hear that someone using its services has had a bad experience. We have not received a complaint directly from Ms Bush or her family, but we are looking into the situation as a matter of urgency.

“Clearly, it would not be appropriate for us to discuss this particular case in the media at this stage, but we would seek to assure those receiving services from us and your readers that any decision to transfer a service to another care provider would only ever be made as a last resort and where it was in the individual’s best interests to do so.

“Comfort Call is committed to providing the very best standards of care but is transparent about the fact that it has faced some serious operational challenges in Bristol recently. We continue to work closely with the Council and the Care Quality Commission to ensure that these challenges are met.

“The interests of the safety and wellbeing of the people that use our services remain our top priority.”

The Comfort Call Bristol offices in Hartcliffe

A council spokesperson said: “It is essential that people using home care services in Bristol are well looked after and we expect the providers we use to support people to live safely at home.

“We monitor all of our providers and, should concerns arise, in first instance we work with them to ensure they make the necessary improvements.

“If this is not possible we would consider taking further action. If for any reason individuals that we arrange care for are not happy with the service they receive, we would encourage them to contact us. Complaints can also be reported to the Care Quality Commission.”

Source: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/woman-left-wheelchair-24-hours-364608

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