Leeds: Care-visit issues hit 83-year-old

DISTRESS: Muriel Stammers has had problems with home care. Picture: Steve Riding

DISTRESS: Muriel Stammers has had problems with home care. Picture: Steve Riding

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A DISABLED pensioner says she has experienced problems with the same home-care firm which repeatedly let down a Leeds stroke patient.

The YEP reported last week about how Joyce Cooper was twice left bedbound for more than 13 hours when carers did not turn up.

Now more criticisms of similar services have emerged.

Muriel Stammers had employed Reed Community Care on a private basis to take her out for essential visits, such as to the bank, hairdresser or dentist.

The 83-year-old, of Headingley, Leeds, is disabled and unable to get out of her home unaided.

“My carers have been excellent but the Reed Leeds office has caused me distress, anger and upset,” she said. “It was so difficult to arrange anything.

“I used Reed for just over two years and they got steadily worse. If I wanted a carer I had to ring several times.”

The final straw was a last-minute cancellation before Christmas, after which Miss Stammers decided it would be easier to stay at home over winter.

The pensioner has now started using another home-care firm.

A Reed spokeswoman said they were committed to providing a professional support service and were investigating.

Meanwhile, Carol Brooke, from Morley, said there had been problems with a different care provider which was supposed to help her 87-year-old father, Charles Cardiss, who has vascular dementia.

She said visits often didn’t happen at arranged times.

And she said another firm which hadn’t dealt with the family for several years had even mistakenly sent a worker into his home recently.

“Older people’s lives are revolving around what the provider says, not the other way around,” she said.

“My dad has worked hard all his life, fought for his country. The girls that are his regular carers are great, but they are getting few and far between.”

She called for greater monitoring by Leeds City Council.

A council spokeswoman said they monitored organisations closely, including annual, quarterly and weekly checks to make sure that standards of service delivery, staff competency and good practice are being met.

She added: “We expect our providers to treat our customers with dignity and respect at all times, and would encourage anyone that is unhappy with the service they receive to contact us so that we can take appropriate action to improve the situation as soon as possible.”

Vic Berry, from Otley, is drumming up support for creating a co-operative to provide care for older people as he believes they would have more control over services and quality would improve. Details are at http://slickstercast.wordpress.com.

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