Disabled Derby woman left 'living in pain' after waiting nine months for specialist toilet

Hallie Andrew says she has been chasing answers for months Credit: BPM Media

A disabled woman from Derby says she has been “left living in pain” after enduring more than a nine-month wait for a specialist toilet to be installed in her housing association home.

Former housekeeper Hallie Andrew suffers from spinal issues, arthritis, a shrunken left leg, and locked back muscles due to a motorbike accident.

She struggles to move as a result, and a long-broken radial bone in her elbow means she cannot rotate her hand so that her palm faces her. This means she depends on a bidet-like toilet that she used in her former home in the Kingsway area.

But after moving to Chaddesden in April 2022, she continues to wait for the same essential piece of kit to be delivered to her new house owned by Derby Homes - an arm of Derby City Council.

The 38-year-old said: “I first asked for the toilet from the previous place that I lived in. First, they said I can move in when the toilet has been done, but I thought I can manage for a bit until it gets fitted. So I moved in - I thought it was going to be a month.

“Well, scratch forward to now and it’s still not been done. I’m constantly chasing and talking to the housing officer who has been a godsend. She’s been trying to get hold of the adaptations team. She’s been an absolute diamond, she’s been helping me so much - constantly ringing up and chasing people.

“I have a toilet but I broke my right arm a few years ago and I can’t control its movement. I can’t fully turn my hand up, I can only turn it so far.

“I’m frustrated. I’m disabled, and I’m autistic. I’m having meltdowns all the time, and I constantly come off the phone getting nowhere. I’m banging my head against the wall thinking what do I do? Where do I go?

“It’s painful for me. But once the bathroom is sorted I won’t have any more issues. It’s just that they’ve left me living in pain for far too long.”

Over the weekend, Ms Andrew has also had to cope with a flood that she claims was caused by concrete that was blocking her shower drain, which came about after workmen installed a new floor.

She said: “I’ve had a new floor put in and they were supposed to put a cover over the plug in the shower, but they haven’t and concrete has now blocked the shower. It flooded really bad, it was running into our hallway.

“I phoned the housing association emergency number and they said there’s nothing we can do and told me to contact them on Monday. There was no rush.”

A spokesperson for Derby Homes said that the work to make Ms Andrew's shower room more accessible has not been "straightforward", but they hope it will be completed within the next two weeks.

They said: "We have been speaking to Miss Andrew regularly to keep her up to date, and whilst we completely understand her frustrations, this has not been a straightforward job to replace the toilet.

“We have had to make some significant alterations within her bathroom. We are awaiting delivery of the specialist toilet and hope to complete the work within the next fortnight.”